The fragrance of State Guest Da Hung Pao tea is said to be so long-lasting that if you drink a glass one morning, the delicate perfume will still be detectable about you the morning after.
The story’s a little much, but people do pay big money for this premium brand of da hung pao, similar to oolong, a type of semi-fermented tea.
At Wu Yi Star Teahouse, a tea shop with 40 stores throughout greater China, the price for 50 grams–a handful of leaves—is 16,800 Hong Kong dollars (US$2,160). (The same amount of other da hung pao teas costs HK$138.)
Every year, the 100 canisters of State Guest Da Hung Pao tea sell out within two months. A waiting list for the 2011-year harvest has already begun.
Here’s why many people will pay so much for this tea, according to Tracy Ho, general manager of Wuyi Star Teahouse general manager.