From steaming teapots to cream scones, tea is a British institution. The refreshing beverage is savored by as many as three billion people worldwide every day due to its rejuvenating properties and delicious taste. However, how much are you willing to pay for a cup of tea? Royal China Club, a restaurant on Baker Street in London, will be serving the UK’s most expensive pot of tea for £180 (approximately $295). The tea known as Da Hong Pao or imperial red robe is handmade from tender leaves and baked in small batches over charcoal to create an aromatic infusion with distinctive dark cocoa notes, a toasted fruity flavor that leaves a long aftertaste.
A form of Oolong tea, it is served at exactly 95°c in Royal China Club. The reason why it’s so expensive is because the artisan tea leaves are extremely seasonal and can only be harvested on certain days of the year and they are then left to mature for 80 years. The tea is legendary with its history dating back to the early 18th century. During the Qing Dynasty, the emperor Da Hong Pao sent great red robes to clothe the four bushes from which the tea that cured his sick mother came from.
Because of its high quality and rarity, the tea has previously only been offered to leaders of government, emperors or has been available for public auction three times. In 2002, 20 grams of Da Hong Pao sold for $23,000 (as per the exchange rate during that time). If you don’t have a spare £180, the restaurant also offers a range of 18 different types of artisan teas (starting from £4.80 for two) from different regions in China.
Royal China Club
40-42 Baker St
London, United Kingdom
+44 20 7486 3898