To most people tea is just a very common drink in our daily life. However, if I tell you that tea can be sold at more than $100000 a box as a kind of luxury product, will you believe? Actually, rare teas were sold in auction since long ago, but the first tea auction in Hong Kong still attracts many tea lovers.
According to Financial Times, “Teas more than half a century old will go on the block at the “Sensation of Tea” auction on Saturday at Hong Kong’s Park Lane Hotel. One box of rare Narcissus oolong tea could fetch as much as HK$1m ($129,000), according to the organisers.”
$129,000! What a high price! Why is this tea so expensive? There are 2 main reasons. Firstly, the tea was picked in the 1950s after 20 years of war, when tea was rarely harvested. The “long rest” gave the leaves a stronger flavour. In the past 60 years, it had acquired very special aftertaste and fragrance that can still be sensed half an hour after drinking. Secondly, like most products sold in auction, this tea has its unique stories that make the tea taste even better. While is often compared to coffee, it seems it has now followed the footsteps of wine; it offers are diversity of taste experiences as well as prices.
These teas are probably too expensive for the most of us. However, how rocket-high the prices may be, it does reflect the glamour and value of drinking tea. The auction is not only for selling rare teas, but also a place for tea lovers and tea collectors to share their stories with tea. Maybe someday some of us can join, but in the meanwhile I really appreciate the teas that I have in my kitchen cabinet.