There is a tea tree in Korea that is said to be 1,000 years old. This ancient tree, called Korea’s Millennium Tea Tree, produces Korea’s oldest and most precious tealeaves. These tealeaves were sold at $13,000 for 100 grams, and without a doubt take the title of “Korea’s most expensive tea.”
Unlike typical small tea bushes, Korea’s Millennium Tea Tree stands at 4.2 meters tall and 5.7 meters wide. It is currently owned by Oh Si-Young, who is also a fine tea producer and owner of Dosimdawon. While this tree can produce 200 grams of tea each year, it is rarely harvested because of the fear of damaging it.
The very first tea tree in Korea was 1,200 years old when it died, and still stands as a monument at the Ssanggye Valley in Hadong. So, whatever tealeaves are harvested from Korea’s Millennium Tea Tree, while it remains alive, are incredibly rare and valuable.
The tea was sold in an auction at the Hadong Wild Tea Culture Festival. The prized tealeaves were placed in a specially crafted container, and were presented with a tea caddy inlaid with mother of pearl and a teaspoon that was decorated with 75 grams of pure gold.
Chances are, you will never come across tea this old and this expensive. However, if you want to try your luck, head over to the Hadong Wild Tea Culture Festival the next time you get a chance. Just remember to bring enough money along!