Exotic Teas You Won’t Believe

Nov 16, 2020
This post may contain affiliate links. Simple Loose Leaf is a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to Amazon.com. Unless you’ve just recently started drinking tea, you may have stumbled upon some truly remarkable tea types. Tea world is very versatile, and except the common types, there are many exotic teas out there too. Some of them are incredibly expensive. Find out what are the most unique and expensive teas.

What is the most expensive tea in the world?

Da Hong Pao or Red Robe Oolong may not be so exotic anymore, but it most certainly is one of the most expensive teas in the world. What’s incredible about Da Hong Pao is that the first original tea plants used for making this tea are still growing in the Wuyi Mountains in Fujian, China. Today they are protected and not used for commercial purposes. Almost 20 years ago 20 grams of this tea was sold for incredible $28,000. How much is that for a kilo? $1,400,000. Other expensive teas include Tie Guan Yin, Dragon Well, Gyokuro, Matcha with gold leaf and Mao Jian and Mao Feng. What makes them very expensive if using traditional techniques, hand-harvesting leaves from the original growing area and other factors. All of them are loose leaf teas. However, tea bags can be expensive too. In 2005, a British tea company PG Tips made a tea bag with 280 diamonds. The price? £7,500[1]. The most expensive Japanese tea is gyokuro and matcha tea powder. Both are grown under a shade and have a strong umami flavor. Sometimes, matcha powder is mixed with edible gold leaves.  

Insect Poop Tea

When you think you’ve heard it all, here comes the insect poop tea. Just like the name suggest, this Chinese tea is made from the feces of insects that eat tea plants. While the name doesn’t sound inviting, the flavor of this insect droppings tea is described as pleasant and may apparently provide many health benefits[2]. It looks very similar to CTC black tea.

Panda Poop Tea

Unlike the insect poop tea, panda poop green tea is not actually made from panda’s feces. Instead, tea plants are fertilized using panda’s dung. It’s made exclusively in Sichuan. The price? $3,500 for 50 grams of tea[3]. A cup of Panda dung tea would cost you around $140.

Insect Bitten Tea

Insects and tea really do go hand in hand. One of the most popular and delicious Taiwanese teas owes its flavor to insects too - the green leafhopper. The name of this tea is Oriental Beauty or Dong Fang Mei Ren. It’s also known under the names White Tip oolong. This tea has a unique honey and fruity notes. Flavor is a result of the plant’s defense system against green leafhopper saliva. Oriental Beauty is often called a champagne oolong. However, this tea is not the only insect-bitter tea-the other one, Gui Fei, another insect-bitten tea, has an even more intense honey flavor.

Monkey Picked Tea

Although monkey picked tea sounds very interesting, monkeys took no part in harvesting tea leaves. While you may still find some sources claiming that monkeys are trained to harvest tea plants that are not easily accessible, that is only a legend. This tea, however, is among more expensive ones. Today, this name it’s used to represent a higher tea grade, mostly for Ti Kwan Yin tea. 

Da Yu Ling

Out of all Taiwanese oolongs, Da Yu Ling high grown tea is the most expensive one. This tea is a true gem in the world of oolong tea. There are not many tea plantations left where the original Da Yu Ling is growing, and all of them are at the altitude of 2600 meters or higher. The price? Around $100 for 100 grams.


Pu’erh is a type of Chinese fermented or dark tea. It’s made from tea leaves of Camellia sinensis that are either left to ferment over the time or processed using accelerated fermentation techniques. The first or raw type of pu’erh will become more mellow and light throughout the years, while the ripe type is available for drinking immediately after it’s made. Raw pu’er is often compressed into cakes. Some of those cakes can be very old and some are made from old tea trees. There is a difference. Ancient tree pu’erh can be a new tea, but it’s made from tea leaves harvested from old tea trees. On the other hand, you can still find tea cakes that are over 50 years old.

Salted Sakura Tea

The prettiest of all exotic teas is a salted sakura tea. Sakura or cherry blossom is the prettiest symbol of spring. This Japanese tea is made with dried and salted cherry blossoms. Once you place them in hot water they will “blossom” into a delicate flower.  
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It’s not intended to replace medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Every person is different and may react to different herbs and teas differently. Never use teas or herbs to treat serious medical conditions on your own. Always seek professional medical advice before choosing home remedies.


[1] http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/manchester/4297395.stm [2] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0963996913000240 [3] https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-china-panda-tea/poo-for-tea-chinas-pandas-brew-a-top-drop-idUSBRE82I04O20120319

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