Fancy paying $10,000 for a few odd grams of tea? That’s how much enterprising Chinese folks are willing to dish out for Puer (or Pu-Erh) tea, a coveted tea type that is renowned for its exotic taste and healing properties.
Part of the allure of Puer tea comes from the strict definition surrounding this tea type. Its most prominent feature is the aging process where older raw leaves are in higher demand and said to taste better.
The claims of Puer tea having health benefits like aiding weight loss and lowering cholesterol levels also add to its appeal.
In addition to this, Chinese authorities only recognize Yunnan-grown tea as authentic Puer tea, thus increasing the value of material from this particular province.
The reason for these restrictions are largely due to the Puer tea boom of 2007. At the time, investors went wild buying these teacakes which inadvertently lead to an influx of fakes.
Subsequently, the craze fizzled out in 2008 and the authorities started implementing regulations around Puer tea in order to retain its value.
As a result of these developments, aged Puer tea from Yunnan can fetch a hefty amount. Typically, a kilogram of Puer teacakes can sell for 200 yuan ($30) but price can reach exorbitant amounts if the leaves are older.
As a matter of fact, century-old tea can reel in an impressive $10,000 for 10 grams.
Recently, 3 grams of Puer tea dating back to Qing Dynasty was auctioned at the starting bid of 200,000 yuan (close to $30,000)!