Yellow Gold Tea Buds: The Tea of Emperors

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Throughout human history gold has stood both directly and symbolically for opulence and luxury; people wear and covet gold jewelry or use golden ornaments as an indication of status and wealth. Within the world of tea then, it is no surprise then that of the most expensive and rare teas in the world is the Yellow Gold Tea Buds, selling at over € 11.000 a kilo of loose leaf tea.  

So why is this tea so expensive? Well, firstly it is probably the most rare tea in the world. Yellow Gold Tea is exclusively sold by the TWG tea company in Singapore. It is said that the buds cultivated for Yellow Gold Yea only grow on a single mountain in China’s Sichuan province, and are harvested only one day a year, from the top of a tree, with a yield of only several kilo’s every harvest.

 In terms of its preparation, the buds are cut exclusively with golden shears, after which they are coated in 24-karat real, yet edible, gold which gives the tea a decisively metallic and floral taste. This is not only in service of giving the tea a luxurious appearance, it is also believed to be of nutritional value, as gold is often equated to good health. The leaves are then sun-dried and undergo heat treatment to give them their yellowish color and flowery taste. This method of production dates back to 16th century China where the tea was a favorite of the emperors at the imperial court of China.

If you are going to spend such a substantial amount of money on a luxury cup of tea, you would probably want to brew it as close to perfection as you can. When it comes to Yellow Gold Tea you want to heat the water to about 75° Celsius, take about 2.5 grams of tea leaves and let them infuse for about 3 to 4 minutes depending on taste, and your golden cup of tea is ready.  

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