The price tag of this luxury green tea is enough to make one choke on his ayataka.
At a whopping 27,000 yen (S$275) for a 500ml bottle, gyokuro tea produced in Yame – a city in Japan’s Fukuoka prefecture – costs as much fine wine.
What is so special about gyokuro tea? It is grown under the shade, rather than the full sun, and requires special equipment to brew. Tea-makers also have to pay close attention to its water temperature and brewing time.
As the delicate brewing process had previously prevented the luxury drink from going global, tea producers in Yame decided to bottle the brew so that it is fit to be shipped across the world, reported Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun.
They spent six months perfecting the bottled drink, making sure to preserve its delicate taste and aroma.
The special bottles of gyokuro, marketed under a local speciality brand certified by the government, boast of using only the finest tea leaves found in just 0.0075 per cent of the tea cultivated in Yame.
The tea contains a blend of four types of leaves, which sell for 300,000 yen per kilogram.
The leaves are brewed slowly over 10 hours in minus 1 deg C to 2 deg C water, rather than the normal brewing temperature of between 50 deg C and 60 deg C.
Yame’s tea producers aim to introduce this high-end green tea to the global market.
Only 100 bottles have been made, the producers announced on Monday, and half of this will be shipped to high-end restaurants worldwide. The rest can be purchased by domestic customers.
Another 200 bottles will be made in 2023. The producers aim to ship 5,000 bottles by 2028.