According to Kyodo News, a Japanese news agency, little over 2 pounds of hand-rolled green tea leaves from Japan sold for a record-breaking 1.96 million yen—or approximately $15,500—at auction on Monday as gasoline and material expenses soar.
The world-record-breaking Samidori leaves—a green tea cultivar—were cultivated in Fujinomiya, a city in Shizuoka Prefecture famed for its high-quality green teas.
According to SBS News, a local broadcaster, the six-figure price tag eclipsed the previous record for the most expensive tea in a Japanese auction, which was established in 2021 for 1.08 million yen ($8,507.70).
The tea was sold at the Shizuoka Japanese Tea Market during an annual auction to mark the start of the crop season, and market president Yasuhide Uchino told Kyodo News that rising fuel and raw material costs have resulted in more expensive tea, though he added that the market is “working hard” to ensure “delicious tea at fair prices.”
Officials at the market told Kyodo News that the tea quality is still good this year, despite the fact that it grew more slowly than normal.
According to United Nations forecasts, the worldwide tea business will be valued $21.3 billion by 2024. China and India account for the majority of the market.
Apart from “short-term” consequences on trade and pricing, the tea business proved robust against economic recessions produced by the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, according to the UN.