But there's a lot more low elevation land than high, so market demand compounds an independent producer's high production costs into an even higher price. Remote growing regions and high mountaintops count for something else, too: They're farther away from polluted cities. The tea most Westerners are accustomed to drinking is grown, for the most part, on large plantations all over the world, from India to Kenya to Vietnam. An apple a day? But just because a tea claims to be from a specific mountain or processed in a certain way doesn't necessarily mean it's good. Stunningly crisp skin, perfectly cooked breast and leg, and a flavorful gravy in one fell swoop. With small farm size comes greater control over your plants, more regional distinctions in tea varieties, and more precise processing. Much Japanese tea and Yunnan pu-erh is made in factories with skilled workers and expensive equipment, and all those costs add up. Once you have your land, you have to sow seeds, then wait several years, earning no income, while the bushes take root and mature. Why is it, then, that a cup of tea is so damn expensive in most cafes and restaurants? #15 < > Showing 1-15 of 25 comments . The best tea leaves in the world can be ruined by poor drying, steaming, or roasting, and some teas require such careful processing that farmers hire experts to do the job for them. Clean air is vital ingredient in good tea, and an increasingly expensive one. Then there's the cost of harvesting. In China, people give fancy tea as gifts, much like fine whiskey in the States. I think they could definitely sell a lot more models that way. Per page: 15 30 50. There's plenty of bad tea grown in famous regions and great tea in totally obscure ones; there is life-changing tie guan yin and gross tie guan yin, with few shortcuts to discern the difference. #14. These plantations excel at growing vast quantities of tea, harvesting it cheaply with imprecise machines or poorly paid (and often mistreated) labor, processing it to low-yet … Cool, moist mountain air and dramatic temperature fluctuations make for deeply nuanced and flavorful tea, and a really good high elevation tea should make you feel like you're standing on a mountain peak surrounded by mist and verdant trees. Tea roasters will spend eight to 10 hours a day hunched over pans like these, drying tea leaves with their hands. McKnuckles. [Photograph: Max Falkowitz]. The tea most Westerners are accustomed to drinking is grown, for the most part, on large plantations all over the world, from India to Kenya to Vietnam. Anything over €2 is way too expensive for the average, non-Michelin starred restaurant. But it also reflects the tea's production costs, intermediate shipping and merchant costs, and the market's demand for it, none of which say anything about whether you'll like it, or even if you do, if you're willing to pay for it. * A blanket disclaimer: The tea industry is enormously complex, and there are exceptions to everything, so the broad brushes I'm about to paint with will invariably get something wrong. Tea is an agricultural product, and like any other, it's all about economies of scale. Jin jun mei—a black tea grown in the Wuyi mountains of Fujian province—only uses the tea bush's tiniest leaves and shoots, resulting in a lower yield and higher prices than some other teas. Careful farming, regional climate, and particular processing can all make one type of tea more valuable than another. And just like with wine, there are splurges and value buys for every kind of tea you could want. These are the crispiest, most flavorful roast potatoes you'll ever make. But good tea—the equivalent of a scarlet, bursting-with-juice tomato still warm from the garden—usually comes from smaller farms that hold their production methods to higher standards. [Photograph: Max Falkowitz]. lol xD I never really got any thing from the store just wondering why it costed so much.. don't buy anything,you will get many weapon for free. So what do you do? Lower availability means higher prices. Tea Forte definitely has my business now for the foreseeable future. And even if a tea is the genuine article, whether it's worth a certain price to you is a question only you can answer. Some HTML is OK: link, strong, em. Is the tea really worth it? Unskilled roasting can ruin good leaves. It produces a decent cup of tea, just like cottony winter tomatoes make an acceptable salad ingredient. Tea Forte (Tea Forté) is a tea company, founded in 2003 by Peter Hewitt and based in Concord, MA, that sells tea in unique pyramid infusers topped by a small leaf. [Photograph: Max Falkowitz]. Tea Forté whole leaf tea silken pyramid infusers come in varied collections that are beautifully packaged and above all steep an exceptional cup. You can do it, but it ain't easy, and if you're charging admission, you'll need to charge enough to make it worth your while. Consider the roasted oolongs from the Wuyi mountains of Fujian province, China. Experienced pickers pluck only the best leaves without tearing them; machine harvesters can drag in woody stems and broken, oxidized leaves. We reserve the right to delete off-topic or inflammatory comments. And they'll be honest about which teas are true premium styles and which are meant as value purchases. We may earn a commission on purchases, as described in our affiliate policy. Of course, not everyone giving tea gifts necessarily knows much about tea, any more than everyone in the U.S. appreciates the nuances of premium Scotch. That's a prejudice we have to overcome for a lot more reasons than understanding the tea economy. Limited supply plus high demand means they're never cheap. All rights reserved. Too many Western consumers, used to paying bargains on cheap tea and 25¢ dumplings, have come to associate "made in Asia" with "automatically cheap." To keep things simple from the start, I'm not even going to touch on post-production vendor markups. Both kinds have their place, because at the end of the day, a tea is only worth what you're willing to pay for it. [Photograph: Vicky Wasik]. Ever. Consumer’s growing passion and appreciation for unique, artisan blended teas as well as exquisite tea ware makes Tea Forté much appreciated tea gifts. The pyramid infusers are sold primarily in assortments, for sampling the teas, and the teas can then be bought in volume in loose-leaf form. Because of the special soil, special climate and special growing conditions, it has a very distinct taste and flavor. 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