A year and a half ago, I thought spending $10 on a 100 gram packet of loose leaf tea was exorbitant. These days, I regularly come out of a tea shop having spent between $50 and $100. And I’m not coming away with that much tea either — sometimes I can spend $50 just on 150 grams of tea.
If you’re used to supermarket tea, you’ll no doubt balk at the expense. And by all means, if you don’t place a high premium on quality in your tea, stick with your supermarket stocks.
But the thing is, $50 for 150 grams of tea isn’t that expensive. It’s the equivalent of buying two pretty good bottles of wine — which will buy you about 12 glasses of wine. 150 grams of tea, even if it’s only infused once, will get you at least 50 cups of tea. If you’re talking about a high quality oolong tea, you should be able to get at least 4 or 5 cups from each batch of leaves, which means you could get as much as 250 cups from that batch of tea. Suddenly, we’re talking about a 20 cent cup of tea.
Last time I checked, you could buy a 10-pack box of Twinings teabags at the supermarket for a bit over $2 — so right there you’re paying the same amount for a stale Twinings teabag as you would for some high quality oolong tea!
Even the Hawaiian oolong that I reviewed last week, which sells for $20 per 10 grams, didn’t seem quite as expensive after I used about 3 grams of leaves and got 10 infusions (and potentially could have got more).
What do you think? Is high quality loose leaf tea expensive?