【Taiwan Most Expensive Tea】Best Oolong Tea Ever?


Where is the most expensive tea in Taiwan? There are literally hundreds of types of tea in Taiwan, all of which are of excellent quality. Foreign consumers are very fond of Taiwanese tea, so the price of Taiwanese tea sold abroad can expectedly be much higher than that in Taiwan. On the whole, the most expensive teas in Taiwan are competition certified; participating Taiwanese teas are knowingly produced in Lishan and Dayuling regions.

Oolong and high mountain oolong are representative of the most expensive teas in Taiwan, accounting for just 2% of the global output. Taiwanese high mountain oolong tea is affected by climate and altitude, and its output is scarce which makes it so precious. Usually the higher the altitude, the better the price, so the representative areas of high mountain oolong tea include Alishan & Shanlinxi.


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The Most Expensive Taiwanese Tea

1.Most Expensive Taiwanese Tea – NTD$2 million+ Tea

What is the record for the most expensive local tea in Taiwan? On the 96th year of Taiwanese independence, the “National Spring Tea – Taiwan Excellent Tea Auction” hosted by the Council of Agriculture set the sales record of a NTD$2.56 million tea.

This tea was won by tea farmer Liu Jiaen who has won the “Special Prize” seven times in a row in Zhushan and Lugu. He said: Five years ago, Lugu Dongding Oolong Tea cost about NTD$40,000 per catty, and he set a reserve price of NTD$70,000 after he won the prize; Zhushan Shanlinxi tea also won the special prize, and it has climbed from about NTD$10,000 per catty to a staggering NTD $30,000, which is still in short supply.

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2.Most Expensive Taiwanese Tea – Post-Competition Tea Prices

After participating in competitions, tea prices naturally double, especially champion tea. People who like to collect tea say, “For good tea, if you drink one pack, the less will exist, the value-added will be greater.”

Some people will purchase completion tea leaves to add to their personal collections, and for investment prospects. Through such a virtuous circle, tea farmers will plant tea trees more carefully in order to produce better tea.

  • Oriental Beauty Tea Competition Price

The 2022 Oriental Beauty Tea Grand Prize was won by Xu Yaoliang, a well-known tea maker. Taking the price of the peasant association in Emei Township as an example, tea in first place comes in at around NTD$56,000 per catty. It is really the most appropriate adjective to say that high-quality tea is “tea gold” after participating in the competition. 

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  • Lugu Dongding Oolong Tea Grand Prize Price

First, second, third, three plum blossoms, and two plum blossoms prize divisions in the Dongding Oolong Tea Competition in Nantou Lugu all fetch vastly different prices. The first division of the 2022 Lugu Dongding Oolong Tea was awarded to Ms. Qiu Susuyun. In 1982, the price of premium Dongding Oolong tea reached a high of NTD$1.6 million per catty, which shows that winning positions strongly influence price. 

Nestled within Taiwan’s mist-kissed mountains, the most expensive teas emerge, embodying the island’s essence, where the soil, climate, and devotion of the tea masters converge into liquid elegance, a sip of Taiwan’s soul.

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The high-priced tea leaves in Taiwan are concentrated on the high mountains. The wholesale price of Lishan tea in the Lishan area of Taichung, which is more than 2000 metres above sea level, ranges between NTD$2,500 and NTD$10,000 per catty; However, the tea found in the same area with approaching altitudes of 2800 metres can wholesale for as much as NTD$12,000.

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Factors affecting the price of Taiwan High Mountain Tea

  • Market Price Factors: High Mountain Tea tree varieties

Most varieties used in Taiwanese Oolong tea production are: Tieguanyin, Qingxin, Jinxuan, and Cuiyu. If it is from a tea area dominated by high mountains such as the Alishan tea area, which is famous for high mountain tea, Qingxin Oolong is primarily produced. But when the altitude drops between 1000 metres and 1200 metres, you end up with varieties such as Alishan Jinxuan which is not only used for making Oolong, but also Alishan black tea.

  • Tea Market Price Factors: Competition participation

The “Excellent Tea Competition” is where the organiser notifies tea farmers within its jurisdiction to provide 11 to 23 catties of tea to the competition venue during a certain tea picking period. The number of samples in Taiwanese tea competitions can exceed 7000, making it fiercely competitive. As soon as a tea wins first place, the reserve price is instantly set at NTD$300,000 per catty.

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  • Tea Market Price Factors: Tea Origin

For consumers who are not familiar with tea, the place of origin can be said to be one of the best factors to distinguish, especially in well-known tea producing areas. In the case of Alishan high mountain tea, the price of the place of origin is usually based on the altitude.

The highest production areas in Taiwan are the Dayuling and Fushoushan Farms, the height of these two places are more than 2000 metres above sea level; then within the 1800-1600 metre range, there is the Qingjing Farm, Lushan Mountain, Shanlinxi, etc.

Further descending, there is Dongding and Pinglin, among others at altitudes of 1000-800 metres. The altitude will be the basis that mainly affects the price. The main reasons being that not only are high altitude areas difficult to plant, harvest and manage, but also the quantity is scarce and the labour is expensive.

  • Tea Market Price Factors: High Mountain Tea Seasons

Winter and spring usually fetch the highest tea prices throughout the year, particularly winter due to production scarcity. To elaborate, summer and autumn teas are 65%~70% the price of spring tea, with further price gaps seen when compared with winter tea. Alishan Alpine Oolong tea is sourced from an altitude of 1600 metres.

Due to the high altitude and cold climate, spring tea is harvested from the end of April to mid-May, while winter tea is harvested after the lunar calendar year.

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Taiwan’s most expensive teas are a testament to the artistry of tea cultivation, where leaves become poetry, steeped in the mystique of the island’s terroir, each cup a journey through the landscape’s finest nuances.


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Recognize good merchants to avoid buying fake tea

According to statistics from the Taiwan Tea Association, Taiwanese drink more than 45,000 tons of tea a year, but Taiwan produces less than 15,000 tons. The 30,000 ton gap is filled primarily by imports from Vietnam and China. There are many unscrupulous products on the market posing as Taiwanese tea.

Therefore, in addition to identifying certification of origin labels, always purchase from merchants with a high degree of trust to ensure you are consuming the genuine article.

ABoxTik specialises in selling Taiwanese tea from small independent producers. We welcome you to visit the official website of ABoxTik to access some of the highest quality authentic Taiwanese teas!