In England everything stops for tea.
And now a London hotel has taken this dedication to new heights by offering what’s dubbed the UK’s most expensive cuppa.
The Rubens at The Palace is now serving a rare tea blend for £500 ($620) per pot, which works out to around $200 a cup.
This rare tea blend is produced in the highlands of Sri Lanka. Tips is hand-picked by expert tea-pluckers and sundried on a velvet cloth, which turns the buds from silver to gold.
The pricey tea is only available at The Rubens, where diners can sip it while overlooking The Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace.
The Rubens is one of the most historic, distinguished and luxurious hotels in London. Having stood as a neighbour to Buckingham Palace since the 1700s, The Rubens is a bastion of the Belgravia area and has played host to debutantes and notable members of society since the early 1900s.
The exclusive tea is described as “an extraordinary liquor and a smooth, light and mellow texture, with hints of fruity notes”, Golden Tips was sourced in collaboration with specialist tea merchants PMD Tea.
A pot can be bought alongside the hotel’s Royal Afternoon Tea menu, which costs around $55 per person.
Once ordered, the serving process involves something of a regal ceremony, which is perhaps just as well giving its staggering price tag.
To begin with gold tweezers are used to pick the leaves and “weigh them with precision,” then the tea is brewed using still natural mineral water, before being poured out using a special silver tea set.
Customers are encouraged to drink it before indulging in any sandwiches or scones, in order to savour its flavour to the fullest.
And while $620 a pot may seem a high price to pay, Golden Tips has actually sold for a lot more in the past.
Back in 1891, a pound of the tea was apparently sold for the equivalent of $1,500.