SHIZUOKA, Japan >> Saemidori tea leaves from Shizuoka Prefecture were sold for $4,270 per pound at a market in Aoi Ward, Shizuoka.
The April 18 record was the highest price for tea leaves since the market first opened in 1956.
The Saemidori tea was grown by Katsuhiko Watanabe, 46, of Fujinomiya, and rubbed by hand by 10 workers.
Only 2.2 pounds were purchased by Takashi Doi, 40, of tea company Fujinomiya Fujisan Seicha Co.
“(The product) has a rich aroma and mild flavor,” Watanabe said.
Doi said the tea is a high-quality product, as the leaves were picked and rubbed by hand and processed with delicate care. “I hope to boost the tea industry and promote Shizuoka tea,” he added.