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Just over 2 pounds of hand-rolled green tea leaves from Japan sold for a record-breaking 1.96 million yen—or about $15,500—at auction on Monday as fuel and material costs rise, according to Kyodo News, a Japanese news agency.
The record-breaking Samidori leaves—a tea cultivar that falls under the green tea umbrella—were grown in Fujinomiya, a city in Shizuoka Prefecture, which is well-known throughout Japan for its high-quality green teas.The six-figure price tag surpassed the previous record for the most expensive tea at a Japanese auction, which was set in 2021 for 1.08 million yen or $8,507.70, according to SBS News, a local station.The tea was sold at the Shizuoka Japanese Tea Market during an annual auction to mark the beginning of the crop season, and market president Yasuhide Uchino told Kyodo News that the increased costs of fuel and raw materials has led to more expensive tea, thought he said the market is “working hard” to ensure it can provide “delicious tea at fair prices.”
The market’s officials told Kyodo News the tea’s quality remains good this year, though the tea grew more slowly than usual.