Mr. Sato arrived bright and early for Tapioca Land Cafe’s grand opening, expecting a swarm of reporters and news-copters swirling overhead, but was surprised to find only himself. It made him feel good though, as clearly no one loved tapioca as much as he did. This was proof of that.
It also meant he would be the first person in the world to taste of Tapioca Land Cafe’s offerings — a rare honor indeed!
Although there was a wide range of bubble teas to choose from, they were all uniformly priced at 500 yen (US$4.60) apiece. It was all surprisingly normal, but just before he could feel let-down, Mr. Sato spotted something life-changing…
“Da Hong Pao Tapioca Milk Tea — 10,000 yen (US$92)”
Mr. Sato’s heart jumped in his chest. This was why he had come to Topica Land Cafe. As the first customer, he felt it was both his duty and immense pleasure to purchase and drink this luxury tea.
While waiting for the 20 minutes that it took to prepare this beverage, Mr. Sato decided to research Da Hong Pao tea. Considered the world’s most expensive tea and used for state guests in China as well as the imperial family in Japan, Da Hong Pao is a variant of oolong tea grown in the renowned tea terroir of Wuyi, China. One kilogram of the stuff is said to go for over one million dollars.
Twenty minutes later his 10,000-yen tea arrived.
It looked more like cafe au lait than regular bubble tea and was generally a little disappointing in the visual stimulation department. It was nice and all, just not 10,000-yen nice.
Given the price, it’s hard to recommend this drink to everyone, just as it’s hard to say if any cup of tea — tapioca or no tapioca — is really worth 10,000 yen. But if there ever was one, boy, this would certainly be it.