Thursday, September 24, 2015

Prices Of Mooncakes and Tea

The Chinese mid autumn festival is this weekend and moon cakes which are normally eaten during this festive occasion are easily available one month prior to this fun event.

Grrr! My local favorite moon cake now cost me $10. Each! Singapore is the most expensive city in the world to live (2015 EIU reports) and my mooncake price clearly reflects this unenviable expensive title. Picture shows a green tea filling cake. Mooncakes are traditionally filled with sweetened lotus seed paste but now everywhere you go in Singapore, there are durian, chocolate mousse, ice cream and tea flavored cakes for sale. Earl grey, matcha, milk tea and green tea are examples of tea flavored cakes.

A recent local newspaper article (The New Paper, 13 Sept 2015 - Is the price right? by Khairiyah Amirah Md Ramthan) highlighted the price of gold yin zhen tea (silver needle) selling at $850 per 50g (about US$600). The reporter made a mistake when he priced a cup of tea at $178.50 based on 2.5g of tea. It should be $42.50 a cup. The article explained that the silver needle tea leaves are plated with 24k gold. Available at TWG Tea.

It is really pricey, especially to me, that a cup of tea costs above $40.

I would like to ask my readers a question - How much does it cost for you to have a tea session? Specifically, how much is your tea per tea session?

This is a fun exercise. I just want to show that prices of tea had risen over the past few years. Examining price of tea per tea session, is to me, an interesting measure of the cost of tea to a tea drinker. Do remember to allocate the freight costs to your tea if you are buying online. It would give an even more accurate figure.

If a pu erh tea cake weighs 357g and costs $50, you should be able to have about 50 tea sessions if you used 7g of tea in a brew. That will cost you about $1 per brewing session. Likewise, for a oolong tea drinker, if you are using 5g of oolong per brew, your $50 100g oolong pack would imply $2.5 per tea session.

I hoped you had reached similar conclusions about tea prices when you did this exercise:

That good tea need not necessarily be expensive. If you drink lots of Chinese tea like me, you can easily have a happy tea session costing less than $2. At $2 or higher per tea session, I would like to think that the tea drinker is buying a particular vintage, a taste or aroma, or to fill /complete a tea collection.

A penny for your thoughts.



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