Chinese speculators have driven the price of rare Dahongpao tea up by 10 times since mid-2009. A kilo of Dahongpao, produced only in mountainous Wuyi, Fujian province, can fetch over US$1,600 online, according to media reports.
The number of shops selling the tea in Wuyi has also exploded, from 200 to over 1,500 according to state broadcaster CCTV.
Speculators drove the price of Puerh tea up dramatically in 2008 in a similar rush to invest in a rare tea. Commentators believe that, as with the Puerh bubble, prices of Dahongpao tea will also drop equally dramatically and rapidly, leaving investors holding some highly overpriced tea – some of it reportedly fake as counterfeiters are moving in to take advantage of investors, the most gullible of whom apparently believe that there are only six bushes producing Dahongpao tea in all of China.