When you read a headline like this:
Meghan Markle and Kate’s tea costs two thousands times more than the average cup*
you kinda think these UK royals are drinking some really incredible tea! Exquisite, rare, containing gold specks (yeah, that exists).
The Tea and Its Cost
They are drinking teabag tea, with Meghan favoring Fortnum and Mason Royal Blend to be exact, asserts a recent article in the Express.
According to my math and converting to U.S. dollars, from the prices given in this article they are drinking tea that costs 58¢ per teabag (or 58¢/cup) versus the 2¢ teabag that most people use.
The Insinuations of Its Cost
I’m sorry, but when the article opines that Meghan and Kate have “rather expensive taste in tea” and drink “a most extravagant tea,”* I find this misleading.
Because isn’t your first reaction, as was mine, to view “expensive” and “extravagant” as equal to “excellent” or “costly” in the sense of high quality?
But with “expensive” simply meaning “costing a lot of money,” yes, because:
- of course this is pricier than the 2¢/bag of tea dustings that most people drink, and
- this same tea can be had for less money!
Going to the Fortnum and Mason website, loose leaf bulk Royal Blend tea costs only 19¢/cup to make if purchased in a decorative caddy, and just 14¢ if purchased in a 125-g bag.
Further, that 14¢/cup brewed loose in a teapot will taste better than that same tea confined to a “silken bag.”*
Those teabags, then, are truly extravagant, meaning “costing too much money.”
A Genuinely Costly Tea That Is Worth the Expense and Extravagance
But here’s a little perspective on what a genuinely costly tea might be, one that delivers excellence and promises to reward your extravagance.
One of the pricier Japanese teas is Gyokuro.
At TeaHaus (Ann Arbor, Michigan), for example, it will set you back $28.70 for 50 grams.
It takes 3 g to brew an 8-oz cup, therefore costing $1.72 per cup.
However, you should brew these leaves twice, bringing it down to 86¢ per cup. If you go for that third brew, which I do, the price drops to 57¢.
In the End
Yes, that 58¢ teabag IS extravagant and expensive tea, but not in a complimentary way.
*”Meghan Markle and Kate’s tea costs two thousands times more than the average cup,” by Emily Hodgkin, Express, 7/5/19.