The Extraordinary Makers Of India’s Most Expensive Tea

A 155-year-old tea estate in India's Darjeeling district recently sold the most expensive tea ever made in the country.

Buyers in Japan, the U.S. and the U.K. bought the specialty tea, named Silver Tips Imperial, for $1,850 per kilo from the Makaibari Tea Estate. The Japanese buyer told the Times of India that the tea will be served for $45 a pot at the Ritz Carlton Tokyo Roppongi Hotel.

Around 500 women picked the tea in June on the eve of the summer solstice between 12:01 a.m. and 3 a.m., Makaibari chairman Rajah Banerjee told the newspaper.

"Leaves plucked during a full moon night make for excellent tea," he said. "This full moon night of June 13 presented a unique planetary configuration that comes once in 108 years."

The Makaibari Tea Estate was established in 1859 in a forest in West Bengal in the eastern region of India, which is the world's second-largest tea producer after China. See below for photos of the extraordinary tea makers at the estate.