Hotel near Buckingham Palace serves $200 cup of tea.

It's no secret that the British are very serious about their tea. Now a London hotel has taken this dedication to new heights by offering what's been dubbed the UK's most expensive cuppa. The Rubens at The Palace is now serving a rare tea blend for £500 ($620) per pot, which works out to around $200 a cup. Produced in the highlands of Sri Lanka, Golden Tips is hand-picked by expert tea-pluckers and sundried on a velvet cloth, which turns the buds from silver to gold.
The pricey tea is only available at The Rubens, where diners can sip it while overlooking The Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace. Described as "an extraordinary liquor and a smooth, light and mellow texture, with hints of fruity notes", Golden Tips was sourced in collaboration with specialist tea merchants PMD Tea. A pot can be bought alongside the hotel's Royal Afternoon Tea menu, which costs around $55 per person. Once ordered, the serving process involves something of a regal ceremony, which is perhaps just as well given its staggering price tag.
First gold tweezers are used to pick the leaves and "weigh them with precision," then the tea is brewed using still natural mineral water, before being poured out using a special silver tea set. Customers are encouraged to drink it before indulging in any sandwiches or scones, in order to savour its flavour fully. And while $620 a pot may seem a high price to pay, Golden Tips has actually sold for a lot more in the past. Back in 1891, a pound of the tea was apparently sold for the equivalent of $1,500. The Rubens at The Palace, 9 Buckingham Palace Rd, Westminster, London SW1W 0PS; +4420 7834 6600