Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Tea Bulb O-Mania

"A type of tea commonly pressed into Frisbee-shaped cakes, puer (pronounced 'poo-ahr'), was long the domain of a small group of tea collectors. Earlier this year, speculators discovered the tea, driving up its value. ... The price of one of the hottest varieties of puer soared to nearly $35-a-cake this past April, seven times the $5-a-cake value just three years ago. ... Like wine, puer is judged by the vintage. At the top of the scale are 150-year-old cakes that can fetch more than $13,000", WSJ, 2 October.

In 1636-7 the price of tulip bulbs soared in Holland, one being sold for 5,200 florin, which I estimate would be about $55,000 today. If the Chinese can trade teas cakes like this, the Chinese stock market may be due for a fall.

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