The world’s most expensive cup of tea is set to go on sale in China at £130 ($200) a cup – fertilized with panda dung. An Yanshi, a 41-year-old former teacher and journalist, is using the bamboo-eaters’ manure to help fertilize the organic green tea, which he believes will make the perfect brew…

Tons of panda excrement, obtained from the nearby breeding centres in mountainous Ya’an in Sichuan province, will be used in growing the tea. Each lot of 50 grams will then go for 22,000 yuan (£2,200), which according to Mr An makes for the world’s dearest cup of tea. Most people use about three grams per cup, meaning each one brewed would set one back over £130. Justifying the rather steep price, Mr An said the profits from the exotic tea would be channelled into an environmental fund. Future batches would also have a lower price tag.

Wearing a panda suit during an event to promote his tea, Mr An offered his gratitude: “I thank heaven and earth for blessing us with this environmental panda tea.” Roughly a dozen guests were invited by Mr An to hand-pick the first batch of his organic panda-fertilised tea. “I just want to convey to the people of the world the message of turning waste into something useful, and the culture of recycling and using organic fertilisers.”

Commenting on the panda’s digestive nature, Mr An said, “They are like a machine that is churning out organic fertiliser. They keep eating. “Also, they absorb less than 30 per cent of the nutrition from the food, and that means more than 70 per cent of the nutrients are passed out in their faeces.” “Fragrant” and “smooth” was how Mr An described the tea when its pickings were brewed for the very first time. Some of the invitees, however, were slightly more dubious about the bizarre beverage. “It’s sold at such a sky-high price, perhaps this is just hype,” said Li Ximing, 49.