An Yashi is a man with a very unusual – and somewhat unappetizing – idea. He is a lecturer at Sichuan University in China and has been collecting panda poo to make what will be the world’s strangest and most expensive tea. He has collected over 5.5 tons of panda droppings to turn into tea. The method that he plans to use has not been revealed, but one could assume that the plant-rich droppings will be dried (and hopefully cleaned) before making into any teapots. Yashi has sampled the tea himself, of course, and says that “it has a mature, nutty taste and a very distinctive aroma while it’s brewing.”
As if the fact that it comes from the droppings of an endangered species didn’t make it sound enticing enough, Yashi also believes that the tea could have some amazing health benefits (although I have yet to see any research supporting these theories). Yashi says “Pandas have a very poor digestive system and only absorb about 30 percent of everything they eat. That means their excrement is rich in fibres and nutrients…Just like green tea, bamboo contains an element that can prevent cancer.” Personally I would wager that the 30% of the bamboo that pandas do manage to digest is probably the part containing nutrients. Perhaps Yashi would consider simply using undigested bamboo to make tea if he were only looking for health benefits, but bamboo alone would not warrant the $36,000 per pound potential price tag of the panda poo brew.