Tea bricks originated from the 9th century in the ancient spice trade routes of the Far East. In an effort to make tea more portable and to take up as little space as possible, tea producers compacted tea into tea bricks for easy travel. Tea bricks became so widely used and accepted that it served as currency during the 19th and 20th century in Tibet, Mongolia, Siberia, and Northern China. In Tibet, tea bricks are used to make fermented yak butter tea. In parts of China, tea bricks are brewed with onion, ginger, and orange. Making tea from a tea brick was easy: just carve or shave some off and add boiling water. During the Song dynasty, the widely popular tea beverage became even more important as an item of trade, and these compressed "bricks" of tea were scored on one side and used as currency. They were of uniform size and weight and usually embossed with Chinese characters or scenes. Tea bricks were so commonly accepted as currency in Tibet that sometimes horses and swords were priced according to the number of tea bricks they would bring.
Brick is 4 1/2"x7 3/8" and is just over 1 pound.
Tea bricks are less commonly produced these days other than for decorative purposes. Brick is not shipped with display stand