A Tea brick is essentially a compressed block of tea. Long before the days of vacuum sealing, tea was compressed into these bricks for storage and transportation. The Tang tea brick was, in fact, also used as currency at one point and was even scored in order to be broken up to make “change.” These tea bricks were practically indestructible and bricks that had been buried ages ago during the Tang occupation were at times dug up and sold to consumers after aging sometimes over a thousand years (and was apparently still drinkable). As an aside, there are even teas, such as puh-er that are meant to be aged prior to being drunk, but we will get into more details about those fascinating facts in another section of the Tea FAQ.
Today, tea bricks are still used to make tea in some parts of the world, but for many, these items are seen decorative items and are often put on display in the house as an item of beauty and a great conversation starter. They are made in styles ranging to simple, to some ornately pressed stamps that can be quite intricate and beautiful.