Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Brick Tea

Who knew?  I always imagined the Boston Tea party as groups of men throwing tea leaves overboard.

Tea in a brick

I must have been asleep in American History Class.  The tea that they threw into the harbor was in bricks..compressed dehydrated bricks.  If you want to make tea from one of these bricks you must shave some of the brick off and steep it in warm water.

These bricks were formed because it was easier to transport that way. (By camel in the Far East)  The bricks were often used as currency.  ( I read that sometimes a filler of dung was put in with the tea..and yak blood..uffda)

I suppose this is just one more thing I will  have to add to my list of the things I should have known..but for some reason or another it has escaped me all these years.

Perhaps when China calls in their loans we can pay them with tea..guess I should keep one eye open for yaks for sale:)

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21 comments:

  1. Never heard this about it ever and I watched a documentary about the Boston tea party years ago ! huh who knew ! Have a wonderful day !

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  2. An interesting Post about the Boston Tea Party. I never knew that the tea was in brick form like that. Always thought it was tea leaves that were thrown overboard. Learned something new.

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  3. Yes, you have given me new information, since it's certainly not stressed in class as to how the tea was compressed. Bet the water turned an interesting color and woke up the fishies! :-)

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  4. I did not know this tea tidbit. Is there a brick of tea in your museum?

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  5. Is there a tea brick in the museum where you work? Interesting and informative post.

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  6. I learned something new today...thank you. Artist's rendering of the "Boston Tea Party" always showed crates... I don't think I would have enjoyed any tea with those fillers.

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  7. You mean they weren't in little baggies with a white string and paper attached with the word Lipton printed on it?

    I'm like Harriet....I remember seeing illustrations of the tea in wooden crates... I never gave it any thought how the tea was packed.

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  8. I think we all learned something today. I think I too would have thought the tea was in chests, well I think any illustrations I have seen have shown it that way.
    When we moved from England to Canada by sea in 1963, quite a few of our belongings were packed into old tea chests. They were thin wood crates, with thicker wood at the corners, roughly 2 1/2 feet tall by about 2 feet square, lined with foil, into which the tea had been packed loose.

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  9. Well, how 'bout that. I learn something new everyday!
    Thanks for the lesson :)

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  10. I hated history class when I was in school, so that is something that I didn't know either and should of!

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  11. I did not know that. As a kid I could imagine tea bags being thrown over but now I have to think blocks.

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  12. OK, Connie, what does Uffda mean?

    Everytime I read that it twigs something in my brain, but I forget to ask.

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

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  13. I know they did not teach that in my history class.
    And they still taught history when I was in school. ;)

    Thanks for this bit of information, Far Side. How cool to know that. :)

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  14. That is not something I knew either...and I've not seen a tea brick before...thanks for sharing...

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  15. A tea brick! Amazing... I've learnt something new today. Thanks.

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  16. I am a history fanatic and an avid tea drinker, but I never knew this. I thought it came in chests, packed in bags, in the Boston harbor, I guess.

    I just love learning new things.

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  17. I used to have a tea brick but it got lost when we moved to here. I loved looking at it and didn't want to really use it - just have it for conversations.

    You can buy tea bricks at some Living History catalogs.

    And .... that is just PART of a tea brick - most of them came at a large chunk - usually about 8 or 12 to a brick and you broke off (it was pre-partially cut) one or two or three, depending on how rich you were. A small brick like that can last for many pots of tea, as you just shave off a little bit.

    And I doubt if dung or yak blood would be added it - the discerning tea drinker would taste any foreign stuff in their tea.

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  18. whoa - thanks for the history lesson. I never knew that....

    however, I did hear a comic once who wondered why Americans chose to dump tea. Rum and Ale was being taxed too but they only dumped tea. Kind of funny.

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  19. Do you suppose the harbor tasted like salty tea

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  20. They never told us in what form the tea was that was thrown into the harbor. Never knew that. But why would they ever mix the tea with poop of any kind! Good grief! People survived a lot of crazy things.

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  21. No one ever told us what form the tea came in. We only knew there was the Boston Tea Party and tea was thrown overboard. Thanks for telling us about tea bricks.

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Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your comments! If you have a question I will try to answer it here. Connie