Soft Fork: China’s tea money

Quick Take

  • From the 9th century to the 20th century China and a handful of other countries in Eurasia were using tea as money
  • Tea bricks were mainly comprised of compressed dried and ground tea leaves pressed into brick shapes mixed with bind agents like flour, blood, or manure

Anyone who has spent time learning about monetary history can tell you that humans are pretty creative when it comes to money. From seashells to Rai stones to bits and bytes, it seems like everything in existence has, at one point or another, been used as money.

One of these monies was tea bricks — which was surprisingly used as money up until the 20th century.