1994 Ya´an Kang Zhuan (Tea Brick for tibetan market) 450g
Brick tea is necessary part of food for minority nationality in China. This brick is traditional product for Tibet. 20 bricks packed in one bamboo pack is good for transport by horse. This "Kang Zhuan" is from Yingjing Tea Factory in Ya´an city, Sichuan province. Ya'an TF, Tianquan TF and Yingjing TF all produced by National Unity brand "Kang Zhuan". Traditional tibetans cook a tea first, later put yak butter, salt and eat with "tsampa", or cook with cane sugar. But this brick has very interesting taste itself, after more than 15 years of good storage, the taste is smooth and sweet. It would be better to wash it two or three times before drinking, so does other Heicha. .
Manufacturer : Yingjing Tea Factory
Production date : 1994
Weight : 450g
Shipping Weight : 520g
History of Ya'an and brick tea :
Ya'an is the main market for a special kind of tea which is grown in this part of the country and exported in very large quantities to Tibet via Kangting and over the caravan routes through Batang (Paan) and Teko. Although the Chinese regard it as an inferior product, it is greatly esteemed by the Tibetans for its powerful flavor, which harmonizes particularly well with that of the rancid yak's butter which they mix with their tea.
The brick tea is packaged [in Kangting] either in the courtyard or in the street outside, and it is quite a complicated process. When the coolies bring it in from Ya'an, it has to be repacked before being consigned upcountry, for in a coolie's load the standard subunit is four bricks lashed together, and these would be the wrong shape for animal transport. So they are first cut in two, then put together in lots of three, leaving what they call a gam, which is half a yak's load. Tea which is going to be consumed reasonably soon is done up in a loose case of matting, but the gams, which are bound for remote destinations, perhaps even for Lhasa, are sewn up in yakhides. These hides are not tanned but are merely dried in the sun; when used for packing they are soaked in water to make them pliable and then sewn very tightly around the load, and when they dry out again the tea is enclosed in a container which is as hard as wood and is completely unaffected by rain, hard knocks, or immersion in streams. The Tibetan packers are a special guild of craftsmen, readily identifiable by the powerful aroma of untanned leather which they exude.
(from Book:Migot, André (1955). Tibetan Marches,Translated by Peter Fleming. E. P. Dutton & Co., Inc., U.S.A., pp. 59-60. and pp. 83-84.)