This is a tea brick, which is essentially is a compressed block of tea, an age old way to store and transport tea around the world.
Tea bricks are still used in many countries around the world, tea being part of the world’s collective culture for thousands of years. The story of tea starts in China when it is said a tea leaf fell into the Chinese emperors hot water, which he drank and thought was quite good, thus tea was born.
Tea is produced in many different countries, during the times of colonialism, Britain tried to control the Asian tea market and took tea to India where it is still grown today. Tea is grown in many regions of the world now, but it needs a warm mountainous region to be cultivated well.