Were bricks of Chinese tea tossed overboard during the Boston Tea Party?
The answer is NO.
I sometimes see this myth mentioned in historical accounts of the Boston Tea Party. Worst of all, I’ve seen stacks of tea bricks for sale in at least two gift shops at historic sites with descriptive signs that say the East India Company brought these bricks of tea from China and then shipped them on to The Colonies, including 45 tons of tea bricks on board the three ships docked in Boston Harbor on the night of December 16, 1773.
According to Okakura Kakuzo in The Book of Tea, the evolution of Chinese tea may be roughly divided into three main stages; Boiled tea, Whipped tea, and Steeped tea.
The Cake tea stage in which it was boiled, Powdered tea when it was whipped, and the Leaf stage (contemporary) in which leaves are steeped.