Page:A Wayfarer in China.djvu/212

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A WAYFARER IN CHINA

ing leaves and twigs. After adding a little rice-water the whole is packed in cylinders of bamboo matting, each package weighing from sixteen to eighteen catties. It is estimated that the cost to the manufacturers, exclusive of packing, is about thirty-two cash a catty, somewhat less than a cent and a half gold the pound. By the time the tea has reached Tachienlu it is sold at about five and a half cents a pound. At Batang the price is doubled, and at Lhasa quadrupled. Thus the stuff bought as tea by the Tibetans can scarcely be called cheap, and yet they consume great quantities of it. To them it is not a luxury, but a real necessity.