Is this real tea?

Hi,
I have a question to the helpful folks at rec.food.drink.tea. I have received a nice gift from my sister: it is a piece of a compressed cake made of dry buds and leaves of some kind of dried herbs. She bought it from a small vendor of Chinese teas, for quite a high price admittedly. The vendor said it was a puerh cake made of the finest tea buds. My sister wrote the name of the tea on the wrapping as she heard it from the vendor: "Shen puerh Ya Ping".
I have brewed and tasted the tea and I have my serious doubts. It does not taste and smell like tea at all - has almost no taste and has a weak and unpleasant sweet smell - and the wet buds definitely do not look like Camelia Chinensis. I am wondering what it could be, and I hope that some of the more experienced readers of this group could tell me.
Here you can see some pictures of both the dry and the wet leaves:
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Thank you, Gyorgy
Reply to
Gyorgy Sajo
Grasshopper snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com writes:
I agree on the resemblance. And when I had a chance to taste Yabaocha a while ago, I found it kind of nasty in a way that made me doubt it really was Camellia sinensis, which is what the original poster was saying. Please note that I'm not saying it isn't tea, just that it's ... weird.
/Lew
Reply to
Lewis Perin

Thank you, Grasshopper and Lewis! Yes, the resemblance of the wet leaves is striking, so it is almost certainly the same tea.
Lewis, I would also describe the taste of this tea as nasty and weird. Quite the opposite of what the reviewers say at the Royal Puer site.
Gyorgy
"Lewis Perin" skrev i en meddelelse news: snipped-for-privacy@panix1.panix.com...
Reply to
Gyorgy Sajo
Yes. Thanks for the double dots. :-)
Yes, they are indeed buds, they just do not look like any other teabuds that I have seen before. They have a very unusual structure with many small leaves developing almost simultaneously from the same base point.
György
Reply to
Gyorgy Sajo
I realize it has been a while since this string of posts first appeared, but I had ordered some ya bao cha from Royal Puer way back at the end of March and just today received my shipment. I brewed some of the ya bao cha in a tall glass like one might brew a green tea in China, and I find it quite pleasant and not in the slightest bit nasty. It seems a bit fruity with a piney taste in there somewhere. In fact, I even taste a similar flavor to a dan cong I have (and like). I think this is really good, whether tea or not. And despite the strange appearance of the tea buds, which are similar to the pictures in the first post, I wouldn't be surprised to find out this is actually from a real camelia sinensis (sp?) bush. I will admit that I can't imagine how this would taste if brewed gongfu style--might be a little harsh and bad. I would not describe the tea I received from royalpuer.com as "weak" in any way. It is, in fact, pretty strong in fragrance and taste.
I just wanted to put this description out there for anyone who may be considering giving this tea a try. I'm pretty happy with it and glad I gave it a shot.
-cha bing
Reply to
cha bing

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Sincerely,
See
Reply to
Mai

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