2002 White2tea White Whale

Tea type
Pu'erh Tea
Pu Erh Tea
Astringent, Bitter, Smoke, Wood, Camphor, Menthol, Pine, Stonefruit, Tobacco, Wet Wood, Peach, Hay, Oak, Tart, Burnt Sugar, Cranberry, Resin, Spices, Berries, Seaweed, Caramel, Dark Wood, Dust, Malt, Roasted Barley, Scotch, Strawberry, Berry, Red Wine, Tannin, Earth, Tannic, Sweet
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Edit tea info Last updated by d11t
Average preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 4 oz / 115 ml

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29 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Aroma: Old red wine barrels, cork, yogurt, old woodsy furniture, fine delicate cranberry smoked ham and camphor – Very magically sourly mouth watering. A hint of dark chocolate. Taste: This is...” Read full tasting note
  • “I missed this back when it emerged at $15 the brick. By the time I was looking at W2T the price had already escalated to a point where some cognoscenti were saying “not worth it,” and it kept...” Read full tasting note
  • “Strong with a good balance. Despite age still astringent and very spicy. Good mix of astringent, bitter, woody and smoky. Images and more at https://puerh.blog/teanotes/2002-white-whale-w2t” Read full tasting note
  • “There is something about this tea that always has me coming back for more. It’s hard to put my finger on it, but something about the smell and taste take me back in time. I remember hearing a...” Read full tasting note

From white2tea

2002 White2tea White Whale Raw 100g
Smooth aged raw puerh tea brick. Ready to drink or age further. When we first drank this tea, we knew we had found the bargain of our dreams. Plenty of body, but aged enough that it has a smooth and inviting character.

The White Whale can easily go toe-to-toe with similar factory productions from the 2002 era, but the whale weighs in at a fraction of the cost. Those in search of a smooth daily puer tea with over a decade of age that doesn’t hurt the wallet need search no further.

About white2tea View company

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29 Tasting Notes

72 tasting notes

Aroma: Old red wine barrels, cork, yogurt, old woodsy furniture, fine delicate cranberry smoked ham and camphor – Very magically sourly mouth watering. A hint of dark chocolate.
Taste: This is exactly the type of aged Sheng I prefer. Strong and with an in your face profile. Gosh how much I love this aged fellow with all its deep flavors. I am really so so sad that this Pu is gone for ever. Without exaggerating this was and is by far the best and most loved aged Sheng I tasted so far (plus the Green Mark @thetea.pl). This fellow offers the most unique and deepest thick profile of strong flavors I ever experienced and I loved it to the bits. Very strong expressional woodsy Autumn flavors with a major tone of camphor and a creamy silky sweetness to it which shares its space and place with a deliciously sourly layer. Within the smooth texture there is a certain fury mouth feel to it. The major aspects always keeps their focus on the woodsy camphor old library parts but within the finish there is not only something like baked apple noticeable but also another sweet layer of blueberry muffins. Really delicious and so so GREAT! But also look at the coloration it turned from bright yellow into a juicy deep red ~ lovely! Sooner or later everything transforms into a Chinese TCM medicinal herbal atmosphere plus those woodsy camphor notes. I love this Sheng so much!

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56 tasting notes

I missed this back when it emerged at $15 the brick. By the time I was looking at W2T the price had already escalated to a point where some cognoscenti were saying “not worth it,” and it kept getting pushed down the priority list. At the current price of $0.34/g there are other teas I’d rather buy. But when a TTB arrived with a 6g sample of this, it was the first thing I grabbed.

The sample consisted of a single chunk and about a gram of fine chop and fannings. I figured this was not too different from what you’d get breaking up the brick, as the material is itself pretty finely chopped and rather tightly compressed. I made it in a 90-ml clay pot with water at the 208F setting on my boiler. A flash rinse came out a deep greenish-gold: the initial steeps made a clear orange soup.

This is not a smooth easy-to-like tea. Some other tasters have likened it to Xiaguan, and it does have in common with that a strong terpene aroma. The first 6-8 steeps I made quickly as the small bits of leaf threatened overwhelming strength. Early steeps are punchy, with a strong feel and decent huigan. There is some astringency through the session, though I’d not call it a particularly drying tea. There is a good honey-like lengxiang in the first few steeps, though it’s not super-strong.

Looking at the notes previous tasters have written: what a collection of flavors people see here! I did not find it particularly smokey, possibly due to using clay. I do not find it particularly earthy, and detected no humid storage tastes.

Many tasters have found woody flavors in this tea, and “wet wood” is often noted. Here’s my contribution: I think that taste is well-aged cardboard box. I think this tea spent a lot of years packed in cardboard, picked up the scent, and transformed it into a woody “WTF is THAT” note over time.

I am not going to rate this tea, or give it the thumbs up/down. I’m glad I had an opportunity to try it, but I wouldn’t buy it at the current price. At $0.15/g it would be a great deal, at $0.20 a good one. But at basically $100/bing there are other teas in this age range I’d rather spend my money on. You might want to buy this tea if you want some 15-years-aged raw tea and aren’t prepared to shell out for a whole bing.


i found the sweetness to be of the carrot variety…


冷香? Lengxiang?

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127 tasting notes

Strong with a good balance. Despite age still astringent and very spicy. Good mix of astringent, bitter, woody and smoky.
Images and more at https://puerh.blog/teanotes/2002-white-whale-w2t

Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Smoke, Wood

10 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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3 tasting notes

There is something about this tea that always has me coming back for more. It’s hard to put my finger on it, but something about the smell and taste take me back in time. I remember hearing a Chinese term for this, which roughly translates as, “taste nostalgia”.

It’s hard to say whether this tea was originally intended for export, “people’s tea”, or something else, but regardless it can hold its own. I would wager that it was probably produced by a larger factory, with its average quality base material and iron compression; However, that isn’t to say this is an “average” tea. On the contrary. It goes to show you what a decent tea can taste like with proper care and storage, IMHO.

I won’t go too much into details flavor-wise, except to say that I quite enjoy the range of flavors this tea exhibits – from camphor, wood and pine, to sweeter stone fruit accents.

Again, I have many other teas that might be deemed “better” as far as leaf quality, etc – but there is just something about this tea that makes me crave more, and keeps me rationing what I have.

Flavors: Camphor, Menthol, Pine, Stonefruit, Tobacco, Wet Wood

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 80 ML

One of the better tea reviews I have read in a while.


Thank you!

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7 tasting notes

Rather had the most enjoyable experience with this tea coming tword the end of the brick, it is so tightly compressed i found that if you brew it in ~9-11g chunks it wont crumble and it wont be as bitter, etc. lasted so many infusions i lost count. To my surprise i picked up a stronger stone fruit aroma, mostly peach coming from the oils on the Gawain. absolutely excellent and i think it taught me a valuable lesson in taking much care to not break up leaves when you’re prying them from the brick.

Another thing to note is the “old book” or somewhat old musty menthol-like flavor disappears within the first few steeps, and its very neat as the clump of the tea begins to unfurl it reappears again, changing the flavor profile then quickly returning to what it once was. Its rather enjoyable. Going to purchase another 2 bricks for my stash and revisit in a hand full of years time.

Flavors: Menthol, Peach, Stonefruit

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 9 g 6 OZ / 170 ML

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64 tasting notes

First, I must apologize to Paul of W2T, Hobbes, anyone with the misfortune to read this, Paul Simon, and Art Garfunkel.

Hello darkness my old friend
I’ve come to drink of you again
Within my gaiwan I am peeping
Your liquor darkens as you’re steeping
And the flavors, that my palate can’t explain
still remain within the leaves of White Whale

Attention on the cup alone
Enjoy the tea, put down the phone
Within the shadow cast by my desk lamp
admire the color wrought by storage damp

Then my brain’s focused
as the brew shows me the light
my mind’s set right
drinking the leaf of White Whale

And in the morning light I saw
it go for twelve steeps, maybe more
I was tea drunk, so I failed counting
Too tea drunk for detailed tasting

Quite tea drunk, Two Dog
you’ve outdone yourself again
so much praise penned
about the leaves of White Whale

“Fools,” said Hobbes, “you do not know -
it’s so d@mn good your mind will blow!
Read my words that I might teach you
Buy these bricks, I do beseech you!”
And this fellow’s words, I weighed and I believed
and ordered these, my tasty leaves of White Whale

All the laggards grew dismayed
a higher price must now be paid
But Paul gave us all a fair warning
and the new cost befits its performing

And the heart says
“The path to true joy
is covered in fine puer leaf
from White2Tea”
Begin with leaves of White Whale

Note: I do not personally know any of the people mentioned in the above, and Hobbes never endorsed buying tea without sampling first.

Cathy Baratheon

I sang this in my head


I consider this a success then! ☺


Me too.
I liked several of your reviews to encourage the creative writing.

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92 tasting notes

2002 White Whale – White2Tea

100g brick (~98g)

Summary: A very good tea showing mature ages flavours of vibrant softened fruit with well integrated log burning smoke, Unfortunately that is only the first proper brew and even that has some bad funk like bright furniture polish. Subsequent brews are unfortunately spoiled buy this funk. Ignoring the funk, this show similarities to the 2000 Green Peacock. A 357g cake would be £82 ($117.17) vs 2000 Green Peacock £98 ($140.04). I know which one I’d choose.

Through the wrapper: Slightly beefy and a bit salty.

Dry: Dark brown, very flat shape. Aroma is dry smoky cheese. Med high compression.

Wet: Med smoke, light furniture polish. Some initial funk like “what was that?”. Furniture polish freshly sprayed.

Rinse: Light golden.
Chunk is compressed: https://www.instagram.com/p/BBvJdscoDsjBezIfV97SFYUfbM8KqS_OG4OUUM0
Chunk is loose:

10s – Light golden. Chunk may need breaking up. I’m thinking 2000 Green Peacock from Essence of Tea in flavour… Mild at the moment as the chunk needs separating, but I’m getting a mature deep fruity wood g soft, well integrated smoke. 75/100

15s – Bash with fork (traditional Chinese method). Medium orange/golden. Light/medium thickness, mature aged taste which is deep fruit into softened smoke. There is a little funk. It gives a dried fruit, slightly spicy, medium tangy finish.
This reminds me of the 2000 Green Peacock. Interesting as this is much cheaper…
Price per gram:
2002 White Whale: £0.24($0.34)/g 357g would be: £82 ($117.17)
2000 Green Peacock: £0.27($0.39)/g 357g: £98 ($140.04)
So we see this is not that much cheaper than the 2000 Green Peacock. Interesting.

20s – Med golden. Leaves a pleasant soft log burning smoke in the mouth just like the 2000 Green Peacock. There is an off-putting bright furniture note which I found in the Late 1990s “Jin Gua Gong Cha” by Chawangshop. TeaDB reviewed that tea with the comment: “Not much flavour. Kinda bland, mediocre.” I disagree. See: http://teadb.org/mature-puerh-november-2014-report/ 74/100

25s – Med orange/golden. The funk is really spoiling a good tea here. A little astringent this time. Otherwise a very good aged tea with a vibrant fruit, integrated softened log burning smoke. 70/100

30s – Thinning. Old books, astringency. 65/100

40s – Thin, log burning smoke, fruit has lost its vibrancy. 64/100

3 g 3 OZ / 75 ML

Bash with fork (traditional Chinese method)
See, this is why I love Steepster! I can learn about history and culture in addition to tea :p

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38 tasting notes

So I broke out the jack hammer and managed to break off a 6g chunk with only destroying four hammer bits. Man this was compressed. I was a bit worried as it created lots of small particles, which for me, make for an unpleasant bitter sheng experience. This wasn’t the case luckily. So I gave two rinses and began the journey. This is my first taste of the much hyped white whale. The first couple of steeps were super light and it took a bit for the compression to let up on the leaves. This is an interesting tea. I love the wet leaf smell. Piney, hay, wood and a slight musty medicinal quality. It definitely has the aged flavor that I usually don’t have the money to partake in. There was a slight smokiness that I found pleasant on the nose but none really in the mouth. It is a very creamy mouthfeel tea. I do think that I should up the leaf to water to maybe 7 or 8g as I felt it was a little light. It has a nice old antique wood flavor with a lot of piney/menthol notes. I didn’t get a lot of sweetness on this one but like I said I think more leaf may be the answer to more flavor. It had a bit of astringency on the 3rd through 5th steeps though nothing that I would call unpleasant for me but I was trying to push the tea a bit to make up for less leaf. That could have brought out more of the bitterness. It gave many steeps. It gave maybe 10-15. I’m not sure as I usually don’t count. I ran out of water before it died off completely. I tend to like a nice returning sweetness in my sheng that this one didn’t have. But I feel this is a different kind of tea. A more woody/piney one which made it enjoyable in a different way. This one had a very mentholated cooling feel in the mouth which I liked. Overall it was a very enjoyable session but a bit hyped. This is a good tea but not an awe inspiring tea. Nonetheless I would recommend. I wish I would have gotten hold of this one when it was $15 as I feel $34 plus $15 in shipping is a bit overpriced for this tea, at least for me (Though its not too bad considering the age). That being said I am glad I picked a brick up and got to try it. I’ll try more leaf next time and see what I think.

Flavors: Hay, Menthol, Oak, Pine, Smoke, Tart

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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526 tasting notes

The infamous White Whale! Sadly, I didn’t jump on this when the price was low, for I nabbed it once it rose to 30$+. I was hesitant; because, I read that smokey notes were common in this brew. I do not care for smoky tastes.

I opened the wrapper and took in Moby Dick. The brick is superbly compressed and has an array of golden threads. The condensed tea carries a slight spice, pine resin, tobacco, and the all too familiar aged scent. This darkened mass did look appeasing, and I was curious as to the experience ahead of me. I took my puerh harpoon in hand and pierced the whale. Regrettably, I did stab myself a few times due to how compressed the brick was. Then, after a tireless effort, I broke off some debris for brewing. I placed the small rocks into the warmed jianshui and let them sit for a little bit. I lifted the lid and sniffed at the blubber. I noted strong notes of pipe tobacco, wet wood, whiskey barrel, and undertones of slight smoke and some cranberry. I recoiled at the scent of the smoke. I had read some reliable reviews, and they reassured the absence of smoke in the taste. I repeated this in my head, for I reaaally didn’t want that flavor. I washed the whale skin twice before brewing. I took an inhale of the steeped leaves and breathed a sigh of relief. The dreaded smoke has vanished, and it was replaced with some intense aromas. I was picking up dominant burnt sugar, tobacco resin, and spice. I caught a lingering dark fruitiness in the background. The liquor itself was a nice darkened bronze. The initial sip was smooth with some bitterness. This drink had a nice body, yet it wasn’t as full as I would’ve guessed. I picked up some tannin flavors with a pleasant oak tone. The brew progressively became deeper and gained a darker color. The body grew somewhat with depth and became sweeter. The huigan was peculiar, for it was a rough sweetness the lingered in the throat. The brew was not overly complex, and it kept a consistent flavor profile. The qi was great and calming. The feeling began in the head and slowly moved around the body. I experienced a nice warming feeling. This drink had an interesting mouth action with some cooling effects. This is a nice brick, but I would feel better about it if I grabbed it when it was cheaper. For the future, I will be breaking it in half; one I will enjoy and give away, and the other will be going into storage. This is a very interesting tea, and I enjoyed the experience. Also, this is a good bargain buy for a nicely stored aged raw.


Flavors: Bitter, Burnt Sugar, Cranberry, Oak, Resin, Spices, Tobacco, Wet Wood

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

I must have gotten an oddball one of these. Mine was so smokey it tasted like lapsang suchong.


wow, that’s interesting. I received various reviews ranging from the likes of yours and other stating they tasted absolutely no smoked flavors. It’s an oddity.


I get no smoke from my brick.


I just got my brick a few days ago. I have never had it so I am looking forward to it. It seems to be very compressed. I hope that doesn’t make it break off into tiny particles giving a bitter brew. What is a good water to leaf ratio on this one? I am using a 100ml gaiwan.


Also, I don’t mind a bit of smoke. Is it like a Xiaguan smokiness or full on bbq pit?


I detected a hint of ember smoke in the warmed leaf, but I got no smokiness in the flavor. I used 7g=100ml. You will get some small leaf fannings, but the brew is fine.


Nice. Sounds like I’ll enjoy this one. Thanks for the ratio suggestion and info.

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1758 tasting notes

Bought this with my last White2Tea order and am just getting around to trying it now. This tea is initially somewhat bitter and it’s quite smoky. It reminded me of whiskey without the alcohol punch. There is also something of a camphor aftertaste to it. It got progressively smoother as I resteeped it. I gave it ten steeps and it would keep going but as I have just drank a liter and a half of tea I don’t really feel like continuing. It’s very smooth in the tenth steep. Started out with 9g of tea but that seemed a little much so I took out about a gram and got better results. This is a powerful, punchy tea, the kind of tea that knocks you out when your not looking. But it did get smoother. I am not feeling much in the way of qi off of this tea. Perhaps there will be a delayed reaction as I have yet to finish the tenth steep.

I steeped this tea 10 times in a 120ml gaiwan with 8g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse and a 10 minute rest. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, and 1 min. I think this tea would keep right on going if I had any desire to continue.

Flavors: Bitter, Smoke

Boiling 8 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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