Adventures at Uwajimaya with Den's Sencha Tea


Made from leaves that have not been oxidized.

Adventures at Uwajimaya with Den's Sencha Tea

Postby GeoffK » Feb 23rd, '08, 18:51

After chatting a bit with Wesli and reading his blog I decided I wanted to give Sencha a whirl.

While I'll always be an Oolong and Pu erh guy at heart, I'm really enjoying experiencing lots of different teas.

First off Wesli DID advise me to just order direct from Den's. That they keep their stuff refrigerated before shipping and it's well worth the $3 shipping. Ok Wes you told me so!

Well, I had to go to Uwajimaya today to return something my son bought (and which fell apart) so I was compelled to see what selection of Den's they had. Ultimately a pretty small one.

I did pick up a Fukamushi Sencha:


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I brought it home. Brewed it up. Realized something didn't add up. The tea wasn't much like Wes described. I picked up the package and flipped it over:

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That's right. Feb 2007!!!!!

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Needless to say I'm heading back out to Uwajimaya to bring this tea back. Pretty scary that they'd have a tea that expired a FULL year ago.

I also emailed Den's. They bill themselves at the Freshest Green Tea in the USA, I'm sure they'll be mortified to see that Uwajimaya is selling their teas a year past expiration.

I'll probably just go ahead an place an order with O-Cha.com and give their Sencha a try while I wait to hear back from Den's.
Last edited by GeoffK on Feb 23rd, '08, 20:02, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Ladytiger » Feb 23rd, '08, 19:17

:shock: Yikes! They're putting Den's Tea's name in jeopordy for people who do not check the expiration dates. Yes, it IS so worth the $3 shipping.
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Postby Wesli » Feb 23rd, '08, 21:16

Holy smokes man. I didn't think it would be THAT bad. I knew something was funky because there's no Shincha Houryoku on the website. That must be from a spring '06 harvest! Yikes! $16 for it too! Oh my!
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Postby Pentox » Feb 23rd, '08, 21:23

hm, I didn't know that Den's had any B&M presence at all. Are there any other B&M locations that might have Den's?
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Postby Chip » Feb 23rd, '08, 21:36

:x

In Japan, where they are very traditional about sencha, shincha is generally not sold beyond July...or so. Buyers would balk.

Shincha is processed somewhat differently than ichiban cha that is sold year round and is also first flush. Shincha should only be sold in spring to early summer.

To be selling shincha now is indicative of how tea shops screw things up. They bought too much shincha, and it took them way too long to sell it. I am going to guess they did not cold store it either.

This is likely 2006 shincha from April 2006. It should have been on clearance sale one year and 6 months ago at half price.

In a word...BLEH. In 2 words...that sux!!!

It is ashame, because Japanese tea is wonderous leaf, unfortunately, few Americans ever get to taste good fresh sencha.

To take it one step further, I would contact Den's to let them know this occurred. Some vendors like Hibik=an and O-Cha would not stand for a retailer to conduct business this way. I would not be surprised if Den's would send you a free bag. I would further take it back to the store, if they give you a song and dance, tell them this is why so many folks buy their tea online. :x
Last edited by Chip on Feb 26th, '08, 01:38, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby GeoffK » Feb 24th, '08, 00:06

I took the bag back to Uwajimaya early this evening. The guy at the returns blamed it on their distributor. I was pretty stern in saying that it was their responsibility to make sure things were pulled by the sell date. I said if someone bought a yogurt that had expired a year ago there would be hell to pay, so why not the same for tea.

I did email Den's (or rather used their online contact form). I can't see how it would be worth it to them to sell their teas at a place would would sell something a full year past expire date. It's one thing if were marked Feb 08, which would be frustrating as it would be at the end of the ideal point to consume it, but man.... A full year!!
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Postby Pentox » Feb 24th, '08, 00:12

My guess is that they considered tea to be a product which was not necessary to monitor sell by dates on. (Obviously not that i'm condoning this kind of behavior) But that's probably why it was so. There are a lot of products which tend to sit on shelves that a store won't care as much about the sell by date on. For instance, canned soup I imagine has a sell by date, but normally it will probably be sold and used long before that date arises, so i don't think a store really monitors that much. I imagine the same was the case for this store. What would be more important in my mind would be what would they do once they know about this. If you go back in a week or so and see the same old product still on the shelves, then that would be the sign of a terrible store. If they either pulled the product or already have the product replaced with newer product that would be what is more important in my opinion. Not to say that having old product is a good practice, but I can understand why it would happen with tea. The test is if they are responsible and do the right thing about it.
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Postby GeoffK » Feb 25th, '08, 22:48

Den's rocks. I got a call from the owner today saying he got my email and that he personally called the head of the department for Uwajimaya that deals with tea to make sure she was aware. He's also sending along a couple samples.

Quality guy!
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Postby Chip » Feb 26th, '08, 01:40

GeoffK wrote:Den's rocks. I got a call from the owner today saying he got my email and that he personally called the head of the department for Uwajimaya that deals with tea to make sure she was aware. He's also sending along a couple samples.

Quality guy!


Told you so... :twisted:

Seriously, Den's reputation is on the line. They would sooner not sell to this establishment.
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Postby GeoffK » Apr 3rd, '08, 19:50

I must have odd Den's Tea Karma. I ordered some Cherry Sencha on 3/27. When it wasn't here this weekend I went to ups to track the order:

Package Progress
JACKSON, MS, US 04/03/2008 8:37 A.M. DEPARTURE SCAN
JACKSON, MS, US 04/03/2008 8:05 A.M. ARRIVAL SCAN
NEW ORLEANS, LA, US 04/03/2008 3:56 A.M. DEPARTURE SCAN
NEW ORLEANS, LA, US 04/02/2008 11:49 P.M. ARRIVAL SCAN
PORT ALLEN,LA, US 04/02/2008 10:06 P.M. DEPARTURE SCAN
04/02/2008 8:40 P.M. ORIGIN SCAN
04/02/2008 9:32 A.M. INCORRECT ROUTING AT UPS FACILITY / THE PACKAGE WAS MISSORTED AT THE HUB. IT HAS BEEN REROUTED TO THE CORRECT DESTINATION SITE

TUALATIN, OR, US 03/31/2008 8:40 P.M. ARRIVAL SCAN
PORTLAND, OR, US 03/31/2008 8:13 P.M. DEPARTURE SCAN
03/31/2008 8:19 A.M. ARRIVAL SCAN
ROSEBURG, OR, US 03/31/2008 3:15 A.M. DEPARTURE SCAN
ROSEBURG, OR, US 03/29/2008 2:55 A.M. ARRIVAL SCAN
WEST SACRAMENTO,CA, US03/28/2008 10:29 P.M. ARRIVAL SCAN
03/28/2008 4:55 P.M. DEPARTURE SCAN
03/28/2008 3:04 P.M. ARRIVAL SCAN
LOS ANGELES,CA, US 03/28/2008 5:17 A.M. DEPARTURE SCAN
LOS ANGELES,CA, US 03/27/2008 11:27 P.M. ARRIVAL SCAN
GARDENA,CA, US 03/27/2008 10:55 P.M. DEPARTURE SCAN
03/27/2008 10:26 P.M. ORIGIN SCAN
US 03/27/2008 6:15 P.M. BILLING INFORMATION RECEIVED

I emailed Den's and let them know what was going on with the package. They called me back the next day and said they were concerned about the condition of the tea since it'll have been on UPS trucks for almost 2 weeks and they're sending out a whole new order.

Again, someone else screws up and Den's makes it good. What more can anyone ask for!!
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Postby Buzz fledderjoh... » Apr 3rd, '08, 21:19

04/02/2008 9:32 A.M. INCORRECT ROUTING AT UPS FACILITY / THE PACKAGE WAS MISSORTED AT THE HUB. IT HAS BEEN REROUTED TO THE CORRECT DESTINATION SITE


I had the same thing happen to me with my last Den's order. Luckily, it only got delayed an extra day.
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Postby GeoffK » Apr 3rd, '08, 21:26

The thing is the package was in my city (or right next to it). I called UPS and they were at a loss to explain it. I said... "when you realized the package was misrouted why didn't you re-rout it overnight." They had no answer.

This isn't the first time I've had issues with UPS. But it's usually package damage rather than routing fun.
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Postby Chip » Apr 3rd, '08, 21:50

Teleportation is the fastest best route.

Although one time, the vendor sent it to Wesli's teleportation number...I know he got it though he denies it... :lol:
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Postby harmyd » Apr 3rd, '08, 22:12

Wow, it Den has excellent customer service. This thread influenced me to purchase from Den's Tea.
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Postby motokochan » Apr 3rd, '08, 22:14

harmyd wrote:Wow, it Den has excellent customer service. This thread influenced me to purchase from Den's Tea.


Likewise. I'm looking at trying them out once my current stock runs down a bit.
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