US Customs Agents love good Puer?


One of the intentionally aged teas, Pu-Erh has a loyal following.

US Customs Agents love good Puer?

Postby tenuki » Oct 7th, '08, 13:40

Just curious. My last shipment from china one of the touchas (a nice 2005 Menghai DaYi spring 250g which is delicious btw) was opened and half broken up, I swear there were at least 25 grams missing. Just curious if anyone else has had this experience. The visual of the custom agents on a impromptu tea break kibitzing around a gong fu session was worth the minor robbery. I'm more amused than upset I guess, just curious if anyone else has had this experience.
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Postby puerhking » Oct 7th, '08, 17:00

One of my shipments from YS never made it to me. I assumed it was siezed. When a replacement was sent the box had yellow department of homeland security tape on it and it had been opened. There was a large bag of yunnan gold tips that had a conspicuous chunk missing out of one corners of the bag. I guess to test it to see if it was a big bag of weed....lol.
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Postby shogun89 » Oct 7th, '08, 17:14

puerhking wrote:One of my shipments from YS never made it to me. I assumed it was siezed. When a replacement was sent the box had yellow department of homeland security tape on it and it had been opened. There was a large bag of yunnan gold tips that had a conspicuous chunk missing out of one corners of the bag. I guess to test it to see if it was a big bag of weed....lol.


I wonder who the weed checker is?!!!!! Hey Tang, we got another 20 samples for you and another lighter! ROFL!!!!
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Postby hop_goblin » Oct 7th, '08, 18:22

Yep, big brother seems to like my shipments as well. They tore up a bag of Xiaguan mini beengs quite nicely. My samples at times seem to be on the light side from 10 to 15g. No dount they are checking to see if the chinese have found a creative new way of shipping the waky weed.
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Postby beecrofter » Oct 7th, '08, 19:48

So far only one box out of many has come in wrapped in homeland security tape.
I think after a while they probably just put your name in the computer and if it smells like tea it probably is. Either that or the feds got a wicked headache trying to smoke the stuff duing lunch break.
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Postby heavydoom » Oct 7th, '08, 19:55

knock on wood. i got a box coming from yunnan. i hope my box was not tampered with by these bastards. this could mean the downfall of the chinese postal system as we know it.
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Postby shogun89 » Oct 7th, '08, 21:31

If I ever recieve a cake with a chunk out of it I am going to find that SOB and mess him up!!!!
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Postby PolyhymnianMuse » Oct 7th, '08, 22:25

shogun89 wrote:If I ever recieve a cake with a chunk out of it I am going to find that SOB and mess him up!!!!


I agree, there will be hell to pay!

I had my teacuppa box opened up and retaped in the yellow stuff but it didnt seem like they went through anything, unless of course they can open and than sumhow reseal the bags.
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Postby tenuki » Oct 7th, '08, 22:59

In this case they tore half the 250g toucha apart and didn't bother re-wrapping. They also tore the hell out of the wrapper. They just left the toucha and loose tea in a plastic bag, not even tied up, and threw it back in the box. Ok, now I'm a little annoyed.
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Postby gingkoseto » Oct 7th, '08, 23:27

That's really annoying! But is there anyway to track which individual person did this? I remember they usually just put a generic official notice in the luggage for this kind of check.

I heard for passengers disliked by custom officers, they would put these passengers on a "black list". One on the list would be thoroughly checked every time passing an airport custom - I don't know if this is just urban legend.

As for mailed packages, there are people I know who had their moon cakes (the dessert for moon festival, which MUST be perfectly in a beeng shape for the celebration) mailed from Asia to US, or even within US, and then the packages were open and the cakes were broken into pieces for custom officers to search inside. :?
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Postby tsverrir » Oct 8th, '08, 03:56

I've only had one shipment opened up by the customs. That was a small box of Yunnan gold tips. When I started to order tea I expected a little more paranoia, especially with the beengs and the tuos, but they pretty much seem to trust me here :)
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Postby brandon » Oct 8th, '08, 05:19

I have that same tuo cha, and no one touched it. Must be the West Coast customs who likes tea. I haven't had a single issue yet.
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Postby knix » Oct 8th, '08, 08:15

Jeez, I placed a order a few weeks ago from Yunnan. I hope this doesn't happen to mine.
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Postby tsusentei » Oct 8th, '08, 08:59

Wow, surprised to hear so many horror stories. I have ordered many kilos of tea from China and Japan, yet only once was my shipment checked, and that was from Japan. They cut open the bag, but it appeared that they taped it back up as best they could. I want to say these are flukes, but that is a large number of flukes?? May your cakes fly safely and shipments arrive unscathed.
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Postby wyardley » Oct 8th, '08, 12:27

I have heard of tongs or baskets being broken up, which is the saddest part. I can deal with a chunk here or there out of a tuo or cake, but a broken up tong would upset me.

BTW, I imagine China may inspect things on the way out, so maybe it's Chinese customs inspectors who like tea.


I was reading something recently (forget why, and don't know if it's true or not) that puerh wasn't allowed to be imported commercially for a long time, because only one or two people inspected all the tea that came into the US, and they had some sort of gripe with puerh (thought it was gross or spoiled)... so all the tea that came in for a long time had to be smuggled in by individuals.
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