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About Den's Tea
Mr. ShirakataDen's Tea is a unique company in the North American tea trade. Den's Tea is owned by Masanori (Den) Shirakata, a third generation Japanese tea merchant with over 30 years of hands-on experience in growing and manufacturing Japanese green tea. Den is also President and CEO of his family's tea business in Japan, Shirakata Denshiro Shoten, Inc. (www.shirakata.co.jp). This puts Den's Tea is in a position to supply the freshest and most authentic varieties of Japanese green tea in North America.

Mt. Fuji and green tea filedDen was born in Shizuoka, a premier tea growing region in Japan. He has been involved in his family's tea business since childhood and has worked at just about every job, including many hours in the processing area and tasting room. He has now succeeded his father as President and CEO.

Den established Den's Tea in California as a subsidiary of his company in Japan. His goal is to distribute a variety of authentic and, most important, fresh Japanese tea. Most of Den's teas are grown in the prestigious growing regions of Shizuoka prefecture. They are processed and packaged under the direction of Shirakata Denshiro Shoten, Inc. Den imported their premium teas directly from Shizuoka into California and, once in California, all the teas are placed in a climate controlled storage facility.

japanese green tea instructor Mr. ShirakataDen holds the title of 'Japanese Tea Instructor' conferred on him by Japan Tea Association. He is well versed in the history, culture, production and health benefits of Japanese tea. In addition to his commitment to supplying the best tea, Den is also committed to sharing his extensive knowledge of tea. Even before Den's Tea was established in California, Den was participating in tea seminars and symposia in the United States. He has conducted numerous workshops for tea merchants and educational seminars for the public. His background includes participation in the World Green Tea Association, Specialty Tea Institute and the World Tea Expo to name a few.

Den's Tea brings together three key elements for the North American tea drinker:
  • An experienced, knowledgeable tea merchant
  • A supply of the finest quality tea
  • Direct shipments from the tea manufacturer

Consequently, Den's Tea offers the freshest and most authentic varieties of Japanese tea available outside of Japan.

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About Shirakata-Denshiro Shoten
shirakata denshiro shotenShirakata Denshiro Shoten Inc. has been in continuous operation in the Shizuoka Prefecture of Japan since 1916. The company was founded by Denshiro Shirakata and began as a small family run wholesale tea distributor. The family's expanding tea trade eventually led to the opening of a retail shop, tea processing plant and the implementation of a nationwide mail order system. After years of being recognized as the premiere domestic source of fine Shizuoka tea, the company began exporting.

green tea filedIn its operation, Shirakata Denshiro Shoten Inc. has demonstrated deep respect for the land, the people and culture of tea. This, coupled with astute business and financial practices has contributed to the company's evolutionary transformation into the highly esteemed company of today. Shirakata Denshiro Shoten Inc. is certainly not the largest of Japan's tea producers. The company is much more concerned with expanding the availability of fine tea and the quality of the tea is awarded greater importance than growth simply for the sake of growth.

about shirakata denshiro shotenSince 1996, Shirakata Denshiro Shoten Inc. is proudly led by Masanori Den Shirakata, the grandson of the company's founder. Worldwide exports have grown every year, now exceeding initial projections. The company is eager to share the richness and beauty of tea with people far and wide. Shirakata Denshiro Shoten Inc's long held mission is to innovatively and continually improve tea quality and make the finest Japanese green tea available at competitive prices.

The company is proud to announce that in 2008 it was awarded Quality Management (ISO 9001) and Environmental Management (14001) Certification by Moody International. Shirakata Denshiro Shoten Inc. also has been certified as an organic tea producer under the National Organic Program (USDA) since 2003. These certifications demonstrate that the company is delivering high quality services through integrated and secure processes in an environmental friendly way.

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About Denshiro Shirakata
Denshiro Shirakata was born into a farming family one hundred and ten years ago, in 1898. At that time it was expected that children started to work at a young age; so at 15, after graduating from school, Denshiro started to work at a tea company in Kyoto. His education had given him the basics of the tea trade from manufacturing to sales. At the age of 18 with the brash enthusiasm of a teenager, he decided to start his own tea business.

He moved to Tokyo and sold tea from various manufacturers. After a while, he decided to move to Shizuoka. For my grandfather, Shizuoka was the Mecca of the tea business in Japan. However, the Shizuoka tea industry was very tight and a stranger was not readily accepted. He persisted in his efforts to establish himself in Shizuoka and gradually he was accepted as a tea merchant.
Denshiro ShirakataHis big success came almost 40 years later when he started selling tea via mail order. In the 1950's mail order was not very common in Japan and his entry into this way of selling tea became a model for the tea industry. He believed that mail order was not only convenient for his consumers but also the best way to deliver the freshest tea. With mail order the tea quality could be managed before shipping and the tea would reach the customer directly without any other stops. (Today Den's Tea is based on his idea.) With this success, Denshiro expanded his business, employed more people, and built a new factory and office.

denshiro shirakataDenshiro was very healthy, living to the age of 86, partly because he drank tea constantly. (His wife lived to the age of 100, though.) He loved to walk and sit in the various tea gardens. His business had him visiting many tea farms and as a result he made many friends and business partners among the growers. He was straight and sincere, and trusted by all of his business partners. His business philosophy was "I will quit the business before selling unsatisfactory products." Through his philosophy, our company has many customers in Japan who are third generation customers. His enthusiasm for Japanese tea was passed on to his son, Yuzo, and grandson, Den. Den endeavors to make his family successful for several more generations both in Japan and globally.

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