If you wonder how tea gets here, here's the short version. It gets manufactured overseas, is packed into chests, paper sacks or cartons, gets loaded on a container on a sea vessel and arrives 6 - 8 weeks later at one of our ports. It is cleared through Customs using a Customs broker, gets released by the FDA and is then transported to a specific pier from where we engage a trucker to pick it up and deliver to our office/packing facility or larger storage warehouse. Warehouses come in all sizes and for all purposes. Some are specific to industries, e.g., only for bath and body products, or for very aromatic products such as coffee, or for liquid products prone to spillage. Selecting a warehouse, therefore, becomes a critical success factor for the tea industry. After many months of searching and agonizing, we found the perfect one just 15 minutes away from us! A small family business, they seemed very similar to us in business philosophy, integrity and efficiency and best of all, they were fun people. Connie and John Levene, the mother/son team of Conri Services in Hawthorne, NY do all the heavy lifting for us. Our large shipments and pallet loads of tea, particularly all the valuable Makaibari merchandise are stored there. Last week, they tell us that one of their other clients almost hyperventilated when he discovered they handled Makaibari tea. A tea connoisseur at heart and a Makaibari raving fan bar none, this gentleman swooned at the sight of so much Makaibari, asked John and Connie if they realized what treasure they were guarding and could not tear himself away from the pallet loads. As soon as he arrived back at his office, he promptly sent them the New York Times Oct. 14, 2007 article on Makaibari and entertained them with his story about his Tea Club that he had started at his office. He longed for his office managers to discover the pleasures of tea. One by one, however, he kept expelling them from his Tea Club because they didn't meet his high standards. Now, it was a Club of One with just himself as the member. Believe me, this story is true. Such is the power of tea and Makaibari, in particular. Needless to say, we are sending this devoted fan a special care package of select Makaibari teas through the kind services of Connie and John at Conri Services.