Aiya Matcha at the Summer Fancy Food Show in NY

July 23rd, 2015

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A couple of weeks ago, the Aiya team flew out to the Big Apple to exhibit at the Summer Fancy Food Show, held at the Javits Convention Center. With nice, warm weather and a pleasant breeze, we couldn’t have asked for a better time to visit this beautiful city. Though we normally exhibit at the Winter Fancy Food Shows in San Francisco, this was only our second time at the summer version in New York.  We had a great first show last year, so we were very excited to see what this show had in store for us this year.

This popular biannual show features an endless array of specialty food vendors from all over the world. This makes it one of the best ways to keep up with the ever changing food and beverage trends of the year—especially those in trendy New York. Not only was it a great show for us, but it was also a great show for Matcha in general. Though more people knew about Matcha during last year’s Summer Fancy Food Show compared to the other shows we exhibit at, the popularity of Matcha had definitely amplified this year. Matcha flavored foods and beverages seemed to be everywhere, from Matcha drinks and ice creams, to even Matcha flavored popcorn chips. This emerald green powder was definitely the star of the show and we couldn’t be happier. Another interesting trend we noticed at this show was beet. Quite a number of companies used beet in their products, with one of them being a beet hummus. This was somewhat reminiscent of Matcha, since many companies mentioned using the beets for their striking purple hue and their health benefits.

In addition to all of the emerging trends, the Fancy Food Shows are always busy. Tons of new and existing customers stopped by our booth, eager to talk about the creative Matcha applications they had in mind. Other attendees seemed like they couldn’t get enough of our Matcha lattes and hot teas, coming back for seconds and thirds, and even fourths. Not only is it one of the busier shows, but it’s also one with more variety when it comes to trying out samples from other companies. Compared to an ingredient show, there are so many more new foods to try out. Some of the interesting (and delicious) things we sampled at this show were Genmaicha flavored ice cream and peanut butter flavored ginger chews. We’ve never tried a Genmaicha ice cream (let alone any Genmaicha dessert), so we didn’t really know what to expect. To our surprise, the sweet, creamy texture of the ice cream paired so well with the nutty Genmaicha flavor.

Overall, this was a great show for us, and we always love spreading the goodness of Matcha to more people around the world. It’s crazy to think that exactly one year ago, not too many people were even familiar with this powdered green tea.  Being able to stay on top of the new trends that may soon emerge is a plus for us, too. We can’t wait to see what the next Fancy Food Show brings us.

Aiya Matcha Monthly Radiation Test Report Available- July 2015

July 2nd, 2015

radiation report july 2015 photo

The radiation test report is available for our July 2015 shipment.  It once again confirms that all of our Matcha and loose leaf teas are safe for consumption.  Copies available upon request.

Matcha Hemp Chia Pudding

June 19th, 2015

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A couple of days ago, we tried re-creating the Matcha Hemp Chia Pudding recipe created for us by Nibs and Greens. Made with Aiya’s cooking grade Matcha, this hemp milk based pudding is solidified by chia seeds and features a smooth Matcha flavor that we just can’t get enough of.  Though it mentions hemp milk specifically, this pudding recipe can be made with any type of milk, such as almond or soy. This was actually our first time working with hemp milk, but boy did we love its nutty, creamy flavor! There’s just something about nutty notes that fit Matcha’s mild, sweet notes like the last piece to a complete jigsaw puzzle (see our previous nutty Black Sesame + Matcha cupcake). Another thing we love about this recipe is that it is so simple to make. Though it takes a tiny bit of planning ahead (it has to be refrigerated overnight), just one batch could yield around 2-3 breakfast meals that any health enthusiast (and food lovers altogether) could enjoy throughout the week. Top with your favorites, and it’s good to go! Just one bite of this scrumptious, wholesome treat was all it took to make our stomachs fall in love.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp. Aiya cooking grade Matcha
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened hemp milk (or milk of your choice)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. chia seeds
  • Toppings: sliced banana, blueberries, almond butter

 

Directions:

  1. Combine everything except the chia seeds in your blender.
  2. Pour into a large glass container and stir in chia seeds.
  3. Place the container in your fridge for 8-10 hours to thicken up, stirring once or twice.
  4. Once the chia pudding has thickened up nicely and is no longer liquid-y, enjoy as is or create your parfaits!
  5. Parfait assembly: place a layer of chia pudding at the bottom of a glass, top with sliced banana, some blueberries, and spoonful of almond butter. Place another layer of chia pudding on top and top with more banana, blueberries, and almond butter.
  6. Enjoy for breakfast, as a snack, or dessert!
  7. Store in your fridge.

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matcha chia pudding 1A

Black Sesame Cupcakes with Matcha Buttercream Frosting

June 10th, 2015

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Often times, we like to work with dessert and food bloggers to have creative, fun Matcha recipes made for us with our Cooking Grade Matcha. This allows us to showcase the versatility of Matcha and hopefully inspire others to incorporate more Matcha into their daily lives. (Did you hear about all of the health benefits it has?) And more than often, we enjoy recreating these recipes, or even putting a spin on them to share with you our experiences. One of the most versatile recipes we’ve worked with is blogger Molly Yeh’s Matcha Layer Cake with Black Sesame Buttercream. With only slight adjustments, this layer cake recipe could easily transform into big cakes, mini cakes, cake pops and even cupcakes.

We recently tried making Matcha cupcakes with a black sesame frosting, but sadly found out that the edges of the cupcakes turned slightly brown, shedding them of their deep green color (though they tasted amazing!). We’re guessing that using cupcake liners/parchment or baking at a lower temperature (~325F) may fix this problem, though we haven’t tried it out yet. Instead, we tried swapping the flavors of the cake and the buttercream, yielding 24 fluffy black sesame cupcakes with a striking jade green Matcha frosting. Not only did it look amazing, but it tasted even better! Something about the nutty flavor of the black sesame and the mild tea flavor of the Matcha pair so well together—maybe even better than peanut butter and jelly. We don’t know about you, but we don’t mind keeping a couple (or a lot) of these in the fridge for a rainy day.

To make these cupcakes, we used the same ingredients for the batter and the buttercream as Molly Yeh’s recipe; the only thing we changed is that we used black sesame for the cake batter and Matcha for the buttercream frosting, with slightly different proportions. Make sure to coat the bottom of your cupcake tins with oil or butter for easy removal.

*This recipe was adapted from Molly Yeh’s Matcha Cake recipe.

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[Ingredients]

Cake:

  • 1 ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 tbsp toasted & ground black sesame seeds (adjust amount for a stronger/lighter sesame flavor)
  • 1 ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 2 eggs, large
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup flavorless oil, like canola
  • 1 ½ Tbsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp almond extract
  • ¾ cup boiling water

Frosting:

  • 1 ½ Tbsp Aiya Cooking Grade Matcha
  • 2 cups unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 2/3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp almond extract
  • A pinch of kosher salt

[Directions]

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease the bottoms and sides of two cupcake tin pans.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together all the wet ingredients except the boiling water.
  5. Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and then stir in the boiling water. (It will be a very thin batter.)
  6. Spoon in 3-4 tablespoons of batter into each cupcake tin, or until about 2/3rds is filled.
  7. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Bake for 13 – 15 minutes.
  8. Let the cupcakes cool in their tins for about 10-15 minutes.
  9. Remove cupcakes by scraping a rubber spatula down the sides, carefully and slowly separating the cupcakes from their tins. Once the sides are removed, the cakes should easily pop out.
  10. Once removed, let the cupcakes cool all the way. Putting them in the fridge works as well.
  11. Frosting: use an electric mixer to beat all the ingredients together until smooth.
  12. Transfer the buttercream to a piping bag and decorate as desired. You can get creative with this step by garnishing the top with your favorite toppings (we tried ground black sesame and chocolate sprinkles)
  13. Enjoy!

 

matcha buttercream cupcake 5b

matcha buttercream cupcake 1

matcha buttercream cupcake 4

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Aiya Matcha Monthly Radiation Test Report Available- June 2015

June 2nd, 2015

radiation report june 2015

The radiation test report is available for our June 2015 shipment.  It once again confirms that all of our Matcha and loose leaf teas are safe for consumption.  Copies available upon request.

Aiya SALE – Winning Tea at World Tea Expo

May 28th, 2015

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Aiya is excited to announce that our Matcha Infused Genmaicha took first place in the Winner’s Tasting Circle event at the 2015 World Tea Expo. This refreshing, toasty blend was judged best under the blended green tea category. To celebrate this exciting news, we want to offer you an exclusive coupon code to save on this winning tea for 2 whole weeks, from today May 29, 2015 until Friday June 12, 2015.

Please read the details below carefully as they differ for consumers and wholesalers:

For Wholesale Customers:

Enter the discount code “champion2015wh” (no spaces) at checkout in our Online Wholesale Store to save 10% off our conventional Matcha Infused Genmaicha (85g and 500g).*

For Consumers:

Enter the discount code “champion2015” (no spaces) at checkout in our Online Consumer Store to save 20% off our conventional Matcha Infused Genmaicha (85g and 500g).*

To take advantage of this deal and start shopping, head over to aiyamatcha.com.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at info@aiya-america.com.

* Discount only valid on the conventional Matcha Infused Genmaicha in stock at and purchased through our online wholesale and consumer stores respectively. Please note that this discount does not apply to our organic variety. Orders must be placed between 12:00 AM on Friday, May 29th 2015 and 11:59 PM PST on Friday, June 12th 2015 to qualify. This promotion cannot be combined with other existing promotions. Aiya reserves the right to change the terms of or terminate this promotion without prior notice. 

 

Aiya SALE- Memorial Day Weekend 2015

May 22nd, 2015

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Happy Memorial Day Weekend, Matcha fans!

Kick off this holiday of remembrance with a big sale and a tasty bowl of Matcha! What better way to compliment your delicious backyard meals than with a refreshing cup of tea? Aiya is excited to announce our Matcha Memorial Day Weekend Sale: you can save on ALL of our products from Saturday May 23rd through Monday, May 25th.

Please read the details below carefully as they differ for consumers and wholesalers:

For Wholesale Customers:

Enter the discount code “memorial2015wh” (no spaces) at checkout in our Online Wholesale Store to save 10% off everything in your cart.*

For Consumers:

Enter the discount code “memorial2015″ (no spaces) at checkout in our Online Consumer Store to save 20% off everything in your cart.*

 

To take advantage of this deal and start shopping, head over to aiyamatcha.com.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at info@aiya-america.com.

 

* Discount only valid on products in stock at and purchased through our online wholesale and consumer stores respectively. Orders must be placed between 12:00 AM on Saturday, May 23rd 2015 and 11:59 PM PST on Monday, May 25th 2015 to qualify. Aiya reserves the right to change the terms of or terminate this promotion without prior notice. 

Aiya at the World Tea Expo 2015

May 21st, 2015

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Two weeks ago, the Aiya team had the chance to exhibit at the annual World Tea Expo. This show was held at the Long Beach convention center – only a short commute away from our office. As Platinum Sponsors of the show with a large 20’x20’ island booth, this show was very eventful and exciting for us. Not only did we have a huge booth, but we also held a Matcha seminar and participated in the show’s Winner’s Circle tasting event.

Speaking of excitement, there was an obvious trend this year at the World Tea Expo, and it was—you guessed it—Matcha. There were way more exhibitors, compared to last year’s show, displaying their Matcha powders and products. Even the attendees were more knowledgeable about this beautiful jade green tea.  Everyone seems to be hopping on the Matcha train and we couldn’t be happier!

Because of our brand new booth, we also had a new counter thrice the size of our usual. Because of this, we were able to sample out more drinks than we normally do. Alongside our usual hot Ceremonial Matcha, Iced Matcha to Go and Matcha latte, we also sampled out a rooibos latte made with our Rooibos Zen Café Blend, a black tea latte made with our Black Tea Zen Café Blend, and soft launched our brand new product: the Aiya Taster’s tea bag line. Our newest line of tea bags consists of three organic flavors: Gyokuro, Matcha Infused Sencha, and Matcha Infused Genmaicha. The tea bags received tons of compliments on their quality and full flavor, with our favorite being: “Wow! This much flavor from a tea bag?”

Aside from making new friends and chatting with our existing customers, we also participated in some fun events at this show. First, our very own Michael Kaneko held a Matcha introduction seminar in which the participants not only learned about Matcha, but also had the chance to make their own bowls of Matcha. This seminar was a huge success, with a full room of attendants, and a surprise session at the end on how to make Koi-cha with our Premium grade Matcha. Another event we participated in was the Winner’s Circle, where winners of the 2014 North American Tea Championship had the chance to sample out their winning teas. From there, attendees stopped by to try out and vote for their favorite teas from the competition. We were very excited to hear that our Matcha Infused Genmaicha had won the blended green tea category.

The World Tea Expo has always been a fun and eventful show for us, and this year was no exception, especially with our new booth. Next year, the show is heading back to Las Vegas – its previous home. We can’t wait to see what this show has in store for us in 2016!

 

Aiya at the CDF Gluten Free Expo 2015

May 14th, 2015


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A few weeks ago during the beginning of May, the Aiya team exhibited at the annual Gluten Free Expo held by the Celiac Disease Foundation. This was our very first time at the show, and we had a lot of fun sampling out our drinks and meeting new people.

The Gluten Free Expo was smaller, and gave off a slightly different vibe than our normal shows, as it was geared towards consumers with Celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. This show was amazing in the sense that it allowed consumers with gluten sensitivity to explore possibilities of new and different gluten free foods available on the market. There were tons of exhibiting companies that we have heard of before, and which are readily available at grocery stores, such as Lays and Dole. We even saw some familiar exhibitors that we have met at other trade shows, like the Natural Products Expo West.

Our samples were very popular among the attendees, especially our tea lattes, made with our Zen Café Blend line. We sampled out not only our Matcha lattes this time, but also a rooibos latte made with our Rooibos Zen Café Blend, and a black tea latte, made with our Black Tea Zen Café Blend. As per usual, everyone enjoyed our hot ceremonial Matcha. It seems like more and more people are starting to get familiarized with Matcha.

It was a fun and interesting experience to exhibit to a different type of market, and it was definitely great getting to educate the attendees about Matcha. Some were not aware that Matcha (and teas in general) are naturally gluten free. Many were also not aware that Matcha can be added to virtually anything, such as desserts and drinks. Hopefully this opened up the possibility of more people incorporating Matcha into their diets, even if they aren’t tea drinkers in general. Overall it was a great, new experience, and we can’t wait for even more opportunities headed our way!

Aiya Matcha Monthly Radiation Test Report Available- May 2015

May 6th, 2015

Aiya Matcha August 2014 Radiation Report

The radiation test report is available for our May 2015 shipment.  It once again confirms that all of our Matcha and loose leaf teas are safe for consumption.  Copies available upon request.