Winter Fancy Food Show 2014 – Aiya’s Matcha Green Tea

January 28th, 2014

Last week was the annual Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco. During the time we were up in San Francisco the weather was beautiful. Usually this time of year San Francisco can be bit chilly, but to our surprise the weather was very mild and pleasant. The weather was perfect to enjoy a relaxing cup of Matcha green tea or a nice warm Matcha latte. The Fancy Food Show is always exciting and you can always expect to have a good show. There is always a good turn out, the exhibitors are great, and plenty of opportunities can present themselves which can make for the start of a good new year.

Every year the Winter Fancy Food Show has a great turnout with many exhibitors and plenty of attendees. Being that Matcha is viewed as a superfood, attending a trade show like the Fancy Food Show is a great way for us to meet the type of customers that enjoy Matcha. California is known to be liberal and full of people that tend to seek healthy, alternative ways of living, so San Francisco feels like a natural fit for Matcha. The traffic at our booth is always good at this show, and it’s a good way to see people’s attitude toward your product up close and learn what new trends may be emerging.

For those that love food, the Fancy Food Show is a great opportunity to discover new items and see what items are about to come out onto the market. What is also great is that all these items are available for purchase somewhere on the market. There is always a great mix of different food and beverage items whether you are looking for something healthy, organic, decadent, and so forth. Although Matcha is a healthy product, we like the versatility it has in appealing to various tastes.

This year we at Aiya are looking to grow and expand our brand into retail shops. There seems to be many opportunities for us to grow this year and we look forward to being able to provide good-quality Matcha to more people in North America. If the Winter Fancy Food Show is any indicator of how the year will play out, then we are very optimistic for what the year may bring. Matcha still isn’t as popular as other superfoods like acai berries, chai seeds, and so forth, but it’s still on the rise. 2014 looks like it may be the year for Matcha as even Coca-Cola has named Matcha one of the top 5 trends for 2014.

 

Aiya Matcha Monthly Radiation Test Report Available – January 2014

January 6th, 2014

The radiation test report is available for our January 2014 shipment.  It once again confirms that all of our Matcha and loose leaf teas are safe for consumption.  Copies available upon request.

Aiya Matcha Tea Field

Making Matcha Recipes – How to Create Your Own Matcha Recipe

December 12th, 2013

Matcha Mountain on Plate

When it comes to working with Matcha, it being a powdered tea infinitely expands the ways in which you can use it creatively.  One of our favorite ways has always been using it as an ingredient in recipes.  So, we always do our best to work with and devise all kinds of new recipes, in order to spark our customers and readers into working with Matcha in other ways in addition to pure, hot tea.  For this installment of Making Matcha Recipes, however, we would like to take a different approach and, rather than give a new recipe, we’d like to share three big tips on what to look for in a recipe that could work well with Matcha.  If you think about it, there may already be many recipes you already make that fit some/all of these criteria.

1. Flavor

Matcha tea has a fairly subtle flavor and, while it can work well in symphony with other flavors, it can also be easily overpowered by strong flavors.  When considering adding Matcha to a prospective recipe, a simple vanilla recipe will almost always work.  If the recipe involves spices (cinnamon, clove, etc), aromatics, or other assertive flavors, Matcha may wind up playing more of a supporting role than being the main flavor.  If a recipe contains a strong ground or dry ingredient, you can try substituting Matcha for it entirely or in part, so if a recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of ginger, for example, try doing 1 teaspoon of ginger and the remaining 2 teaspoons as Matcha instead.

Possible Flavor Pairings: Vanilla (ice cream, custard), plain sugar (sugar cookies, pie), milks/creams (lattes, creme brulee), simple frostings (butter cream, cream cheese).

2. Color

A secondary but very important aspect of working with Matcha is the natural, lovely green color it imparts on to whatever it is added to.  When a person sees Matcha made into tea for the first time, they are usually taken aback by how green it is.  Retaining this color is something Matcha recipes usually strive for so it is commonly paired with light ingredients such as white sugar, white chocolate, and milk or cream.  Visual presentation of food, especially desserts, is very important, so always give consideration to how the deep Matcha green is going to combine with the other colors in the recipe.  If a recipe makes an overly brown batter, the green color may not come through and instead make it have more of a muddy appearance.  Even though delicious, there is the chance the color of a recipe can be a bit off-putting, as people eat with their eyes first.

Possible Ingredients to Avoid: Brown sugar, molasses, food coloring.

3. Baking Time and Temperature

If using Matcha for baking, the amount of time and the temperature to which you expose Matcha is just as important as the color and composition of the batter itself.  Matcha, as an all natural powder, is somewhat heat sensitive and exposing it to high temperatures for long periods of time can make it brown and lose the brilliant green one aims for when working with Matcha.

Suggested Times and Temps: 10-20 minutes bake time, at anything lower than 400 degrees.  If you exceed 400 degrees and bake the Matcha item for a long time, you will see a good deal of browning/yellowing and that may defeat the visual impact you are going for.
Tip: If something doesn’t turn out as green as you would like, you can always dust the finished product with some Matcha.

If you keep these three things in mind when working with Matcha in existing recipes, you can almost certainly make something new and delicious.  With the holidays almost upon us, why not try adding Matcha to one of your usual holiday traditions?  Green is always welcome at the holiday table!

And always remember, if (for whatever reason) things do not turn out delicious on the first go, don’t be discouraged!  Keep trying and experimenting.  Sometimes making a slight change in a recipe is exactly what it needs!

If you find a recipe that turns out particularly well, please let us know!  Feel free to send us the recipe and pictures of the final product at contact@aiya-america.com.

Making Matcha Recipe – Part XIII: Matcha Custard Pie

December 5th, 2013

For our thirteenth entry in Making Matcha Recipes, we made our newest  recipe – Matcha Custard Pie.  A delicious fusion of a classic pie concept with Matcha green tea, this pie is a wonderful way to introduce people to the delicious world of baking with Matcha.

Take a look at the whole post below as well as thoughts and impressions on the process of the all new recipe.

When you’re finished reading this post, we recommend looking over the previous twelve installments of Making Matcha Recipes:  Matcha Krispy Treats,  Matcha Chocolate Cottage CakeMatcha Tofu Ice CreamMatcha Chocolate Chip Rice CookiesMatcha White Chocolate Salted Caramel BonbonsMatcha Hot ChocolateMatcha Chocolate Dipped MadeleinesMatcha Roll CookiesMatcha Ice Cream,  Matcha Premium Ice Cream, Matcha Marshmallows, and Matcha Brownies.

Daniel Says:

“I devised the recipe with Thanksgiving and the holiday season in mind.  In previous recipes, Matcha has paired quite well with custard based ice creams and vanilla flavored recipes so I knew a basic custard pie recipe was screaming for some Matcha to spice it up.

As long as you follow the recipe as written, this pie is not difficult to make at all.  The one strong recommendation I would make is to give good consideration to the kind of pie crust you use.  For the test recipe I used a store bought graham cracker shell and while it came out quite delicious, I think a different kind of pie shell or even a homemade shell may have been better.  Don’t be afraid to experiment with it!”

Aiya Matcha Monthly Radiation Test Available – December 2013

December 4th, 2013

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

Aiya Matcha Field

Aiya Matcha 2013 Holiday Gift Set Sale

December 3rd, 2013

Aiya Matcha Premium Gift Set Pure White Bowl

 

December has just arrived and the holidays are once again upon us!  To follow up our annual Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, Aiya is happy to bring back another yearly tradition – The Holiday Aiya Gift Set Sale.  Starting today (December 3rd) and running all the way to New Years Eve, ALL Aiya gift sets are on sale.

Each Aiya gift set starts with a premium Matcha whisk and Matcha scoop in a beautiful gift box.  From there you can customize the Matcha and bowl type however you like.  Select a 30g tin of Matcha from our Premium, Ceremonial, or Organic Ceremonial grades and then choose a deep soil, pure white, or black pearl Matcha tea bowl to go with it.  In addition, each set also comes with an Aiya DVD covering how your Matcha makes its way from a seed in Nishio, Japan to a delicious bowl of Matcha in your home.  You’ll also find Matcha making tips and has an instructional video on how to make your bowl of Matcha even more like a professional tea master!  An Aiya Matcha gift set is the perfect gift for any Matcha lover in your life.

Sale details vary slightly by customer type so please make sure to read over the section applicable to you:

For Wholesale Customers:

From Tuesday, December 3rd 2013 to Tuesday, December 31st 2013, ALL Aiya gift sets are 10% off.  To take advantage of this offer, please enter the discount code “2013HolidayGiftSetWH” (no spaces) at checkout.*

For Consumers:

From Tuesday, December 3rd 2013 to Tuesday, December 31st 2013, ALL Aiya gift sets are 20% off.  To take advantage of this offer, please enter the discount code “2013HolidayGiftSet” (no spaces) at checkout.*

To take advantage of this deal and start shopping right now, head over to AiyaMatcha.com.

If you have any questions or would like further clarification, please don’t hesitate to contact us at contact@aiya-america.com.

*Discount is only valid for gift set orders placed through AiyaMatcha.com’s consumer and wholesale stores respectively  from December 3rd 2013 at 12:01 AM PST until December 31st 2013 at 11:59 PM PST.  Aiya reserves the right to terminate this promotion at any time without prior notice.

Aiya Matcha Cyber Monday 2013 Sale

November 29th, 2013

Aiya Matcha Wall of Tins

 

Hot on the heels of our Black Friday Weekend sale Aiya is excited to announce the savings aren’t quite done yet!  For one more day you can save a good deal on everything Aiya with our Cyber Monday 2013 sale.  The details are below.  The sale ends tonight at MIDNIGHT so don’t miss out!

To start shopping, head over to aiyamatcha.com right away!

For Wholesale Customers:

Enter the discount code “CyberMonday2013WH” (no spaces) at checkout in our Online Wholesale Store to save 15% off everything in your cart.*

For Consumers:

Enter the discount code “CyberMonday2013” (no spaces) at checkout in our Online Consumer Store to save 30% off everything in your cart.*

*Discount only valid on products in stock at and purchased through our online wholesale and consumer stores respectively.  Orders must be placed from 12:00AM to 11:59 PM PST on Monday, December 2nd to qualify.  Aiya reserves the right to change the terms of or terminate this promotion without prior notice.

AiyaMatcha.com Black Friday Weekend 2013 Sale Annoucement

November 27th, 2013

Aiya Matcha All Tea Products

Aiya is thrilled to announce that our annual Black Friday weekend sale is returning for 2013!  Starting on Friday, November 29th and running through to the end of Sunday, December 1st, this is an excellent chance to stock up on our teas, tea accessories, and everything Aiya at an unbeatable price!

The details are slightly different for wholesale customers and consumers so please make sure to read everything over.  If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at contact@aiya-america.com for clarification.  This sale only comes around once a year so don’t miss it!

To start shopping, head over to aiyamatcha.com right away!

For Wholesale Customers:

Enter the discount code “BlackFriday2013WH” (no spaces) at checkout in our Online Wholesale Store to save 15% off everything in your cart.*

For Consumers:

Enter the discount code “BlackFriday2013” (no spaces) at checkout in our Online Consumer Store to save 30% off everything in your cart.*

*Discount only valid on products in stock at and purchased through our online wholesale and consumer stores respectively.  Orders must be placed from 12:00AM PST Friday, November 29th through 11:59 PM PST Sunday, December 1st to qualify.  Aiya reserves the right to change the terms of or terminate this promotion without prior notice.

Aiya & Matcha at Supply Side West 2013

November 19th, 2013

Last week the Aiya team flew out to Las Vegas for the Supply Side West Expo being held at the Sands Expo Convention Center. The showroom floor was open for two days, November 14th and 15th.  The show felt rather short because we are use to attending shows that are either three or four days long.

Supply Side West is one of the biggest conventions that we attend every year. The show itself attracts a lot of ingredient companies and companies that tend to be in the nutraceutical market. Many big clients looking for what’s new and hot on the market usually come to this show. All the companies that exhibit at this show are usually companies that are behind the scene of a lot of products on the market so the everyday consumer would not be familiar with most of the companies if they were to see a list of the exhibitors.

Matcha at first glance may not seem like it would be a good fit for the nutraceutical industry because it is tea, but since Matcha has many health benefits it can easily transfer over to the nutraceutical industry. Matcha is packed full of anti-oxidants, natural energy, and a number of other benefits. Being that Matcha is in powder form it can be used in products like capsules, energy bars, protein shakes/powders, you name it. The great thing about Matcha is that it is also all natural unlike tea extracts which make it more desirable as well.

During the show we showcased our Matcha Zen Cafe Blend by making Matcha smoothies and we sampled our Matcha To Go with our Iced Matcha Tea and Matcha Lemonade. We also had tea flavored chocolates for attendees to try made by one of our customers based in Vancouver, Canada by the name of Thomas Haas. We tried to highlight the versatility of Matcha and the many uses it has.

It may because the show was only two days long so people had less time to parade around and had to really hit the showroom floor. Additionally this year we had many of our current customers attend Supply Side West and stop by at our booth. It was nice to meet people in person and put faces to the names we have been communicating with for so long.

The end of this show marked the end of trades shows for us until the start of next year as the year 2013 starts to wind down.

See you next year trade show world and happy holidays.

Importance of Water in Matcha and Tea

November 7th, 2013

It’s not something many people think about and sometimes it might not even cross your mind at all but water can affect a cup of tea in a variety of ways which can alter your tea experience. The most common thing when people that drink tea will be concerned with is water temperature as different teas have different optimal water temperatures when steeping. Another thing to consider is the quality of your water and whether your water is hard water or soft water. The amount of minerals in your water can provide different results when preparing tea.

When it comes to temperature generally the more delicate teas like white tea, green tea, and even oolong tea tend to use water that is cooler than boiling. Whereas other teas like black tea, rooibos, and herbal teas use boiling water. The reason for this is if you use water that is too hot with the more delicate teas, it may bring out more tannins and increase the bitter astringent flavor in tea. Each tea has its ideal temperature of water which should be followed in order to ensure a more enjoyable cup of tea.

One aspect people probably pay less attention to is the quality of water they are using when steeping their tea. Typically speaking soft water or softer water is ideal when steeping tea because less minerals are found in the water which may add for flavonoids to the final cup. Soft water can help bring out the true flavors of the tea, whether they be good or bad and show the true quality of the tea. Those that have used hard water might be familiar with the lime scale fill that can develop at the bottom of a water kettle due to boiling hard water. Using hard water may in turn case steeped tea to have a more cloudy liquor.

We at Aiya are more experts on Matcha and Japanese green tea so we will touch base more on what kind of water should be used with these types of tea. When preparing a high quality premium Japanese green teas like Matcha, Gyokuro, or a high quality Sencha you want to make sure to use water that tends to be lower in temperature, but with a longer steep time. This is to ensure you don’t release the tannins in the tea which bring about more bitterness. This also allows one to taste the natural sweetness in the Matcha and Gyokuro due to the L-Theanine. This too is where soft water will allow one to taste the actual flavor of the tea rather than any minerals or other flavonoids from the water. When preparing what they might call lower quality Japanese green teas like Genmaicha, Kukicha, Hojicha, Konacha, etc. you can use water that tends to be a little bit higher in temperature, but the trade off is with a shorter steeping time. Over-steeping can cause tea to become bitter in taste. Below are the recommended water temperatures and steep times for the various Japanese green tea:

  1. Matcha – 180℉ – whisk and drink
  2. Gyokuro – 140℉ – 2 minutes
  3. Sencha – 176℉ – 1-1.5 minutes
  4. Deep Steam Sencha – 176℉ – 30 seconds
  5. Matcha Infused Sencha – 176℉ 1-1.5 minutes
  6. Matcha Infused Genmaicha – 194℉ – 1 minute
  7. Kukicha – 194℉ – 1 minute
  8. Hojicha – 212℉ – 30 seconds
  9. Konacha – 176℉ – drink immediately

Here at Aiya we prefer to use Crystal Geyser water when preparing tea because it is a readily available bottled soft water and tap water in Southern California is more on the hard side of the spectrum. Since water can vary in terms of how hard or soft it is depending on where you live we recommend using bottled water. The following is a list of bottled soft water around the world courtesy of Kasora.com:

  • Volvic (France)
  • S.Bernardo (Italy)
  • Spa (Belgium)
  • Luso (Portugal)
  • Norwater (Norway)
  • Viking Springwater (Norway)
  • Alaskan Glacier Gold Water (United States)
  • Crystal Geyser (United States)
  • Rocky Mountain (United States)
  • Aquator (Canada)
  • Bourassa Canadian (Canada)
  • Valvert (Belgium)
  • Highland Spring (United Kingdom)
  • Naya(Canada)
  • Fiji (Fiji)

Remember when steeping and preparing tea water temperature is very important just as much as the quality of water used. There are those that may prefer hard water, but generally using soft water will allow you to enjoy the true quality of the tea.

water