No-Bake Cheesecake Recipe

October 13th, 2014

 

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Since Matcha is naturally mild and slightly sweet, it is not only delicious by itself, but it is also delicious in almost anything—drinks, desserts, meals—the possibilities are endless. To increase awareness of Matcha’s incredible versatility, we often have professional bloggers and recipe makers create recipes for us using our Cooking Grade Matcha. To make sure these recipes are doable for non-professionals like us, we occasionally have blog posts like this one, re-creating recipes made by professionals and giving you our tips, input, and our thoughts for a successful cooking experience.

For this blog post, I tried making the “No-Bake Matcha Cheesecake” found in the recipes page of our website.

What got me wanting to try this recipe was the words “no-bake” in the title. I always seem to have some sort of trouble with ovens and fire, so a no- bake recipe sounded perfect for me.  No burning my arm on the edge of the oven this time! Anyway, I had a lot of fun creating this cheese cake because although it’s not something I’ve done before, it was easy enough to get it right the first time—my hard work yielded a perfectly delectable cake.

One thing that I noticed while making this recipe was that you need to follow the instructions exactly as it says, or else the consistency of the cake could potentially get messed up.  Too much gelatin and the cake could too much resemble the consistency of a Jell-O. Too little gelatin and the cake could end up falling apart. For me, I think the cake came out a tad bit on the Jell-o-ey side because I feared that the cake wasn’t going to set. Another thing I would recommend is measuring and putting aside the ingredients beforehand, because I found myself rushing to measure my ingredients in the process.

Here are the ingredients I used for this cake:

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For the crust:

  • 7oz Graham Crackers (I used the Honey maid brand)
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter (this needs to be room temperature)

For the cheese cake filling:

  • 3 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp gelatin
  • 5 oz cream cheese
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp Aiya cooking grade Matcha
  • 1 oz sour cream
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • ½ cup heavy cream

For the decoration (if desired):

  • Whipped cream
  • Mint leaves
  • Fresh fruits (I skipped this step, but I think blueberries around the edge would have added a nice touch)

Directions

  • 1. First, we make the crust. Put the 7 oz graham crackers (around 13.5 graham cracker sheets) in a big Ziploc bag and use a rolling pin to crush the crackers into fine crumbs.

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Like this:

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  • 2. Next, combine the crumbled graham crackers with 1 stick of room temperature butter. I actually forgot to leave the butter out, so I had to microwave it for about 10 seconds to make it soft enough to work with (which worked perfectly fine). Combine the graham cracker crumbs and the butter together to form a soft dough. Let it rest for 30 minutes.

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Voila!

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  • 3. Once the crust has been out for 30 minutes, Press the graham cracker dough into a pie plate. This part took me a while because I’m a bit of a perfectionist, and it took a while to get the crust to be even in thickness all around.

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Ta-Da!

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  • 4. Now, we set the pie crust aside and work on the actual cheese cake. The next step on the recipe says to mix the 1 tbsp gelatin with the 3 tbsp room temperature water, but I would actually recommend doing this at the very end, and with hot water. The gelatin hardened quickly, and was grainy from using the room temperature water.
  • 5. Next, I sifted the Matcha into a bowl and added 1 tbsp room temperature water, mixing the two until a paste was formed. I made the mistake of using a spoon (instead of a whisk), which didn’t completely break up the little Matcha chunks, so my cake had some tiny clumps in it. But no big deal—it didn’t take away from the taste or looks of the cake. I would recommend using a fork if you don’t have a whisk.

This is what will give the cake the pretty green color:

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  • 6. Next, measure 5.5 oz of cream cheese, and mix it until it is soft and smooth. Once smooth, slowly mix in the ½ cup sugar into the cream cheese, mixing as you pour.

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  • 7. Next, add the Matcha paste, 1 oz sour cream, and 1 tsp lemon juice into the cream cheese mixture. This will give the cheese a pretty green hue.

 

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  • 8. Mix the 1 tbsp gelatin with the 3 tbsp hot water until the gelatin is fully dissolved. Then, quickly mix in the gelatin to the Matcha cream cheese mixture.

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  • 9. Next, whip up the ½ cup heavy cream with an electric hand mixer until it looks fluffy. Though this step could probably be done by hand, using the hand mixer is probably better because since whipping the cream by hand may take longer, this can cause the gelatin in the Matcha cream cheese mixture to harden before we can add in the whipped cream. If you do whip the cream by hand, I would recommend either occasionally mixing the Matcha cream cheese mixture or adding the gelatin after the Matcha cream cheese and whipped cream have been combined.

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  • 10. Then, combine the Matcha cream cheese mixture with the whipped cream by “folding in” the Matcha cream cheese mixture. This technique seemed to work well, because I think mixing them in a circular motion may have flattened the whipped cream.

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Almost done!

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  • 11. Finally, pour the finished mixture into the graham cracker crust. I used a silicone spatula to flatten and smooth out the mixture. Once done, put the cheese cake in the fridge to set. Mine took about 20 minutes to harden. I was surprised at how fast the mixture hardened (I thought it was going to take a couple of hours).

 

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  • 12. The last step is optional—the decoration. I added a little mint leaf from my garden in the center and it looked like this:

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I wanted to add whipped cream around the sides, but I realized that I didn’t have the tools to make it look nice, so I decided against it. I tried cutting a slice and adding some whipped cream on there with a spoon, however. I think this dessert would go perfect with some tea.

Ta-Da!

 

 

 

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Overall, I was pleasantly surprised at how well the no-bake cheese cake came out. The cake had a nice, fluffy texture to it because of the gelatin, and it wasn’t too sweet, which I liked. But for those who prefer sweeter, I’d recommend putting a little more sugar.  Next time, I think I want to try adding a blueberry flavor to this cake. Because blueberries are not extremely sweet, I think it would go well with the mild taste of the

Matcha.

Happy cooking!

Aiya Matcha at Canadian Coffee & Tea 2014 – Toronto, Canada

October 6th, 2014

Two weekends ago, Aiya sales representative Michael flew up to Toronto for the 2014 Canadian Coffee & Tea Show. The show took place over two days on September 28th & 29th and was hosted at the International Centre. The show had everything, from a Barista Competition, to teas from all over the world. Once again, Aiya was showing its support for our Canadian partner Gerhards Importers at their booth.

At the show, Aiya sampled some new and fun drinks for the Canadian market. By using our Matcha Zen Café Blend and syrups from Monin, we made three different flavored Iced Matcha green teas: Mango, Peppermint and Lemon Matcha Iced Teas. The Mango flavored tea seemed to garner the most compliments from the attendees. The Matcha Iced teas were quite a welcome treat, since the weather was fairly warm for that time of year in Toronto.

Michael also sampled our always popular Iced Matcha Lattes. In conjunction with our Matcha Zen Café Blend, he used the Pacific brand Barista Series Almond Milk. This was Aiya’s first time using that almond milk for the lattes and the results were great. The final product was a rich and creamy Iced Matcha Latte, without the overpowering flavor of almonds. The Monin syrups and Pacifc Almond Milk can be obtained from Gerhards for our Canadian customers. The products worked so well with our Matcha Zen Café Blend that we are considering using them in the future at the American shows.

We have seen the popularity of Matcha grow in Canada, just as it has here in the States, so it was important to us that we were a Product Sponsor for the show. Aiya will be traveling to the Great White North again in 2015 for the CRFA Show. We will be at the Gerhards booth once more, so please stop by to enjoy some samples and say hello!

 

Limited time offer: FREE Aiya Matcha To-Go Tumbler

October 3rd, 2014

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The launch of our newest product, Matcha To-Go, makes things quick and convenient for the busy tea lover.  Though preparing Matcha in the traditional fashion is a unique and enjoyable experience, we occasionally may want to enjoy some Matcha outside of our home, like at the office, or on the go.  For this reason, Matcha To-Go was made with convenience and ease in mind. Matcha To-Go comes in single-serving sticks, and is designed to eliminate the need for a traditional tea bowl and whisk.  All you need to do is pour it in a water bottle and shake. Voila! So easy!

It’s even easier now with our Aiya Tumbler, designed with a built-in strainer so you can even add ice for chilling, or fruit of your choice for flavor! And for a limited time, we are offering FREE Aiya Matcha To-Go tumblers to our valued customers.  There are two ways you can receive your FREE tumbler:

  1. Purchase one Matcha To-Go box, and you will automatically receive a FREE tumbler:
    1. http://aiyamatcha.com/consumers/index.php/matcha-to-go-sticks.html
  2. If you already enjoy Aiya’s Matcha To-Go or any of our other products:
    1. Take a photo of your favorite Aiya product
    2. Post it to your Instagram
    3. Hashtag #aiyamatcha AND #matchatogo
    4. You MUST be following us on instagram @aiyamatcha
    5. We’ll send you a FREE tumbler!

Please feel free to email us at contact@aiya-america.com if you have any questions.

*This offer is only valid while supplies last and only on purchases placed through the Aiya consumer online store with a registered account—purchases made as a guest at checkout will not count. Limit one free tumbler per customer. Any purchases made after supplies are exhausted will not be eligible for this offer, and no exchanges will be allowed. Aiya reserves the right to terminate or alter this promotion at any time without prior notice. 

Your Favorite Aiya Matcha Products, Now in Stores Near You!

September 29th, 2014

Have you heard the exciting news? Aiya Matcha is expanding, and we couldn’t be happier! Our products have recently been picked up by one of the biggest natural organic distributors on the west coast– Nature’s Best. Nature’s Best is a wholesaler-distributor in the natural products industry that provides organic and natural food products to retailers and stores all throughout the west coast. They are going to carry our six hottest products: the Ceremonial Matcha 30g tin, the Organic Ceremonial 30g tin, the Cooking Grade 100g bag, the Organic Cooking Grade 100g bag, the Matcha Zen Café Blend, and the Matcha To-Go Sticks.

To our consumers:

​    What it means for you: now that Nature’s Best is carrying our products, they’ll be distributing it to many of your favorite local chain stores, making it much easier for you to find our products when you’re shopping for daily groceries. Now when you’re craving a cup of hot Matcha tea, or when you’re just itching to have that evening Matcha latte, you can get it immediately at your local store. You’ll never have to wait to get Matcha again! Make sure to request our products if you don’t see them on your local store shelves; we’re certain they’d be happy to stock them for you.

To our wholesale customers:

We’re sure many of you already work with Nature’s Best. Well, great news! Now that Nature’s Best carries our products, you can simply utilize them as your distributor to obtain our delicious products. We love how convenient our products are becoming! However, if you would like to keep buying from us directly, you’re still more than welcome to, and we’d be happy to assist.

You can get more information on Nature’s Best here: http://www.naturesbest.net/

Aiya’s Matcha at the Natural Products Expo East 2014

September 25th, 2014

Just this past week, the Aiya America team flew out to Baltimore, Maryland for our first ever Natural Products Expo East held at the Baltimore Convention Center. It was a very exhilarating trip for us because although we have been exhibiting at the Natural Products Expo West for the past couple of years in Anaheim, this was our very first time at the NPE East.

This expo definitely matched our excitement with its incredible turn out. What an extremely busy and exciting show this was, with over 4000 product booths. In fact, they had so many booths that they had to split up the exhibition onto two floors, with various products lined up from food and drinks to cosmetics, and even pet food.

Our main business has always been more for companies that use Matcha as an ingredient in their Matcha-flavored products, but we have recently started to expand our business to consumers, creating more consumer-friendly products such as the Matcha-To-Go Sticks and the Zen Café Blend. The Natural Products Expo East was also a great endeavor for Aiya America because we met many brokers, which means that there is a good chance that we could expand.

During the show, we sampled out our Matcha-To-Go Sticks and a Matcha green tea latte featuring our Zen Café Blend, along with our Ceremonial grade Matcha. These samples were all a great hit, getting warm compliments all around. Because Matcha has a deep green color, people often mentioned that they expected a bitter taste, yet were pleasantly surprised by the smooth, mild taste of Matcha.

Something else we thought was very exciting was the amount of products at the expo that were made using Matcha. During the show, we saw Matcha flavored snacks, Matcha flavored coffee, and even Matcha flavored coconut water. It’s great to see Matcha expanding and getting so popular—make sure to jump on this trend while it’s still hot!

After the show, we were able to explore Baltimore a bit, eating delicious seafood and even going to a baseball game. Though the wait for the food was a bit long, the food was definitely worth it. Overall, we had a great time in Baltimore and the show was a great experience for us, as we got to see many trending products and meet tons of new people from the east coast. We’re very eager to come back next year to see what the Natural Products Expo East 2015 has in store for us.

Aiya Matcha Monthly Radiation Test Report Available – September 2014

September 4th, 2014

The radiation test report is available for our September 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 Sale – North American Tea Championship 2014

August 21st, 2014

Aiya is proud to announce that THREE of our teas have been named first place winners in their categories of the 2014 North American Tea Championship! Our Premium Matcha, Premium Gyokuro, and Matcha Infused Genmaicha have all received 1st place honors. To celebrate receiving such high praise for our teas, we’d like to take this opportunity to share the experience with all of our customers. That’s why we’re offering a special promotion for each of these teas for ONE FULL MONTH! From TODAY until September 22nd, you can save on ALL three of these teas!

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

For Wholesale Customers:

Enter the discount code “teachampion2014WH” (no spaces) at checkout in our Online Wholesale Store to save 10% off Premium Matcha (30g & 100g), Premium Gyokuro (80g & 500g), and Matcha Infused Genmaicha (80g & 500g).*

 For Consumers:

Enter the discount code “teachampion2014” (no spaces) at checkout in our Online Consumer Store to save 20% off Premium Matcha (30g & 100g)Premium Gyokuro (80g & 500g), and Matcha Infused Genmaicha (80g & 500g).*

 

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 do not hesitate to contact us at contact@aiya-america.com.

*Discount only valid on these specified items 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 loose leaf teas. Orders must be placed between 12:00AM on Thursday, August 21st 2014 and 11:59 PM PST on September 22nd, 2014 to qualify.  Aiya reserves the right to change the terms of or terminate this promotion without prior notice.

 

LA International Tea Festival – Ayia’s Matcha in Little Tokyo

August 21st, 2014

On August 16th and the 17th, the Aiya team exhibited in our own backyard! No, not in our parking lot, but at the Los Angeles International Tea Festival! It was Aiya’s third year in a row exhibiting as a gold sponsor. It was held at its usual location, the Japanese American National Museum in the Little Tokyo area of Downtown LA. This year it was a little different in that it was held during Nisei Week, an annual festival that celebrates Japanese-American culture. Little Tokyo is probably the most crowded out of the whole year during this week. There were some other interesting events going on such as a ramen festival and a gyoza (dumpling) eating contest.

There was an estimated crowd of about 2,600 visitors over the two-day event, where vendors had booths in the main hall of the museum and in the pedestrian walkway outside the front door. We were indoors, as we have been in the past two years, luckily away from the scorching mid-summer heat.  The great thing about this show is that it is open to the public with a small entrance fee. It is geared towards regular consumers and gives them a chance to try different types of teas. It also gives us a chance to interact with people from our own backyard, which we always enjoy.

The show has always been a busy one, but since it took place during Nisei Week, it was even more so than usual. We sampled our Matcha To Go, Ceremonial Matcha and iced Matcha green tea lattes using our Matcha Zen Café Blend. The samples were extremely popular and it was tough keeping up with demand, but we powered through it by drinking our Matcha; it provides a “calm alertness.”

There are also educational classes about tea that take place during show. Aiya’s very own Michael Kaneko led a presentation that focused on the basics of Matcha. He talked about what Matcha is and the key points that differentiate it from other green teas. Many of the class attendees had heard of Matcha, but didn’t really know what made it so special, so the class was very informative for them.

Although we say Matcha is on the rise in popularity, it was truly evident at the show. Many tea companies that previously did not have any association with Matcha, were showcasing products that included the tea and some were even selling the Matcha itself. It’s going to be interesting to see in a year’s time at this show, how many more companies will be incorporating Matcha in their lineup. We hope the local visitors we met had a great time and that we see them next year as well.

 

Aiya Matcha Monthly Radiation Test Report Available – August 2014

August 1st, 2014

The radiation test report is available for our August 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 August 2014 Radiation Report

Summer Fancy Food Show 2014 – Aiya’s Matcha in The Big Apple

July 25th, 2014

The Aiya America team traveled out to New York City at the tail-end of this past June. We did not go there for leisure, as some of you might be thinking, but to exhibit at the Summer Fancy Food Show. It was our first time doing the summer version of the Fancy Food Show, so it was an exciting and interesting venture. We have been doing the Winter Fancy Food Show the past couple years, which is held in San Francisco. Since we have been seeing the national rise in popularity of Matcha, especially on the East Coast, we decided to fly out to the “City That Never Sleeps” for our inaugural exhibition.

The show was held at the Javits Convention Center in the Hell’s Kitchen area of Manhattan. The weather was somewhat hot and humid, but nothing overbearing, as it would have been if the show took place in the middle of summer. New York City is a great place to have a show because there are so many people from various backgrounds and countries, which gives it a great international feel.

The Summer Fancy Food Show itself was extremely large, occupying the two main floors of the Javits Center and an adjoining hallway. There were also large sections designated to specific countries from all around the world. When it came to exhibitor and attendee turnout, this show in the ‘Big Apple’ did not disappoint. The show was very busy, something akin to the hustle and bustle on the streets of Manhattan.

The Fancy Food Show is a great place for one to see the new products and trends that are emerging in the Food and Beverage industry. There probably is no better place for this than in NYC, which is considered one of the few cities in the world, where hot trends and movements actually start from. We met many people who were knowledgeable about Matcha and consumed it on a regular basis. There were many excited attendees wanting to try our Iced Matcha Latte and Iced Matcha Green Tea samples. There was a lot of buzz about a fairly new product called Motto, which is a sparkling Matcha green tea drink that is naturally sweetened. We also enjoyed a tasty batch of Matcha green tea donuts made by a local NYC shop, the Doughnut Plant.

Overall, the show went very well and it was a great experience to meet some of our customers from this region. Hopefully, the Summer Fancy Food Show will become a regular stop on our yearly show schedule. We will be back on the East Coast near the end of September for the Natural Products Expo East held in Baltimore, Maryland.