The radiation test report is now available for our April 2016 shipment. It once again confirms that all of our Matcha and loose leaf teas are safe for consumption. Copies available upon request.
Homemade crackers are surprisingly simple to make. Using only a few staple ingredients, this recipe (adapted from The Kitchn) requires no kneading and only a few minutes to cut the cracker squares. Top the baked crackers with ricotta cheese and sliced strawberries for a crispy treat that you can snack on all week long!
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp Aiya Cooking Grade Matcha
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp butter (melted)
- 1/2 cup water
- Preheat the oven to 450° F.
- Sift the flour, Matcha, sugar, and salt together in a bowl.
- Slowly add in the olive oil, melted butter, and water. Stir until a soft dough forms. If dough flakes remain at the bottom, add a tsp of water at a time to incorporate.
- Cut the dough in half and shape the dough into two large cubes.
- Flour your workspace and roll out one dough cube until 1/8” thick or less. The thickness is important for the crackers to crisp in the oven.
- If the dough shrinks back, let it rest for a few minutes and continue to roll out. Make sure to roll the dough out as evenly as possible.
- Cut the dough into 1×2” rectangles with a pizza cutter or a knife and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Using a fork, gently prick the crackers to avoid puffing during baking.
- Brush the tops of the crackers lightly with water and sprinkle a pinch of salt onto each cracker.
- Bake the crackers for 13-14 minutes or until the edges are slightly golden brown.
- Top with ricotta cheese and sliced strawberries and enjoy!
With the beginning of spring came the annual Natural Products Expo West, one of the largest natural/organic trade shows on the west coast. Held at the familiar Anaheim convention center, this show spread out across two entire floors and into the Hilton hotel next door. Though this show has always been large, it seemed to have grown even more this year, with over 3000 exhibitors and 77,000 attendees (according to New Hope Media).
The first day of the show was busier than ever! Usually the first few hours of the show are slightly slower compared to the rest as attendees trickle down from the front hall to the back. However, we found ourselves making samples after samples and talking up a storm with curious attendees and familiar faces. At the show, we launched our newly gluten-free certified Matcha products. Though teas are naturally gluten free, we thought that this extra step would add assurance to those trying to follow a gluten free lifestyle or have gluten allergies/sensitivity. We weren’t surprised that many other companies had also jumped on the gluten-free certification train. As usual, we sampled out our Matcha lattes and Iced/hot Matchas, along with our Japanese green tea bags.
What we love about this show is that we get to preview new trends and products in the industry. A couple of the trends we noticed are: coconut water, nut milks and butters, and as mentioned above, gluten free products. Though coconut water and nut milk/butters are not necessarily new per se, these products seemed to be increasing in popularity and also variety- from a delicious coconut milk that is extracted without ever being exposed to light, to espresso and coconut flavored nut butters and caramel flavored cashew milks. Gluten-free products seemed to be even more popular this year, with more and more booths showcasing their certification (like us), to a section of the display cases dedicated to “gluten-free products.” Our favorite, though, has to go to the vegetarian meat booth that was stationed right across from us. They sampled out “meats” made with soy protein with a remarkable resemblance to its non-vegetarian counterpart. They even won an award for best new product.
The NPEW shows are always a great place to see new products or trends that are starting to pick up traction in the industry. Matcha has become so popular over the past year or so, that attendees barely ask us what it is anymore (such a big change compared to 2014). Matcha’s popularity doesn’t seem to be slowing any time soon, and we couldn’t be happier to be growing alongside such an influencial industry.
Skip the oven and go straight to dessert with our No-Bake Mini Matcha Blackberry Cheesecakes! Easy to prepare, the Matcha filling is rich and velvety, and so yummy paired with a buttery graham cracker crust. Aiya’s Cooking Grade Matcha gives the cheesecake a slight earthiness, which perfectly complements the sweetness from the homemade blackberry jam. We adapted this recipe from our “No-Bake Matcha Cheesecake” recipe by adding an extra spoonful of sugar. With St. Patrick’s day today and summer berry season just around the corner, what more excuse do you need to whip up these sweet treats?
- 7 oz graham crackers
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 3 Tbsp water
- 1 Tbsp gelatin
- 5 1/2 oz cream cheese
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 Tbsp Aiya Cooking Grade Matcha
- 1 Tbsp sour cream
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 4 Tbsp sugar
- 2 cups fresh blackberries
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- Wash and dry 2 cups of fresh blackberries and set aside.
- Mix 1 Tbsp cornstarch with 1 Tbsp lemon juice until a paste forms.
- Heat the sugar and blackberries over medium heat. Stir until blackberries break apart.
- Add the cornstarch lemon mixture to the pot until fully combined.
- Heat for an additional 3-5 minutes, or until the sauce starts to thicken.
- Remove from heat and place in the fridge to chill while you are making the cheesecake.
Mini Matcha Cheesecakes
- Crush the graham crackers into fine crumbs either by putting them in a zip top bag and crushing with a rolling pin or by pulsing in a food processor.
- Let the butter come to room temperature and then mix it with the graham cracker crumbs until they come together like dough. Allow to rest for at least 30 minutes.
- Grease the bottom and sides of one muffin/cupcake tin. Spoon one small ball of the graham cracker dough into muffin/cupcake tin, pressing them down with the bottom of a small cup, making it as level and even in thickness as possible.
- Sift the Matcha into a bowl and add some room temperature water (approximately 1 tbsp). Mix with the back of a spoon until it becomes a smooth paste. Set aside.
- Using an electric hand mixer, beat the cream cheese until it is smooth. Add the sugar and mix until well incorporated. Add the Matcha paste, sour cream, and lemon juice. Beat until smooth and well blended.
- Mix the gelatin in the 3 tablespoons of hot water until fully dissolved. Mix into the cream cheese mixture until fully incorporated.
- In a separate bowl, whip the heavy cream until it forms soft peaks. Gently fold into the cream cheese mixture.
- Spoon the finished cheesecake filling into the muffin/cupcake tins with the graham cracker crust, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator to set (30 minutes).
- Once set, carefully remove the cheesecakes from the tins by scraping down the sides with a sharp butter knife, then using a small rubber spatula to pop them out.
- Beat the heavy cream and sugar together until soft peaks form. Decorate your mini cheesecakes with whipped cream, blackberry jam, and fresh blackberries.
Happy (almost) Valentine’s Day from all of us at Aiya! To celebrate, we are having a sale on our Cooking Grade Matcha and our Organic Cooking Grade Matcha from now until Friday, February 19th as a thanks for your continued support! We love the idea of putting a twist on classic V-Day recipes by using some Matcha. Click here to see our first ever recipe dedicated to this holiday, and make sure to take advantage of this sale to make your own treats. Codes below:
Get 20% off Cooking Grade Matcha/Organic Cooking Grade Matcha 100g bags with the code “valentines” at checkout.*
Get 10% off Cooking Grade Matcha/Organic Cooking Grade Matcha 100g bags with code “valentinesWH” at checkout.”
*Discount only valid on the Cooking Grade Matcha 100g bags and the Organic Cooking Grade Matcha 100g bags purchased through our consumer and wholesale online stores respectively. Please note that this discount codes do not apply to our 1kg sizes. Orders must be placed online between 12:00 am on Wednesday, February 10th, 2016 and 11:59 pm PST on Friday, February 19th, 2016 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.
It’s almost Valentine’s Day and love is in the air! To celebrate, we created our first ever V-Day recipe – Matcha White Chocolate Covered Strawberries – featuring Aiya’s Cooking Grade Matcha. (get Cooking Grade Matcha on SALE for a limited time; codes here) Sweet and chocolate-y with a hint of tartness, these handmade treats will surely make your Valentine’s Day special this year.
- 20-25 strawberries
- 6 oz. white chocolate, finely chopped
- 1.5 tsp Aiya Cooking Grade Matcha
- 2 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
- Chocolate sprinkles (or other toppings) as desired
- Thoroughly wash and dry the strawberries and place them in the fridge.
- Finely chop the white chocolate and place in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 1 minute, stir, and microwave again for 20 seconds. If the chocolate has not melted, continue microwaving in 10 second increments until completely melted.
- Sift the Matcha over the melted white chocolate and stir until combined.
- Take the strawberries out of the fridge. Make sure each strawberry is completely dry before dipping it into the chocolate.
- Gently hold the leaves of the strawberries and dip each into the Matcha chocolate 2/3rds of the way, twirling the strawberry to get an even coat.
- Dip into your desired toppings and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Leave some strawberries with no toppings for the chocolate drizzle.
- Chill the strawberries in the fridge for 8-10 minutes or until firm.
- For the semi-sweet chocolate drizzle: microwave the chocolate for 45 seconds, stir, then microwave for another 15 seconds. If not completely melted, continue microwaving in 10 second increments until fully melted. Using a fork, lightly drizzle the chocolate onto the strawberries.
- Chill in the freezer for another 8 minutes or until firm.
- Share and enjoy! :- )
Our 2016 trade show year began at the end of January with our exhibition at the annual Winter Fancy Food Show. Held in San Francisco at the Moscone Convention Center only a short distance away from our hotel, the show was exciting, busy, and filled with unique specialty food vendors from all over the world.
The traffic at the show was incredible – much busier than any of our past Fancy Food Shows – with lots of new booths showcasing innovative products. Among the most unique foods we saw were chips made with bug (cricket) protein and a guava jam block paired with cheddar cheese. The bug chips were surprisingly delicious, and the guava-jam pairing was the best we’ve ever tasted! There were even separate sections representing foods and drinks from different states and countries. We love that this show has so much to explore.
At the show, we successfully launched our new Premium and Ceremonial grades of Matcha, both now endorsed by the Tea Master of the prestigious Urasenke Tea School in Japan. We made the switch because currently there are no government regulations in the US for Matcha quality, which can allow for low quality/non-authentic Matcha grades to be sold as higher grades. We hope that by having this endorsement, consumers will be able to purchase our Matcha with confidence in its authenticity and quality. (Read more on our switch here.) Along with our new Urasenke Matcha, we gave out samples of our new organic Japanese green tea bags, along with our classic iced Matcha lattes and iced Matcha To Go. We were happy to see many of the attendees stopping by every day, and sometimes even multiple times a day for their Matcha fix.
This show was our busiest among past Fancy Food Shows, and it was also a great show for Matcha in general. While we have seen more and more people becoming familiar with Matcha, it seems like Matcha’s popularity has grown even further. We heard more “I LOVE Matcha!” and “I drink Matcha all the time!” than we’ve ever heard before at any show. We love that Matcha is such a trending product now. It’s crazy to see how far Matcha has come since 2014 when it first started trending, and we hope it will keep growing in 2016.
Next up, the Natural Products Expo in Anaheim- see you all then!
Baked donuts are one of our favorite recipes to work with- not only are they a healthier version to their fried counterparts, but the possibilities for flavors and toppings are almost endless! For this donut recipe, we paired two of our favorite tea flavors- Matcha and earl grey- to create soft, fluffy donuts that are packed full of flavor. The two tea flavors pair surprisingly well, and the fruity pebble topping adds a nice fruity crunch. Feel free to modify and experiment with different flavors and toppings- we’re sure you won’t regret it. Happy baking!
Makes 12 Donuts
- 1.5 cups flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 Tbsp Aiya Cooking Grade Matcha
- 1 stick butter (8 Tbsp)
- 8 Tbsp sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup soy milk or almond milk
Earl Grey Ganache
- 4 oz. white chocolate
- 3.5- 4 Tbsp heavy cream
- 1 earl grey tea bag (2 for a stronger ganache)
- Fruity Pebbles (to top)
- Sift the flour, baking powder, and Matcha together and set aside.
- Allow the butter to come to room temperature and stir until it is smooth and creamy.
- Whisk the sugar into the butter until it is well incorporated and the whole mixture takes on a white color.
- Beat the egg and add it in little by little until it is well incorporated.
- Begin pre-heating your oven to 350F.
- Add the milk into the sifted dry ingredients, mix gently, and then add the butter and sugar.
- Transfer the batter to a piping bag. If you do not have a piping bag, you can also use a large gallon Ziploc bag and cut off a small portion of the corner.
- Pipe out the donut batter into greased donut molds and tap lightly on the counter to get rid of air bubbles and to flatten the batter. Do not overflow the molds, as the batter will rise.
- Bake in the oven for 11-12 minutes, lower the temperature to 325F, and bake for another 5 minutes.
- Let the donuts completely cool in their trays before transferring over to a work space.
- Chop the white chocolate into small pieces and place in a bowl.
- Pour the heavy cream into a small pot over low heat.
- Add the tea bag and stir the cream until it is lightly simmering. (about 2-3 minutes)
- Keep the tea steeped for another 30 seconds, then pour the earl grey cream mixture over the chopped white chocolate.
- Stir the mixture until the chocolate is melted. If the chocolate doesn’t melt completely, heat the mixture in the microwave for 15-20 seconds, and stir again.
- Let the ganache cool slightly.
- Carefully spoon the ganache onto the cooled donut and spread around until the top is coated.
- Take a small pinch of Fruity Pebble cereal, crush between fingers, and sprinkle onto the ganache immediately. Sprinkle some uncrushed cereal pieces to add more texture if desired. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes to solidify the ganache.
- Once the ganache has hardened, take out of the fridge and enjoy!