Aiya Matcha at World Tea East 2013 – Atlanta

October 28th, 2013

This year around World Tea East thought it be best to spice things up and do something new by pairing up with the Atlanta Foodservice Show. Usually World Tea East is held in Philadelphia but this time we had the opportunity to head down south. Aiya usually does not attend shows in the southeast region so it was a nice change of pace to do a show in Atlanta.

The show itself was held at the Georgia World Congress Center located right by Philips Arena where the Atlanta Hawks Play and the Georgia Dome where the Atlanta Falcons play. It was a nice location I thought and it was neat having the convention hall in close proximity to their sports arena in downtown Atlanta. The show was a 3 day event from October 19th-22nd. This was the first year for the Atlanta Foodservice Show as well as it being the first time as well so we did not know what to really expect of the show.

The Georgia World Congress Center is a nice convention center. The showroom itself was divided into two groups with all the Atlanta Foodservice exhibitors on one side and the World Tea East exhibitors on the other. This made it easier to distinguish between exhibitors for those looking to specifically visit specific companies.

Since the convention itself was a combination of two different shows it attracted customers from two different market segments. Those in the foodservice industry and people more into specialty tea. This can be a good thing as it usually allows us the opportunity to introduce Matcha tea to those that would have otherwise never tried it, or may not even be aware of its growing popularity. Often times you find people have tried Matcha whether it be in green tea ice cream, a green tea latte or green tea frappe at a local cafe, but they are unaware that Matcha is used in these items.

During the show we sampled our Ceremonial Matcha for traditional hot tea and our Matcha To Go for iced Matcha and Matcha lemonade. The Matcha lemonade like usual was very popular especially those new to Matcha. I think the Matcha lemonade was a huge hit because in general the south can be rather hot especially during the summer months so they enjoy iced beverages. I’m going to also bet that Arnold Palmer’s are a popular drink in that region as many were intrigue to try it out.

Next year World Tea Expo will be heading to Long Beach which is local to us here at Aiya. We are looking forward to it we just might be hosting an educational class during World Tea Expo so look out for updates on that. See you then!

Aiya Matcha at Canadian Coffee & Tea 2013 – Vancouver, Canada

October 24th, 2013

This past weekend (the weekend of October 19th, 2013) the Aiya sales team split in two and traveled across North America to present at two trade shows – World Tea East in Atlanta, Georgia and Canadian Coffee & Tea in Vancouver, British Columbia.  We covered a lot of ground but in the end Aiya was very well represented all over North America!

For the Canadian Coffee & Tea show, Aiya sales representative Daniel Coniglio flew solo up to Vancouver to assist our Canadian partners Gerhards at their booth.  Gerhards imports a number of delicious products for use in food service and a show like Canadian Coffee & Tea in particular highlights the versatility Gerhards can bring to a cafe owner.  Aiya is proud to be able to say that our Matcha is one of the things Gerhards carries.

No matter the show, the busiest corner of the already buzzing Gerhards booth is always the one dedicated to Aiya.  At this year’s show our menu included two drinks that paired perfectly with the chilly weekend in Vancouver – Matcha lattes and hot Ceremonial Matcha.  While in years past Matcha lattes have been the clear favorite of the coffee community, it is great to see an increasing number of people asking to try the pure ceremonial and really learn to appreciate Matcha in its purest, cleanest form.  We were excited to have met with so many coffee and tea shop owners looking to expand their horizons into the realm of Matcha and teas as a whole!

Aiya will be traveling to Canada again in 2014 to go to the CRFA and present with Gerhards again.  We encourage our Canadian fans to keep an eye on our weekly newsletter and social networks for more details as the show approaches!

Aiya Matcha Monthly Radiation Test Results Available – November 2013

October 23rd, 2013

The newest radiation test report is available for our November 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 Fields

Aiya Matcha & Environmental Responsibility – Mangrove Tree Planting in the Philippines

October 16th, 2013

In addition to its ongoing dedication to its customers, Aiya is strongly dedicated to both its local community and the world community as a whole.  As the first Matcha producer to start cultivating organic varieties of Matcha, our farmers have long employed ecologically sustainable farming practices in Nisho when growing our tea.  Tea farms in Nishio are recognized as some of the most pure in the world thanks in part to the policies enacted by Aiya and our farmers who rigorously adhere to them.

Aiya also dedicates a good deal of time and energy to replenishing natural resources and giving back to the world community as a whole.  Aiya employees volunteer their time to participate in biyearly trips to South East Asia to physically go and assist in planting mangrove trees.  They have been consistently doing this since 2001 and to date a total of 285 Aiya employees have traveled to the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia to plant over 48,600 mangrove trees!

For the 2013 trip, two teams from Aiya went to Mahanai Island in the Philippines to contribute to the planting effort.  The first team went from September 19th to the 23rd and second team went from October 3rd to the 7th.  In total, 35 members from Aiya helped plant a total of 7,800 trees over the course of those 10 days.  The second team even included the president of Aiya Japan himself (pictured below, center)!

Aiya takes great pride in holding itself to the highest standards in social responsibility and being able to give back to the world that gives so much to us all.  We are looking forward to volunteer again in 2015!

Aiya Matcha at Coffee Fest 2013 in Seattle, WA Recap

October 9th, 2013

Last weekend the Aiya sales team flew up to Seattle to attend and exhibit at Coffee Fest from October 4th-6th.  Smaller in scale than the other coffee show Aiya attends – the SCAA – Coffee Fest is more of a regionally-based event, giving exhibitors the opportunity to meet with people local to the show.  We were really happy to have met with many potential customers from the Pacific Northwest and surrounding areas.

Coffee Fest was originally as you would expect, born from local coffee and coffee culture so a smaller scale, focused trade show like this is always interesting; exhibitors and companies at the show can confirm current trends as well as hint at up and coming trends in the industry. Tea lattes, for example, have been making their way on to cafe menus all around the country and as a reflection of that even more tea companies were present at this year’s show.  The biggest growth in representation we noticed this year was the amount of oatmeal and nutritional snack bar companies present at the show. More and more cafes are adding food and snacks to their menus so it makes sense that Coffee Fest is attracting companies from the snack side of things. The biggest surprise for us in particular was the amount of oatmeal companies present. With coffee and oatmeal, Coffee Fest had breakfast covered!

At Aiya’s booth we sampled our Ceremonial Matcha straight and Matcha Zen Cafe Blend as a Matcha latte. Matcha lattes fit in well with coffee culture and the chilly Seattle weather so they went over very well.  Many of the cafe owners and employees that we spoke with are eager to start offering Matcha in either a latte or frappe format.  We look forward to seeing what they come up with!

Having met the smaller business owners who drive industry trends, we were able to clearly see that although Matcha is definitely growing in North America, it still has a long way to go as it is not a completely common menu item.  We love doing shows like this to spread Matcha information and get it on more menus each  year, pushing it closer to being common.

Next year Coffee Fest will be relocating from Seattle to Portland and Aiya will be there again. See you then!

 

Los Angeles International Tea Festival 2013

October 2nd, 2013

This past weekend the Japanese American National Museum once again hosted the Los Angeles International Tea Festival and Aiya was there. This is the second year in a row Aiya America has presented at the festival as a gold sponsor.

If you are unfamiliar with the festival, it is a smaller scale event featuring around 15 vendors that specialize in tea.  While only two days long, each day is filled with educational presentations from vendors to share knowledge and information about tea with the attendees. The festival is open to the general public and usually attracts a pretty nice size crowd.  Aiya enjoys taking part in this festival since it is local to us and we are always excited to talk with people face-to-face.  This is especially true when those people are from your own backyard.

This year we sampled our Ceremonial Matcha and made Matcha smoothies using our Matcha Zen Cafe Blend.  Matcha samples were flying off the trays as we could barely make drinks fast enough to keep up with the traffic!  The LA Tea Festival is always a great way to spread love of Matcha to a larger audience and introduce Matcha.

During the show on Saturday, Aiya’s very own James Oliveira led a presentation that focused on explaining the differences between good quality and poor quality Matcha.  He also gave attendees some helpful tips on to what to look for when buying Matcha as there is a lot of misinformation on the web.  If one doesn’t properly understand what to look for, especially if they are new to Matcha, they may get poor quality Matcha and have a bad experience, resulting in them having an unfavorable view of Matcha.

We hope that everyone that attended the Los Angeles International Tea Festival enjoyed the day and had a good time. We would also especially like to thank everyone that stopped by our booth!  See you next year!!

Aiya Matcha Monthly Radiation Test Results Available – October 2013

October 1st, 2013

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

 

Matcha Tasting Image

Attend Supply Side West 2013 a Guest of Aiya Matcha and Save!

September 24th, 2013

 

Supply Side West 2013 Banner

 

 

Aiya America will once again be presenting at Supply Side West in Las Vegas this November.  As an exhibitor, we are able to provide  our customers with a discount code to save on the cost of attendance!

If you are a current Aiya wholesale or bulk customer in good standing who either lives in or was planning on going to Las Vegas November 14th and 15th to attend Supply Side West 2013 and wanted to save on your badge admission costs, please email us at contact@aiya-america.com.  We will be in touch with the discount code and instructions on how to save on admission costs!

Please feel free to also email us at the address listed above for additional information or any questions you may have!

NEW Aiya Matcha Sale – Matcha Accessories

September 12th, 2013

To accompany our latest educational Matcha blog post all about the proper and intended uses of accessories, we’re happy to announce an all new sale on ALL of our Matcha accessories.  From September 13th, 2013 until September 30th 2013, all Aiya branded accessories are on sale!  The specifics are different for wholesale customers and end consumers so please make sure to carefully read over the section appropriate to you!

For Wholesale Customers:

Save 10% on all Aiya branded Matcha accessories (tea bowls included) by adding “2013WHAccessories” (no spaces) in your cart on checkout.  You will automatically receive 10% off any participating* products.

For End Consumers:

Save 20% on all Aiya branded Matcha accessories (tea bowls included) by adding “2013Accessories” (no spaces) in your cart on checkout.  You will automatically receive 20% off all participating* products.

*Sale valid from September 13, 2013 until 11:59 PM September 30, 2013 on all Aiya branded tea accessories and bowls from the wholesale and consumer online stores at aiyamatcha.com respectively.  Bodum products on the Aiya online store are excluded from the sale.  Aiya reserves the right to terminate this promotion at any time without prior written notice.

The Different Matcha Accessories

September 12th, 2013

This week I thought it’d be best we go over the various accessories associated with Matcha. The thought of creating an educational piece on simply the accessories and how to use them never crossed my mind until the other day I saw someone take a picture usually a whisk holder wrong (which I didn’t know was possible). Thinking back on it  there are times when I find people asking what the purpose of certain accessories are and I guess I just assumed it was common knowledge or simple to figure out their purpose.

The Matcha accessories include; bamboo scoop, whisk, whisk holder, hand strainer, natsume, strainer can, and Matcha bowls.

The bamboo scoop is a simple accessory as is used to pick up or scoop the Matcha from its container into you bowl or vessel. Typically speaking one scoop is equivalent to about one gram of Matcha. When drinking Matcha in the Ceremonial way (usu-cha) you would you two bamboo scoops.

The whisk is made of bamboo and can come in a variety of sizes like 80 prongs, 100 prongs, or 120 prongs. The whisk is used to whisk or aerate the tea to create a microfoam layer on the surface of the tea similar to that of a latte. When you first get a whisk you will notice the center prongs are intertwined and the outer prongs curled. The first thing you want to do is take hot or boiling water and soak the prongs of the whisk for a few minutes. This does two things; it helps rid of any strong bamboo aroma, and it helps the prongs of the whisk unravel.

The whisk holder is pretty self-explanatory of its purpose, it holds and props up your whisk. This allows your whisk to dry better to reduce mold and evenly dry. The whisk holder also helps maintain the shape of the whisk.

A hand strainer is a small strainer used to sift Matcha when making a bowl to ensure that the Macha does not clump and is instead smooth and evenly mixed when whisked. When using a strainer you typically have to sift the Matcha each time you make a bowl.

A natsume is basically a tea caddy that is used to hold Matcha after it has been sifted. This accessory is typically used in the traditional Japanese tea ceremony.

A strainer can combines both a hand sifter and natsume together. The top portion of the can contains the sifter where Matcha is sifted into the can and can be stored. We recommend when using a strainer can that you sift about a weeks worth of Matcha into the can and store it in your fridge while keeping the rest of your Matcha stored in the freezer.

Matcha bowls are used to drink Matcha tea from and come in a variety of shapes that are intended to be used during different seasons. There are three basic shapes for Matcha bowls. One is a shallow bowl with a wide mouth. These bowls are considered summer bowls as they allow Matcha to cool more quickly when enjoying Matcha during a hot day. Next is a deep bowl with a narrow mouth. These bowls are considered winter bowls as they help retain the heat of Matcha by having a smaller surface space allowing less heat to escape. The last type of bowl contains a normal shape and is considered just a general bowl that can be used all year round.

Remember all these accessories are not necessary to enjoy Matcha, but rather they are tools to help you have a more pleasurable experience with Matcha.