Christmas Inspired: Matcha Macarons

December 17th, 2015

matcha macaron 4 e

matcha macaron 2 c

With less than ten days left until Christmas, many of us may still be on the hunt for those simple yet thoughtful last minute gifts. This year, instead of searching in stores or online, why not make something instead?  These Matcha macarons are not only beautiful and delicate, but they also have a stunning green hue and a mild, unique flavor. We’re sure many of you have heard of macarons being temperamental and difficult to make. Though those statements may be true, we found that they’re not so difficult to make with a little patience and love (and our tips and tricks below).

Ingredients:

Matcha Macaron Shells

  • 1 Tbsp Aiya Cooking Grade Matcha
  • 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp almond flour
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 egg whites at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg white at room temperature

Vanilla Buttercream

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter; room temperature and soft
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Blend the almond flour, Matcha and powdered sugar in a food processor until the almond flour is very fine. If you do not have a food processor, sift the almond flour until only the larger pieces remain in the sifter. Measure the amount of large almond pieces using a tablespoon (should be about 4-5 Tbsp), and set aside. Re-sift that same amount until the larger pieces remain again. Repeat one more time. The larger pieces left in the sifter during the last run can be mixed back into the almond flour mixture. Then, sift the almond flour together with the Matcha and powdered sugar.
  2. Meringue: Using an electric mixer, beat the 2 egg whites (make sure they are at room temperature) on low until tiny bubbles cover the surface. Turn your mixer on medium and add in the granulated sugar little by little. The bubbles should be gone, and the entire mixture should be shiny, white and smooth. Once incorporated, turn the mixer on high and beat until stiff peaks form.
  3. Mix the remaining egg white into the almond flour mixture until it forms a very thick paste.
  4. Once incorporated, gently fold in the meringue until well incorporated. This shouldn’t take more than 25-30 folds (try not to over mix- this will deflate the meringue).
  5. Once the mixture has taken on a very thick and gooey texture, transfer to a piping bag. We found it helpful to only fill the piping bag half way, because this batter can get very messy and sticky. If you need to put the piping bag down, put it back in the bowl with the batter. The batter is very gooey and will spill out.
  6. Pre-heat the oven to 325F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  7. Pipe small circles onto the parchment paper, about an inch apart, trying to make the circles as even as possible. You can even make shapes by using a slightly smaller opening for your piping bag (we tried making Christmas trees).
  8. Slam the baking sheet down on the counter a couple of times to release any air bubbles that may have been trapped in the batter. Then, leave the baking sheets out until the macaron shells are dry and their tops are no longer shiny (about 45 minutes). The shells should be dry to the touch, and not sticky.
  9. While the shells are drying, make the vanilla buttercream frosting. Using an electric mixer, mix the powdered sugar, butter, and vanilla extract until smooth.
  10. Once the shells are dried, bake them for about 16-18 minutes, until the tops are firm and “feet” have formed at the bottom. If you have two baking sheets, bake them one at a time.
  11. Let them cool completely on their trays. Taking them off before they dry may result in the bottom getting stuck to the parchment paper.
  12. Once they are completely cooled, very carefully remove the shells, lifting up around the sides until the shells pop off.
  13. Transfer the vanilla buttercream filling into a piping bag and pipe a small amount onto the flat side of a shell. Find another shell most similar in size and sandwich them together. Repeat with other shells. The shells are very delicate, so make sure not to put too much pressure when assembling them.
  14. Decorate however you like, wrap with baker’s twine, take photos, and give as gifts :- ) Happy Holidays!

*We used a vanilla buttercream filling, but you can fill with whatever you desire. We think a strawberry, raspberry, or black sesame buttercream would go great with the Matcha macaron too!

matcha macaron 3 b

matcha macaron 6 b

matcha macaron 11 b

Aiya at the LA Tea Festival in Little Tokyo

December 16th, 2015

Welcome-Page1

During the beginning of December, the Aiya team exhibited at the 5th annual Los Angeles International Tea Festival. It’s always nice to exhibit at this show because we get to meet people that are local to us. Held at the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo on December 5th and 6th, this was our fourth year in a row as a gold sponsor, and our first year with a larger 10×20 booth space. Normally held in August when it is hot and sunny, this December show had a slightly different vibe with chillier weather and more tea products geared towards the holidays.

Tons of familiar and well-known tea vendors filled the main hall of the Japanese American National Museum as well as the section right outside – with over 2000 attendees over the two days; this was definitely a busy show for us. We sampled out our new organic tea bag line (Organic Gyokuro/Organic Matcha Infused Sencha/Organic Matcha Infused Genmaicha), Matcha to Go, hot Ceremonial Matcha, and iced Matcha lattes, which were welcomed with kind words. It was our first time sampling our new tea bag line at this show, and people seemed to love them! Many commented on their flavors being very comparable to loose leaf tea, despite being a tea bag. Our convenient, single serving packets (Matcha to Go & Matcha Zen Café Blend) also seemed to be a major hit this year, with attendees fond of the idea of taking their Matcha (or Matcha lattes) on the go.

Looking back at last year’s LA Tea Festival trade show recap blog post, we realize how far Matcha has come along. Just last year, we mentioned that Matcha was “on the rise” in popularity. This year, you couldn’t turn a corner without seeing this powdered emerald green tea. 2015 was definitely a busy year for Matcha, and we hope that its popularity continues to rise throughout 2016 as well.

 

Matcha Christmas Tree Cookies

December 10th, 2015

Matcha Christmas Cookie 7 b

Our inspiration for this week’s recipe comes from the saying: “the most beautiful things in life are simple.” We’ve been creating a lot of complex recipes lately, so we wanted to take a step back to do something a bit simpler. Using our cookie recipe from our recipe page, we created these yummy Matcha Christmas Tree Cookies that bake in only 10 minutes. The beauty of this recipe lies in its versatility; not only are they easy to make, but with some cookie cutters and food coloring (for the icing), you can transform these cookies into anything you want! Make the holidays a little brighter this year by making these with friends and loved ones. Happy Holidays!

Matcha Christmas Cookie 5 c

Makes 20-24 Christmas tree cookies

Ingredients:

Cookie

  • 1 Tbsp Aiya Cooking Grade Matcha
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 5 1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup + 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Frosting

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 4 1/2 -5 tsp water
  • A handful of white sugar pearl sprinkles
  • Other desired toppings

Matcha Christmas Cookie 9 c

Matcha Christmas Cookie 2 c

Directions:

  1. Sift the Matcha, flour, and baking powder together in a bowl.
  2. Place the butter in a bowl and allow it to come to room temperature. Once soft, mix it until it is smooth. Add the sugar in parts (1/3 to 1/2 at a time) until it is fully mixed into the butter and the entire mixture is white and smooth.
  3. Beat the egg and mix into the butter/sugar mixture little by little along with the vanilla extract. Once they are both incorporated, fold the sifted ingredients into it in parts (1/3 to 1/2 at a time). When fully mixed in, wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes.
  4. Pre heat your oven to 360F. Lightly flour a working surface and roll out half the dough until it is about 1/10” thick. If the dough is too crumbly and dry, lightly knead the dough with a splash of water until a more solid dough forms. When rolling the dough out, the edges of the dough may crack- this is normal. Place some water on your fingers and mend the cracks back together as best as you can.
  5. Once rolled out, use a Christmas tree cookie cutter and cut out as many trees as you can. Place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment.
  6. Take the remaining scraps and combine it with the other half of the dough. Repeat steps 4-5 with the rest of the dough.
  7. Bake for about 10 minutes and allow the cookies to cool.
  8. In a separate bowl, mix the powdered sugar and water to make a simple icing. Start with 3 tsp water, and add more water if the mixture is too thick, 1 tsp at a time. The icing should not be paste-like, not runny.
  9. Once the cookies have cooled, spoon a small amount of icing on to the cookie, outlining where you want the “snow” to end. Once the outline is done, use the back of the spoon to smooth out the icing, making sure not to put too little or too much.
  10. Add some white sugar pearl sprinkles (and any other desired toppings) and place on a drying rack to cool.
  11. Share with family and friends :- )

Matcha Christmas Cookie 8 b

Aiya Matcha Monthly Radiation Test Report Available- December 2015

December 3rd, 2015

Muzi D1-385

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

Aiya’s Black Friday Sale is Finally Here!

November 26th, 2015
 black friday preview

To our valued customers,

Aiya is happy to announce that our biggest sale of the year is FINALLY HERE! From now until Cyber Monday, you can save on all of our products: from Matcha tins and bags to loose leaf teas, and even gift sets. Whether it’s for you, your friends, or your family, it’s the perfect time to stock up on your favorite Aiya products!

The consumer and wholesale stores both have slightly different deals, so please make sure to read everything over. Feel free to email us at info@aiya-america.com if you have any questions.

For Consumers:

Enter the discount code “blackfriday2015″ (no spaces) at checkout on our online consumer store to receive 30% off your entire order!**

For Wholesale Customers*

Enter the discount code “blackfriday2015wh” (no spaces) at checkout on our online wholesale store to receive 15% off your entire order!**

Happy shopping!

 

gift set holidays

Shop Gift Sets:

Give the gift of health this holiday season with Aiya’s Matcha Gift Set, equipped with all necessary Matcha accessories and perfect for Matcha lovers and beginners alike.

 

**Discount only valid on products in stock at and purchased through our online wholesale and consumer stores respectively. Orders must be placed from 12 AM PST Friday, November 27, 2015 through 11:59 PM PST Monday November 30, 2015 to qualify. Respective codes must be used at checkout to receive discount. This promotion cannot be combined with any other promotions or discounts. Aiya reserves the right to change the terms of or terminate this promotion without prior notice. 

*Discount only valid for approved wholesale accounts. 

 

 

Holiday Inspired: Matcha Peppermint Lattes

November 25th, 2015

Matcha Peppermint Latte 1g

With winter coming up faster than ever, here’s a holiday inspired treat that is sure to get you excited for the chilly weather. Cozy up near the fireplace with this Matcha Peppermint latte, some blankets, and your favorite book (or person- this recipe makes 2). This latte is not only smooth and creamy and topped with fluffy marshmallows, but it also has a kick of peppermint to make you feel extra festive this holiday season.

Matcha Peppermint Latte 3

Serves 2

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Heat 2 cups of almond milk over medium-low heat.
  2. Take the almond milk off heat before it boils.
  3. Using a small hand sifter, sift the Matcha over the heated almond milk.
  4. Whisk the 2 tsp Matcha (add a little more for a stronger Matcha flavor) in the almond milk until incorporated.
  5. Add the peppermint extract and your choice of sweetener to the mixture and stir.
  6. Pour into 2 mugs and use an electric hand frother to create foam.
  7. Garnish with 1-2 homemade or store bought marshmallows, and enjoy!

Matcha Peppermint Latte 2c

Coming Soon: Aiya’s Biggest Sale of the Year!

November 23rd, 2015

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Aiya’s biggest sale of the year is coming back for 2015! Starting on Black Friday until the end of Cyber Monday, you can save on ALL Aiya products on our online store.**

With December right around the corner, it’s the perfect time to take advantage of this sale and get your holiday shopping done early this year! Check out our Matcha gift set, which is a perfect present for Matcha beginners and lovers alike, and our Matcha products, perfect for loved ones, friends, and yourself.

CODES will be released midnight of Black Friday, so make sure to keep your eye out for it! It will be posted here, sent out in a newsletter and also posted to our social media sites on Friday.

If you have any questions, feel free to email us at info@aiya-america.com.

Happy thanksgiving!

 

**Discount only valid on products in stock at and purchased through our online wholesale and consumer stores respectively. Orders must be placed from 12 AM PST Friday, November 27, 2015 through 11:59 PM PST Monday November 30, 2015 to qualify. Respective codes, which will be released at 12 AM PST on Friday Nov 27, 2015, must be used at checkout to receive discount. Aiya reserves the right to change the terms of or terminate this promotion without prior notice.

 

 

 

Earn Aiya Reward Points for Writing Product Reviews!

November 20th, 2015

aiya reward point photo blog

Want to earn $ to spend toward Aiya’s Online Store? Write us a product review!

From today until December 22nd, you can earn 5 reward points for every product review you write (1 point is redeemable for $1), up to 3 reviews – or 15 points**. No code or purchase is required. Remember, it’s almost time to start shopping for holiday gifts for your friends and loved ones, or even for yourself!

Make sure you are logged into your account to leave a review. That way, we can issue points to your account. If you’ve been using the guest check out feature on our online store and don’t have an account, you can easily create one for free. To leave a review:

  1. Click into the product you wish review.
  2. Click  to review the product (located right under the product name).
  3. If you are not logged in, it will bring you to a page with a log in button at the bottom.
  4. Write us a review! Your review will post once it is approved, and reward points will be added to the account used to write the review.

All that we ask is that you only review products that you’ve tried before. :- )

Feel free to email us at info@aiya-america.com if you have any questions.

And that’s it- happy shopping!

 

**Offer only valid on product reviews written when logged into an account associated with a unique email address. Reviews will be reviewed before posting to the site. Reward points will be added to account once review has been approved and posted; please allow 1-2 business days before seeing your points in your account. Offer only valid on product reviews written between 12:00 am PST on Friday, November 20th and 11:59 pm PST on Tuesday, December 22 2015. Aiya reserves the right to refuse points if review is inappropriate and to change the terms of or terminate this promotion without prior notice. 

 

Thanksgiving Inspired: Mini Matcha Apple Pies

November 18th, 2015

Matcha Apple Pie 6d

Happy (almost) Thanksgiving from all of us here at Aiya! With this festive holiday right around the corner, what better way to say thanks to friends and loved ones than by gifting them with something delicious and homemade? Made with Aiya’s Cooking Grade Matcha, these bite sized pies are flaky, buttery, and sweet on the inside. Not only are they adorable and fairly simple to make, but they are also small in size, which leaves you with tons of space in your stomach for all of the other delectable foods on Thanksgiving Day! Happy Baking!

Matcha Apple Pie 7c

Makes 20-24 mini pies

Ingredients:

Pie Crust

  • 2.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2.5 -3 Tbsp Aiya Cooking Grade Matcha
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 sticks + 1 Tbsp butter, cubed (very cold)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup milk or alt-milk (very cold)

Apple Filling

  • 3 granny smith apples, diced into tiny squares
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1-2 – 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice

Glaze

  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp water
  • 1-2 Tbsp sugar (large grain)

Matcha Apple Pie 8

Directions:

  1. Combine the flour, sugar, salt, and Matcha in a large bowl. Whisk everything together until the entire mixture takes on a light green color.
  2. Cut the cubed and cold butter into the flour mixture by rubbing it in between your fingertips until the largest pieces of butter are pea sized. (A pastry cutter works well, if you have one)
  3. Slowly add in the cold milk or alt milk. Gently mix the milk into the flour mixture with a rubber spatula until it forms a messy ball.
  4. Give the dough a couple of gentle kneads. Don’t knead the dough too much, and make sure you are gentle. There should still be chunks of butter marbled into the dough.
  5. Cut the dough into two pieces and flatten them slightly. Wrap the halves in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour or two.
  6. While the dough is chilling, make the apple filling. Start by cutting the apples into tiny cubes- the cubes should be smaller than 1/2 an inch. We will be making tiny pies, so apples that are too large may not fit.
  7. Mix the diced apples, sugar, cinnamon, flour, and lemon juice in a large bowl and set aside.
  8. Once the dough is chilled, preheat the oven to 380F.
  9. Roll the dough out on a well-floured surface. Make sure to flour the rolling pin as well. Once the dough is even and has a thickness of 1/3rd of a cm, cut out small circles with a circle cookie cutter (somewhere around 3-4 inches in diameter).
  10. Take the scraps and roll them out again, until all the dough is used up.
  11. Place a small amount of the apple mixture in the center of the crust circle. Make sure not to overfill- you want to leave enough space around the edges to seal the two crust circles together.
  12. Take another crust circle and spread it slightly thinner with your hands. Place over the circle with the apple mixture and seal shut with the back of a fork. Cut 3 slits on the top of the pies and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  13. Whisk the egg and 2 tsp water together and apply to the top of each pie with a cooking brush. Sprinkle with sugar and refrigerate for another 20 minutes.
  14. Once refrigerated, bake the pies for around 20-23 minutes, or until the edges become slightly golden brown.
  15. Share with friends 🙂
Matcha Apple Pie 3a

This is what the mini pies should look like before baking.

Matcha Apple Pie 9a

Matcha Apple Pie 5a

Matcha Apple Pie 2a

Aiya Matcha Monthly Radiation Test Report Available- November 2015

November 6th, 2015

稲荷山茶園公園

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