This is an image of Aiya Japan headquarters in the mid-1950s.

Bridging tradition and innovation, Aiya Matcha has been producing premium Japanese Matcha green tea since 1888, and has been owned by the same family since the beginning. Join us as we tell the Aiya story and celebrate our 130th anniversary all month long!

Click here to jump to our May birthday festivities.

 

Foundation: The Aiya Story

1888

Founded in 1888 in the small town of Nishio, Aijiro Sugita I opened Sugita Shoten, a local shop specializing in the production and sale of Gyokuro green tea and indigo dye. The business was nicknamed “Aiya” because the shop carried aidama, an indigo colored dye used on kimonos.

1922

Soon thereafter, Aijiro I sought to move the business toward producing a more premium tea varietal – Matcha green tea. In 1922, Aiya Tea Store Limited Partnership Company was established and Aijiro Sugita II took over. During his presidency, Aijiro II decided to discontinue the production of dyes in favor of focusing strictly on Matcha green tea production.

1950

In the mid-1950s, despite the setbacks of World War II, the Tonankai earthquake, and the Mikawa earthquake, Aiya persevered and continued to produce high-quality tea. While Japan was in reconstruction mode, Aiya Limited was established in 1950 and the third president, Aijiro III, was inaugurated. During his term, he successfully boosted production capacity by looking into new ways to grow and produce an organic Matcha tea varietal.

1988

Aiya’s centennial celebrations in the late 80’s not only marked the transition of Aijiro III to Aijiro IV, but also marked the start of a long-term partnership with the raw material supplier, Meihoenseicha, Ltd. This strategic move immediately stabilized production and improved quality with raw material producers.

2001

At the turn of the 21st century, looking to spread the goodness of Matcha across borders, Aijiro IV and his two sons, Takeo and Fumi, embarked on a mission to open new offices in the United States and Europe. In 2001, Aiya’s first subsidiary, Aiya America, was established in New York. A few years later, the office relocated to Los Angeles. Since inception, Fumi has taken on the role of Aiya America’s President.

2018

Last year, Aijiro IV announced his retirement, and started the official transition of Takeo as the fifth generation Aiya president in 2018. Nowadays, Aiya Matcha thrives with international representation in over three continents and five countries: Japan, United States, Germany, China, and Thailand. With over 100 team members, this small company has grown its Matcha family exponentially and evolved into the largest producer of Matcha in the world.

 

Innovation: Tradition Meets Technology

Pioneered by Aijiro I, Aiya became one of the first Matcha companies to invest in modern Matcha production technology. Starting in the early 1900s, Aijiro I and local tea producers in the Nishio area worked to produce Gyokuro with a higher commercial value. Together, they established the cultivation technique of covering the green tea leaves before harvest. Another notable innovation was Aijiro’s improvement to stone granite grinder mills, which create a more stable environment for the Matcha powder.

In the late 90’s, Aiya obtained the organic cultivation certification from JONA (Japan Organic and Natural Foods Association). With ceaseless trials and errors, organic cultivation of Tencha was a huge win for Aiya, since that process was considered impossible at the time. In 1999, Aiya obtained ISO 9002 (Quality Management System). In the next decade, Aiya went on to gain various other domestic and international certifications including: OCIA, IMO, Kosher, ISO 9001, AIB Superior, OMIC (JAS, USDA, EU), ISO 22000, FSSC 22000, Halal, Gluten-Free, and Non-GMO.

Never compromising quality and care, Aiya continues to seek constant improvement and oversee all phases of the Matcha production process, from seed to bowl. Aijiro’s innovations to centuries-old technology are still implemented in today’s modern production facilities, and his high standards have led to an impressive streak of no product recalls in Aiya’s 130-year history.

 

Celebration: 130 Years of Matcha

Celebrate 130 years of Matcha with us! During the month of May, consumers will receive a FREE box of Matcha Zen Café Blend sticks with every consumer order.

Not to mention, weekly birthday giveaways on Facebook and Instagram with these amazing brands: Manuka Honey, Torie & Howard®, D’vash Organics, and Milk & Eggs! Follow our social media accounts to stay in the loop.

What’s a birthday party without something sweet? For some culinary inspiration, check out our tried and true assortment of Matcha desserts made by our talented blogger partners. From modest marce’s mouthwatering Matcha White Chocolate Cake to Eat Drink Shrink’s Vegan Matcha Crepe Cake, you definitely will not be disappointed. All in all, you can have your (Matcha) cake and eat it too!  

(PS- Not into cake? Stick around for Matcha Ice Cream Sundaes!)

 

 

As always, thank you to our valued customers for your continued support. We would not be here without you. Cheers to 130 years!

 


 

Consumers: FREE* box of Matcha Zen Café Blend sticks with every consumer purchase; no code required!

 

 

 


Terms & Conditions:

*Promotion valid only on products in stock and purchased through our online consumer store. Orders must be placed from 12:00 AM PST Wednesday, May 2nd, 2018 through 11:59 PM PST Thursday, May 31st, 2018 to qualify. No codes required. Aiya reserves the right to change the terms of or terminate this promotion without prior notice.