The bulk of Aiya's Matcha is grown in Nishio in the heart of Aichi Prefecture, Japan. A historic tea cultivating region dating back to the 1200s, Nishio’s stable climate, fresh pristine river waters, fertile soil, and remoteness from urban development foster tea leaves that are more resiliently green and full of nutrients. Currently, Aiya holds over 80% of the exclusive harvesting rights to the Nishio tea plantations.
The two most important tea growing areas for Aiya’s organic matcha are Toyota and Kagoshima. Located in the mountains at 600 m sea level, Toyota’s cooler climate acts as a natural barrier and protects the organic fields, as only a few insects survive in the colder temperature. Located in the southern edge of Japan, Kagoshima is an optimal location for organic teas because of its vast fields, mineral-rich volcanic soil, and remoteness from the city.
Family owned since 1888, Aiya is the world’s leading Matcha green tea producer, headquartered deep within Nishio of Aichi Prefecture, Japan, where the finest Matcha green tea has been grown for over 800 years.
Aiya was established in 1888 as a local shop providing dyes and teas. “Aiya,” the nickname for the shop which later became the official company title, was given because the shop carried “aidama,” an indigo-colored dye used on kimonos.
When first established, Aiya’s primary focus was on dyes and Gyokuro tea production. Soon thereafter, Aijiro sought to move the business toward producing more premium tea – Matcha. He teamed with local tea producers to cultivate new fields and worked tremendously hard in improving the technology of stone granite grinder mills to create a stable environment for the teas. His innovations to centuries-old technology are still used in today’s modern production facilities.
Aijiro Sugita I opens Sugita Shoten, a store specializing in the production and sale of tea and indigo.
Partnership firm Aiya Tea Shop founded. Aijiro II takes over the firm.
New headquarters and factory built.
Aiya Ltd founded. Aijiro III takes over the firm.
Organic tea plantation launched and cultivation of organically grown tea begins.
Aiya exports tea to North America and Quality Control Room installed - the first of its kind in the Matcha industry!
AIYA celebrates 100th Anniversary. Aijiro IV takes over the corporation.
Grinding mill numbers grow to 1,080 and daily production reaches 1200 kg with the completion of a second factory.
New headquarters are built and the concert hall is completed.
AIYA becomes the first Matcha producer to be certified by Japan Organic & Natural Foods Association (JONA).
New York and Vienna offices open. AIYA receives JAS (Japan Agriculture Standards) certification, organic certification from OCIA (USA) & IMO (Europe), Kosher, and ISO9001 certifications – all Matcha industry Firsts.
AIYA America relocates to Los Angeles from New York. New Matcha factory constructed, resulting in a 25% production increase.
AIYA opens Chinese branch in Zhejang, China for Chinese domestic supply. Aiya brings Matcha stone mills to China and opens China’s first Matcha factory. Aiya meets a new production record: 84 tons of Matcha tea per month.
AIYA receives AIB certification with “Superior” rating.
AIYA receives ISO 22000 certification - another first for the Matcha industry.
AIYA builds new Matcha facility to meet the growing global demand for Matcha.
Aiya receives Gluten-free and Non-GMO certifications.
Aiya takes pride in its tea farmers, who are an important part of the Aiya family.
Most of the tea farmers have worked exclusively with Aiya for multiple generations.
Dedicated to the wellness of its famers, Aiya purchases the entire annual crop of its farmers under pre-established guidelines, ensuring their ongoing income, even if a single crop cannot be used.
Aiya truly enjoys its long term relationships and looks forward to collaborating with the children and grandchildren of its tea farmers, as it has worked with their fathers and grandfathers generations before.
Aiya continually strives to improve product quality. Each step of production is thoroughly monitored and documented, while internal laboratory inspections are conducted to ensure that the final product conforms to stringent standards prior to shipment. Aiya holds a number of internal certifications that are unmatched in the industry: FSSC 22000, AIB (Superior), Organic Certifications by OMIC & JAS, Kosher, Halal, QAI, Gluten-Free and Non-GMO Certified.
Dedicated to giving back to the world, Aiya and a select group of Nishio farmers have been traveling to Southeast Asia biennially to help with the reforestation of mangrove and mahogany forests since 2001.
Why mangroves? Mangroves are unique trees that grow along the coasts, occupying both land and sea at the same time. This delicate ecosystem provides homes for fish and other species that find shelter in its roots. However, threats from global warming are putting these trees in great danger of deforestation. To counter global warming and prevent the destruction of homes for many species, we feel it is critical to preserve these forests.
So far, Aiya has been responsible for planting more than 72,000 trees in South East Asian countries.
2001: Phillippines, 40 people, 6,300 mangroves
2003: Thailand, 40 people, 12,300 mangroves
2005: Indonesia, 60 people, 4,200 mahoganies
2007: Thailand, 60 people, 13,000 mangroves
2009: Malaysia, 50 people, 5,000 mangroves
2011: Indonesia, 36 people, 6,000 mangroves
2013: Philippines, 35 people, 7,800 mangroves
2015: Vietnam, 38 people, 17,700 mangroves
Watch a short, 20 minute documentary video featuring Aiya’s history, the Nishio region, the manufacturing process, health benefits, and preparation of Matcha.