History and Heritage

History & Heritage

Pioneered by Sugita Aijirou, AIYA was established in 1888 as a local shop providing dyes and teas. "AIYA" was the nickname for Sugita's shop because he carried Aidama, an ingredient used in dyeing kimono clothes into an indigo color. This nickname became the official title of the company when it was incorporated. The company logo used today was also invented during this time. It may look like a pumpkin or flower, but it actually depicts the furrows in the tea fields.

When Aijirou first established his shop 120 years ago, AIYA was a company focused primarily on Gyokuro tea production. But Aijirou sought to move the business toward producing premium tea while utilizing the manufacturing method of Gyokuro, so he began producing shade grown Tencha, the raw material ground to make Matcha. First, Aijirou teamed with local tea producers to cultivate the Inari-yama Tea Park area. At the time of the 19th century, cultivating new fields required tremendous amounts of man power and hard hours, but by improving technologies they strived to create a stable environment for producing and harvesting tea.

Furthermore, Aijirou invested long hours toward improving the stone granite mill. His innovations to this centuries-old technology have been passed down and implemented in today's modern production facilities. And for 120 years since its establishment, AIYA's Matcha is still created by the same milling procedures cared for by Artisans that specialize in every aspect of this art.

Aijirou's tireless efforts and passion proved to be successful and Nishio's Matcha became widely distributed around Japan.