Green tea and Japan go hand in hand. Matcha green tea, well-known for the important part it plays in Japanese Tea ceremonies, now doubles as a high-grade ingredient for donuts, cakes, and ice creams. Even though customers can buy bottled tea and ice creams that cost no more than a few 200 yens (about a couple of dollars) made from low-grade green tea, there is demand for premium versions of the same. One company to cater to that demand is a green tea producer/ice cream maker in Shizuoka Prefecture – Oyaizu Seiichi.
For businesses in any industry concentrating on a single product is not enough to bring in revenue and increase profits, so they diversify product lines. In 2006 Oyaizu Seiichi diversified by opening a café to offer a collection of tea-flavored ice creams that included matcha, hojicha, jasmine and Darjeeling teas – priced at ¥360 ($3.20). This month they are adding some luxury to the collection with the introduction of Daijinsho (“Minister’s Award”) Matcha Ice Cream- to celebrate the accolades they received from Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries at the National Tea Products Awards.
The summer special is made from tencha green tea, which is grown in the shade before the leaves are steamed, dried, and completely removed of stems, stalks, and veins before being stone-ground. Oyaizu Seiichi received the award for producing the best tencha tea, which is always produced in small quantities – a fact evident in the Daijinsho Matcha ice cream that is limited to just 150 scoops and costs ¥1,800 ($16).
The limited edition Daijinsho Matcha Ice Cream will be available only on July 15 and 16. Because there isn’t enough of this version to go around, Oyaizu Seiichi is offering a free garnish on all of their other ice cream flavors – a gold powder topping. They also offer a ¥900 ($8) special version covered in gold paper.
Source: Rocket News