HISTORY

The History of Aiya

In 1888 Aijiro Sugita set up a shop selling tea and kimono fabrics. Aijiro had been skilled in two things more than anything: the production of matcha and the dyeing of kimono fabrics. When it came to dyeing fabrics indigo, he used a substance known as “Aidama”. From this word the name “Aiya” originated, which nowadays serves as the official name of our company.

And even now, almost 130 years after Aijiro began producing matcha, Matcha tea at Aiya is being ground according to traditional and high-quality methods in granite stone grinders.

1888

Aijiro Sugita I opens his shop ``Sugita Shoten``, which specialises in the production and sale of tea and indigo.

1898

AIYA sells matcha throughout Aichi.

1912

AIYA now owns exclusive rights to 35 hectares of tea plantations.

1922

Aijiro II takes over the company from his father.

1935

The company’s headquarters and factory are reconstructed.

1950

Aijiro III takes over the company.

1960-69

Daily production is expanded to 400 kg, the number of stone grinders now reaches 320.

1970-84

Daily production rises to 1000 kg.

1978

Beginning of cultivation of organic matcha.

1983

AIYA starts exporting tea to North America.

1985

AIYA is the first matcha producer to install its own quality controls with an associated laboratory.

1989

AIYA celebrates its 100th birthday.

Aijiro IV takes over AIYA. Affiliate company Meihoen is founded to support tea farmers in cultivation and production.

1990

The number of stone grinders is increased to 1080. With the simultaneous production of the second tea factory, AIYA is able to produce up to 1,200 kg a day.

1992

AIYA installs a production line that can produce tea with a significant reduction in bacteria, and is the first matcha company in Japan to do so.

1993

Creation of a new tencha processing factory and a new refrigerated warehouse with 360-ton cooling capacity.

1999

AIYA is the first matcha-producing company to be awarded ISO9002 certification.

2001

AIYA opens two branch offices in New York and Vienna. AIYA’s matcha is awarded the newly created JAS certification (Japan’s organic standard).

2002

AIYA matcha is the first to be certified as organic internationally, by OCIA (USA) and IMO (Europe). At the same time, AIYA is likewise the first matcha company to be certified as kosher. AIYA develops a colour-fast variety of matcha tea, matcha MT-21. The production process is patented worldwide.

2004

AIYA builds a new matcha factory, production rises by 25%.

2005

AIYA opens a Chinese subsidiary in Zhejiang, China, and begins tea production in the mother country of tea. AIYA sets a new production record at 84 tons of matcha per month.

2007

AIYA is awarded the stringent AIB certification with the distinction ``Superior``.

2008

AIYA Europe is relocated from Vienna in Austria to Europe’s tea capital Hamburg. AIYA is the first matcha company to be awarded ISO 22000 certification.

2009

AIYA Europe launched its own brand under the name aiya – THE TEA in Europe