Steeped in Japan’s Finest Tea-Making Tradition, Iyemon Cha, Premium Japanese Green Tea Launches in San Francisco



SAN FRANCISCO, CA, April 25, 2008-Iyemon Cha, a refreshing new premium bottled Japanese green tea from Suntory to be distributed by Calistoga Beverage Company, a subsidiary of Nestlé Waters North America, makes its U.S. debut this May in San Francisco, the first stop on a planned national rollout.  Free of preservatives and sweeteners, this pure, all-natural organic green tea is steeped in rich tea-making tradition.  Iyemon Cha (pronounced ee-yeh-mon cha) is available in two varieties: Original Green Tea and Roasted Green Tea.


The world’s finest green tea or “cha” (Japanese for tea) comes from Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan and the original source of Japanese green tea.  It is here that Iyemon Cha is made at the esteemed tea company, Fukujuen, founded more than two centuries ago in 1790 and today one of Japan‘s top three sellers of leaf tea.  Iyemon Cha is the only bottled green tea from this historic purveyor of fine teas, now available in America for the first time.


Iyemon Cha is exquisitely smooth and refreshing with a refined flavor that contains not a hint of bitterness.  The tea is masterfully blended by Fukujuen’s internationally revered master green tea blender, Ryozo Taniguchi, who hand selects only the finest 100% USDA approved organic tea leaves for blending.



Iyemon Cha is the only bottled tea in the world to add a touch of matcha, a stone-ground tea of the highest quality, for extra richness.  Matcha is made from the finest, youngest leaves of the tea bush, which is covered for several weeks before harvest to slow down growth, imparting a more intense sweetness and depth of flavor when pulverized into a fine powder.  Prized for its superior quality, matcha is the centerpiece of the traditional Japanese tea ceremony and a unique, essential ingredient in Iyemon Cha.


“Green tea has exploded in popularity in America, but most bottled green tea on the market today is fruit flavored, artificially sweetened, and loaded with unnecessary preservatives:  It’s not a pure green tea experience at all,” said Naoto Okinaka, Brand Manager, Beverage & Food Division, Suntory Ltd., which is introducing Iyemon Cha in the U.S.  “Iyemon Cha is the first bottled premium Japanese green tea that offers an authentic, deliciously pure premium green tea experience.  It is organic green tea as it was meant to be.”


Iyemon Cha is made entirely in Japan from 100% Japanese tea leaves using the purest refined water to bring out the best flavor.  It is imported from Japan and bottled in a stylish, environmentally conscious glass bottle (12.2oz /361 ml) with a suggested retail price of $2.75.


Two Varieties: Original and Roasted Green Tea

Iyemon Cha Original Green Tea (sencha) has a smooth, refined, refreshing flavor. Unlike other teas, Iyemon Cha Original Green Tea is made from smaller leaves, selected for freshness, color and uniformity.  The tea leaves are steamed shortly after being plucked to prevent oxidation, then quickly dried until curled.  This helps to preserve the tea’s vivid green color and results in a smooth, refreshing flavor with a crisp, clean finish.


Iyemon Cha Roasted Green Tea (hojicha) has a delicious, full flavor and toasty aroma.  The roasting process, first created in Kyoto, makes this tea unlike any other Japanese green tea and gives Iyemon Cha Roasted Green Tea its reddish-brown color, toasty aroma and deliciously full-bodied flavor.



Iyemon Cha is being launched by Calistoga Beverage Company, a Nestlé Waters North America subsidiary, and Suntory, one of the world’s leading food and beverage companies.  Iyemon Cha will initially be available at select on- and off-premise locations, including high-end restaurants, particularly but not exclusively Japanese restaurants, and premium retailers.


Iyemon Cha was introduced in Japan in 2004, where ready-to-drink tea is an even more competitive category than it is in the U.S.  Iyemon Cha broke the 1 billion yen sales mark in record time to become Japan‘s fastest growing ready-to-drink tea, with 52 million cases sold in 2007.


About Suntory

Suntory Ltd. is one of the world’s leading food and beverage companies.  Founded in Japan in 1899, Suntory’s businesses today encompass a wide range of food and beverage products from soft drinks, liquor and beer, to floral products and restaurants.  With their head office in Osaka, Suntory Group comprises more than 180 companies operating in more than 20 countries.  Suntory has successfully launched countless alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, including:  Suntory Oolong Tea, BOSS coffee, Suntory Natural Mineral Water, Natchan Orange, Suntory Beer, Yamazaki Single Malt Whisky and Midori melon liqueur, to name a few. Active in corporate philanthropy, Suntory is an ardent supporter of art and culture throughout Japan.  For more information please visit


About Nestlé Waters North America, Inc.

Nestlé Waters North America’s family of 15 well-known brands includes Nestle® Pure Life®, Ozarka®, Poland Spring®, Arrowhead®, Deer Park®, Ice Mountain®, and Zephyrhills®. Nestlé Waters North America also imports globally recognized bottled water brands such as Perrier and S.Pellegrino. The company is part of Nestlé Waters, based in Paris, the bottled water division of the Swiss company, Nestlé, S.A.


About Calistoga Beverage Company

Calistoga Beverage Company, located in Northern California’s Napa Valley, has been serving high-quality, crisp, clean mineral water from its source since 1924.  The brand consists of CalistogaÒ Brand Premium Water, CalistogaÒ Brand Sparkling Mineral Water, and CalistogaÒ Brand Sparkling Organic Juice Beverages offered in a variety of flavors.  After being sold to Nestlé Waters North America in 1980, Calistoga has maintained the consistency of its 80 years of business in Northern California bottling and distributing water products.  Calistoga continues to operate in a manner that is conscientious of their deeply rooted past in order to ensure the integrity of their product in the future.  To learn more about Calistoga Beverage Company, please visit 

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