月別アーカイブ: 2018年11月

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Enhance your sake experience with three different sake cups!

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The combination of good sake and fine Japanese yakimono (pottery) is one the simple joys in life which can draw you in and absorb your attention to the exclusion of everythingelse, if even for just a few moments. Although there is much more to yakimono than only tokkuri (flasks) and guinomi (cups), the overlap of this special niche of the pottery world with the world of sake buzzes with a magic all its own.

Guinomi come in many different shapes and size and we would like to introduce different types of guinomi and how they affect the way sake tastes.

These Ikkon-hai cups are made in Gifu prefecture which is famous for its Mino-yaki pottery style. The shape of the cup brings out the characteristics of sake such as aroma and taste; and make sake tasting experience more enjoyable.

Wanguri (Wide Mouth) Cup

This sake cup has moderate opening, which allows plenty of sake to fall into the center of your tongue. It will make you enjoy the flavor for a long time filled with umami and sweetness.

This cup is recommended for rich taste, light aroma sake. It is especially suitable for junmai sake since it is a sake with pure and sweet taste of rice and rich umami flavor.

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Rappa (Trumpet) Ctyle Cup

This trumpet-shaped cup fills the mouth with sake and brings high aroma through throat to nose. You can fully enjoy the fragrance. This cup is suitable for ginjo or daiginjo sake which are highly aromatic.

A wide opening will let you feel aroma as soon as you bring the cup close to your mouth. When you drink from this type of cup, sake will enter horizontally in front of your mouth. Sake will spread to the left and right in the mouth all the while until it reaches the throat; and you will be able to feel the scent travelling from the back of the palate to the nose.

We recommend this cup when you want to enjoy the aroma of the sake.

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Tsubomi (Tulip) Shaped Cup

The opening of the cup is small, therefore it hits your nose directly and does not incline. It keeps the aroma inside the cup and your nose act as a lid locking in the aroma inside of the cup. The fragrance goes straight into the nose and reaches the tip of your tongue.

The tulip shaped cup is designed to enjoy sipping sake which has more aroma and bold taste.

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Recommened sake

We recommend a fragrant sake to go with the cups. Try Eikun Koto Sennen Junmai Ginjo sake with each cup and change your tasting experience.

It is a junmai ginjo sake which is very fragrant and super clean. It has a fruity sweet and sour fragrance reminiscent of grapefruit, mandarin orange, pineapple and yogurt slowly spreads in the mouth until the very end of the palate. It is made from Iwai rice which gives this sake a smooth mouthfeel. Compared with light taste daiginjo this sake has more pronounced sharpness as it strikes your palate, however aftertaste is refreshing and light.

We invite you enjoy this sake with each of the cups and enjoy and discover how the same sake can taste so different depending on the choice of the sake cup. We let you decide which cup is the best for Eikun Koto Sennen Junmai Ginjo!

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Yuzu Umeshu Goes Well with Kinpira Gobo!

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Umeshu is a traditional Japanese liqueur made by steeping plums in alcohol and sugar. It is a popular drink due to it sweet and sour taste, and relatively low alcohol content which makes it easy to drink and can be enjoyed even by people who generally dislike alcohol.

Some umeshu have other fruits and flavor added such as yuzu, orange, shiso, honey, etc.

We would like to introduce Yuzu Umeshu from Nakano BC. Yuzu Umeshu comes with a sweetness and sourness of ume, and refreshing taste of yuzu.

Nakano BC uses a superior quality Nankō ume to make its umeshu. To preserve the delicious flavor of ume, the brewing tanks are managed by a team of skilled workers who carefully check the acidity and sweetness of umeshu, mixing the fruit and changing tanks as necessary. The umeshu is ready after around a year and a half.

Yuzu juice, which was extracted from fruits in Shikoku Island is added into umeshu liqueur. Kochi prefecture in Shikoku island is the number one producer of yuzu in Japan. This blend is sweet and refreshingly sour with a subtle bitterness.

Yuzu umeshu can go well with many kinds of foods depending on how you drink it. When drinking yuzu umeshu straight, the sweet and sour taste is highly concentrated, so it is best paired with food that has a strong flavor. Salty and spicy foods are an especially great combination with yuzu umeshu when enjoyed straight.

Recommendation pairing

Since yuzu umeshu goes best with foods that have strong flavor we recommend pairing it with kinpira.

It is a simple traditional style of Japanese cooking which is a big part of family life and many of the Japanese use our original kinpira recipe passed down from generation to generation, and it is even served in school lunch!

It can be summarized as a technique of “sauté and simmer”. Most recipes use finely sliced root vegetables with spices. Commonly used ingredients are root vegetables such as carrot, burdock (to make kinpira gobo) and lotus root, seaweeds such as arame and hijiki and other foods including tofu and wheat gluten (namafu), and even meat (chicken, pork, beef).

One of the most popular kinpira style dishes is kinpira gobo. It is made from sliced carrot and burdock root cooked in soy sauce, topped with sesame seeds

Burdock root which is rich in dietary fiber and excellent source of vitamin B so it is also a very healthy dish!

Sunyo Kinpira Gobo is seasoned and ready to eat form the can. Just open it, warm it up and enjoy with the refreshing Nakano BC Yuzu Umeshu!

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Learn about Yeast No. 9 and Its Importance in Ginjo Making

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Yeast is unarguably one of the most important ingredients in sake brewing. To summarize the sake brewing process very briefly, starch in rice grains is converted to glucose by koji while the glucose is converted to alcohol and carbon hydrate by yeasts (simultaneous fermentation). Thus yeast, or kobo (酵母) in Japanese, needs to stay active throughout the moromi (mash) fermentation process. In general, yeasts tend to produce good aromas when exposed to hard conditions. However, if unable to withstand the hard conditions, they may produce undesirable flavors and aromas, or stop fermenting. Accordingly, a variety of yeasts are distributed from Japan Brewery Association, originally collected from the moromi of sake breweries all over Japan. This collection of yeasts is distributed by an association which is known in Japan as Kyokai Kobo (きょうかい酵母).

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There are many different yeasts and they are usually called by their number (No 7, No. 9, etc.). You might be wondering why there is a necessity for such a variety of yeasts.

During the alcoholic fermentation, yeast produces by-products such as acid, amino acid, aroma components (esters) and the like which all have substantial effects to the aroma and the flavor of the final product. The nature of those by-products is different depending on the types of yeasts. Also, the temperature at which they are most active varies with the types of yeasts. Therefore, sake breweries decide which type of yeast to use depending on the brewing method and the sake they wish to produce.

No. 9 is the most common yeast used in ginjo sake. In fact, it is used for ginjo by so many breweries that it is sometimes called “the base of modern ginjo sake”. No. 9 gives ginjoshu that fuity aroma which is enjoyed so much by ginjoshu fans around the world.

This yeast, also known Kumamoto Kobo, was isolated around 1953 by Nojiro Kinichi at the Kumamoto Prefectural Brewing Research Centre (Kumamoto Shuzo Kenkyusho).

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Let us explain what is so special about it. In brewing, it ferments thoroughly and slowly at low temperatures, allowing brewers to control the fermentation closely. This results in wonderfully smooth and elegant flavors, good aromatic acid content, and fine fruity aromas reminiscent of apple and melon. Well balanced, clean and bright sake is the trademark of this yeast strain. There is nothing quite like classic No. 9 flavors and aromas in a sake.

Kumamoto Shuzo Kenkyusho is well-known for developing number 9 yeast but they are more that that. They are also makers of extremely high-quality sake brand known as ‘Koro’.

In general, sake from Kyushu is more bitter and acidic compared to sake from other regions. However, Koro Junmai Ginjo is not your typical Kyushu sake. It has a very rich flavor that spreads in your mouth. The number 9 yeast gives this sake a unique flavor; slightly fruity, with a hint of strawberries.

We invite you to try the finest quality sake from the brewery which created Yeast No.9!

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Juicy Fried Gyoza and Echigo Koshihikari Rice Beer!

Gyoza (餃子) or Japanese dumplings is as widespread as ramen in Japan. You can find these mouthwatering dumplings being served at specialty shops, izakaya, ramen shops, grocery stores or even at festivals. Often served in a group of six or eight, Japanese enjoy gyoza not only as snack but also as a main meal alone. They come in carb, vegetables and protein in one parcel after all.

Japanese cuisine has adapted the traditional recipe of Chinese dumpling to the taste of their own. This Japanese dumpling is directly descended from the Chinese jiaozi, which consists of an outer skin of wheat-based dough encasing a pork and a vegetable stuffing.

This Japanese dumpling is shaped like a half-moon. It differs from its Chinese counterpart in the texture of its dough and the seasoning of its stuffing: gyoza contain more garlic, and the dough is generally thinner and lighter. It can be browned (yaki-gyoza), boiled (sui-gyoza) or deep-fried (age-gyoza).

Yaki gyoza is the most common way of cooking dumplings in Japan: the dumplings are fried on one side in a frying pan, then water mixed with a little cornstarch is added to the hot pan before being covered for a few minutes. While cooking, dumplings sometimes become attached to each other forming one unit. These are called hanetsuki gyoza, literally “winged gyoza”. These gyoza are then served with the grilled side facing upwards.

What is the best drink to go well with fried gyoza? If you guessed beer you are right!

Speaking of beer, it is distinguished by its bittersweet taste and carbonation. This bitter sweetness fits well with the rich tasting gyoza. Gyoza is very juicy but also quite a bit oily so beer will have a refreshing effect on the greasy feeling and carbonation will clean your mouth. Also, beer has a low alcohol degree, so it can be drunk swiftly. That is why both gyoza and beer are a perfect combination.

The beer we recommend is Echigo Koshihikari Rice Lager.

Echigo Koshihikari Beer is the flagship brand of Echigo Brewery. It is a rice style lager with 5% alcohol. While the malt ingredient is imported from Europe, the rice is harvested literally from the backyard of Echigo Brewery. Though this beer is categorized as being dry, the brewery uses the time-consuming German decoction method to bring out the natural sweet flavor from the Niigata grown Koshihikari rice, which can appeal even to those who do not like dry beer.

It’s a pale golden color that comes out of the bottle, with a strong head that quickly fades. It has a slightly acidic tang to the regular lager flavor, but it is not too overpowering. The beer has a crisp and refreshing flavor, and exceptionally soothing and smooth quality. The sweet aroma of rice, and eloquent fragrance of hops, make it the perfect complement to any dish.

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Christmas is just around the corner and we have a special lineup for Christmas!!!

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Don’t miss this Christmas special offer!!

Christmas is just around the corner and we have a special lineup for Christmas!!

We hope you will take this opportunity and treat yourself or someone to these special Christmas  products!!
The streets are in full Christmas mode and everyone is getting excited.
These sake products go well with Christmas scene and are great as a Christmas present.
If you purchased more than 100 dollars, 500 ml or more, we will give you an organdie bag present until December 31, 2018.
(※The colour of Sake cup, Sake cup wrapping paper and organdie bag may be different from the photos.)

Kizakura Tokusen Hana Kizakura Christmas Gift Set 300ml
Hana Kizakura is clean, light and semi sweet Junmai Ginjo sake with beautiful floral
fragrance up front from Kizakura original Hana Kobo (flower yeast) and crisp finish at the
end. Alcohol contents are only 12% so the attack on a front palate is soft and gentle.
Best drink chilled.

【 2 x 50cc Sake cups in an organdie bag】・・・Please pour the liquor into it  and enjoy  good point with drinking to the smell, the taste. You feel a liquor little in the tip of tongue. To the person who wants to enjoy slowly both the fragrance and the taste well.

黄桜特選 花黄桜特選 花
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Aai Sparkling Sake Christmas Gift Set 330ml
Sparkling with Japanese blue, quietly shinning blue & slim body. It is a sake new style.
Super clean taste, Serve chilled and enjoy it in a flute glass.

【 2 x 50cc Sake cups in an organdie bag】 ・・・Pour the liquor into the cups  and enjoy  good point with drinking to the smell, the taste. You feel a liquor little in the tip of tongue. To the person who wants to enjoy slowly both the fragrance and the taste well.

Aai2Aai Sparkling

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Kizakura Nigori Sake Christmas Gift Set 300ml
Nigorizake is unfiltered sake and often called cloudy sake in English. Normally, once the
fermentation is finished, sake is pressed and divided into clear sake and the white lees. But
using the rougher filter to let the little lees go with clean sake is a way to make Nigorizake.
Kizakura Nigorizake is a fresh light flavoured low alcohol Nigorizake. It has a mild sweet
and sour taste reminiscent of yogurt and it is best chilled or on the ice.

【 2 x 50cc Sake cups in an organdie bag】・・・Please pour the liquor into it  and enjoy  good point with drinking to the smell, the taste. You feel a liquor little in the tip of tongue. To the person who wants to enjoy slowly both the fragrance and the taste well.

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Eikun Junmai Ginjo Koto Sennen Christmas Gift Set 300ml
This junmai sake is named after Kyoto, the city with a long and rich history. 100% of Kyoto-
produced premium rice, Iwaimai is used, giving this full-bodied junmai a smooth
mouthfeel and a clean finish. Served chilled.

【 2 x 50cc Sake cups in an organdie bag】・・・Please pour the liquor into the cup and enjoy good point with drinking to the smell, the taste. You feel a liquor little in the tip of tongue. To the person who wants to enjoy slowly both the fragrance and the taste well.

古都千年2古都千年

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Kotsuzumi Junmai Ginjo Hana Fubuki Christmas Gift 300ml
This beautiful clear blue bottled sake is Hyogo, Tanba’s premium brewery Nishiyama
Shuzo’s premium Junmai Ginjo. Super clean & fruity sake reminding pineapple or banana
made from Nishiyama Shuzo’s famous world well water meeting up with 55% polished
down Gohyakumangoku premium sake rice. The label design is done by a Japanese artist
Mr. Hirosuke Watanuki express the flower show over Mt. Fuji. Drink chilled at the beginning
or middle of a meal.

【 2 x 50cc Sake cups in an organdie bag】 ・・・Pour the liquor into it  and enjoy  good point with drinking to the smell, the taste. You feel a liquor little in the tip of tongue. To the person who wants to enjoy slowly both the fragrance and the taste well.

花吹雪2純米吟醸花吹雪

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