Tea's Tea Offers a Brew of Distinction

A Japanese company brings the champagne of teas to a fiercely competitive U.S. market. The upmarket Asian touches may spark interest

In a consumer world full of sweetened drink choices, a Japanese firm is defying the trend by producing 100 percent pure tea in a bottle. Teas' Tea from Japanese green tea titan Ito En is essentially an American version of Japan's famous "Oi Cha" tea.

Ito En, a publicly traded company on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, was the first company to make canned, ready-to-drink green tea products; it owes a great deal of its success to a manufacturing process that preserves fresh tea quality without the aftertaste associated with canned beverages.

For the American version, Teas' Tea uses purified water, high-grade loose tea leaves and vitamin C as its only ingredients. Tea "flavors" range from traditional green tea to green-tea combinations such as rose, lemongrass, and jasmine. The brand also offers traditional Chinese golden oolong tea. Bottles are 500ml to 2 liters and are mostly sold through Whole Foods and other boutique natural food stores.

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