TSU, Mie Prefecture--In a nation filled with expensive fruit and food gifts, the Mie prefectural government and a teamaker have teamed to offer something for the well-heeled to wash them down with.
Ise Kabuse, a 720-millilter bottle of tea priced at 23,000 yen ($210), excluding tax, will be sold from February by the Maruha Teas Co.
The high-quality Ise-cha tea, brewed from leaves cultivated in the prefecture, boasts a rich, natural flavor and taste, according to officials of the project. It will be marketed to luxury hotels in the Tokyo metropolitan area.
The product name is derived from its ingredients, Kabuse-cha tea leaves, harvested in the Suizawa district in Yokkaichi in the prefecture, known as a fertile tea leaf-growing area.
"We intend to establish the brand image of Ise-cha tea," said Mie Governor Eikei Suzuki. "We also are eyeing the project to export the products overseas."
The prefecture produced the third highest amount of tea following Shizuoka and Kagoshima prefectures throughout 2017.
However, as the tea is not widely known nationwide, the strength of its brand should be enhanced by the luxury offering.
The prefectural government entrusted Maruha Teas with the development of a new product with funding of 2.05 million yen in 2017.
The tea production company, located in Yokkaichi, succeeded in transferring the flavor into bottles through a special method condensing the essence from Kabuse-cha tea leaves, according to the officials.
The high-end tea bottles will be available at the company's shop and online shopping sites from Feb. 1. Smaller 180-milliliter bottles will also be on shelves priced at 8,000 yen.