Choya

Osaka, Japan

More than half a century has passed since CHOYA embarked on the journey of producing Umeshu. Today, it is a brand with country-wide recognition, available across the whole of Japan. Umeshu has undergone significant changes over the years, particularly in terms of the alcohol in which the ume are soaked to produce the final beverage. At first, the fruit was soaked in koshu, a type of aged sake; this was later replaced with single-distilled shochu, then multiple-distilled shochu.

Daily life in Japan is given color and beauty by the country’s four distinct seasons. The beginning of summer brings with it the rainy season, which leaves the fruit of the ume trees ripe and rich with organic acids. Umeshu and umeboshi, dried ume fruit, are the result of this natural bounty of the season — with the addition of some human innovation. Ume has been celebrated in Japan since ancient times; the fruit is praised in many of the works in Manyoshu (An Anthology of Ten Thousand Leaves), Japan’s oldest collection of poetry. The ume is an integral part of Japan’s culture and nature, and the importance that Japanese people have placed in the ume over the years is testament to the central role of cuisine and of well-being in their daily lives..

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CHOYA was launched in 1914, as a viticulturist. An encounter with ume, a fruit grown in Japan to world-leading quality, led the company to begin developing a wide variety of products. Determined to continue exploiting boundless appetite for exploration and impressive technical expertise, developed through pioneering research, CHOYA strives to deliver outstanding products to consumers all around the world. Umeshu is the tool chosen to communicate the spirit of Japan to the rest of the world. This is the mission at CHOYA.

CHOYA has strict standards in place for each stage of production, from the careful selection of ume fruit to the steeping process, through to maturation. These standards allow the products to maintain their delicious taste consistently. The hope is to prompt customers to want to return, to seek out that delicious taste and wonderful aroma they know CHOYA can provide. At CHOYA, Umeshu has been primarily marketed as best enjoyed as an aperitif, promoting responsible alcohol consumption. However, it is not the only possibility for enjoying Umeshu. Just as the dinner table is a place of lively conversation in many Western countries, CHOYA envisions families gathered around the table to communicate, enjoy each other’s company, and share smiles. “Serving Up Smiles” is one of the mottos at CHOYA.

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To make delicious Umeshu, the first requirement is high-quality ume fruit. At CHOYA, they go much further, working with ume growers to research and develop ume ideally suited for use in Umeshu. This dedication is rooted in their strong sense of mission: to deliver delicious Umeshu, perfected in Japan’s climate and culture, to the rest of the world.

There are few things in this world that can truly enrich lives, providing long-term satisfaction and pleasure. CHOYA is always thinking about how their products can improve the lives of their customers, bringing joy and enhancing relaxation and enjoyment. They remain committed to innovating and improving so that customers can recognize the value of their products.

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