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The Arrival of Ume Season

06.01.2023 | Blog

The Arrival of Ume Season

As the month of June approaches, many in Japan eagerly await the arrival of Ume season, the time when the sweet and sour fruit is ripe for harvesting. For CHOYA, a leading producer of Umeshu, June also marks the beginning of the Umeshu-making process.

Umeshu is a popular Japanese liqueur made from steeping Ume fruit in alcohol and sugar. At CHOYA, only the finest Japanese Ume fruit is used in their products, including Kishu Nanko Ume, Kojou Ume, and Shirokaga Ume, which are known for their high acidity and thick flesh. These varieties are carefully selected for their unique flavor profiles and suitability for Umeshu-making.

Wash fresh Ume fruit

Once the fresh Ume fruit is received from farms, each individual fruit is delicately washed and steeped in CHOYA's special aging tanks. These tanks are designed to protect against external factors such as air, light, and heat, ensuring that the Ume fruit is aged to perfection. CHOYA has a total of 446 custom-designed aging tanks at their factories in Iga-Ueno, Kishu, and Osaka Kawamukai, with each tank holding up to 100,000 liters of Umeshu.

Despite the large scale of production, CHOYA still employs many traditional methods to ensure the highest quality of their products. Some processes, such as washing the Ume fruit, are still done by hand, and every batch of Umeshu is carefully monitored and analyzed for its unique flavor profile. CHOYA also uses proprietary blending techniques to deliver consistently delicious products, taking into account the different components of pure Umeshu that can vary from tank to tank.

Ume aging process

The aging process is critical to producing high-quality Umeshu, as it allows the flavors and aromas of the Ume fruit to fully develop and meld with the alcohol and sugar. At CHOYA, the Ume fruit is steeped for approximately one year or more, depending on the origin, variety, and maturity level of the fruit. This allows the Umeshu to develop a complex and layered flavor profile, with notes of sweet and sour that are both refreshing and satisfying.

For fans of Umeshu, now is the perfect time to stock up on this unique and flavorful drink. Umeshu can be enjoyed in many different ways, such as straight, on the rocks, or mixed with soda or water. It is a versatile drink that can be enjoyed in many different settings and occasions, from relaxing at home to celebrating with friends and family.

So, raise a glass to the Ume fruit and the delicious Umeshu that it helps to create. With its rich history and unique flavor, Umeshu is truly a drink to savor and enjoy.

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