Yet Another New Tea


Coca-Cola has thrown their hat in the ring again. I wrote a couple times about the new trend in bottled teas: here and here. While picking up some light fare at a convenience store I spotted Ayataka (綾鷹) and was compelled to buy a bottle. One reason was the unique design; another was to continue this thread of posts; but the strongest was to berate the company and the product.

The new bottles stand out sharply on the rack, which any marketing personnel would say with a mark of pride. Naturally, people won’t choose to buy the thing they don’t notice. However, there is a downside (for me, at least) in this uniqueness. Here’s a few points that grabbed my attention:

  1. Label has textured appearance of traditional silk fabric
  2. Bottle has inverted soft pyramid surface
  3. Size is 425 ml

Number one and two are nice: I will never suggest that Coke scrimps on design and advertising costs. I think the gold silk with slightly exposed dashes of rough green silk is the traditional aya (綾) which is the first character in the name of this tea. It was a bold move to step apart from the bamboo appearance of the competing products. They are still maintaining a tradition and nostalgia-related connection, which is what drives this market. Like the other products they clearly proclaim that the tea is from one of the famous areas (宇治) for production.

From the imagery on their website, it seems they are using the pyramid imprints in the bottle to make it look like fine crystal. Personally, I like the glass they show, but it doesn’t ring of tradition; just luxury.

The clincher for me was the bottle size. By making their bottle 15% smaller, they increase the unit price by almost 18%. Seems kind of sneaky to me. I think the size on the rack looks close enough that most folks won’t consciously note it; they’ll just find that it draws their attention as looking different.

Ayataka’s website is by far the most luxurious-looking of all, but a lot of features don’t function well. Aspect ratio is odd, requiring scrolling in an application that looks like a single screen. Menu items overlap or don’t appear. News reports are scrambled and I can’t find how to properly un-encode them. The coolest application doesn’t seem to work at all: the Kamon Generator.

Kamon (家紋) are Japanese family crests. Entering your name and birthdate into a form is supposed to return a kamon. I can’t seem to enter data by any method, in English or Japanese. I am totally bummed. I wanted to see what kind of crest it would give me; after all, it claims that you can plan the type of future you should have from the crest that’s generated. I thought it was pretty bad form to put all sorts of money into a website and have it function as it does.

Anyhow, I still like the Iemon.


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