Zojirushi won a World Tea Award for Best Tea Accessory at World Tea Expo in June. President and CEO Tatsu Yamasaki shares what sets Zojirushi’s vacuum insulated mugs apart from the rest in this Q&A.
How did it feel to win this award?
It was a pleasant surprise for all of us at Zojirushi. Thank you. It is a great honor to accept an award from the leading tea trade show World Tea Expo, to have the opportunity to be a part of the tea community and a moment to remember for all of us.
Can you tell me about the process of how these products are developed?
Zojirushi has been manufacturing vacuum insulated products since 1918, and making improvements over the last century. What is most important to us is product quality, safety, usability and to manufacture products that improve the quality of our customers’ lives, whether with superb heat retention, exciting and beautiful colors or easy-to-clean features.
Tell me about the vacuum insulation used in making these containers.
Vacuum insulation provides the best heat retention. Vacuum means the air between the outer and inner layers of stainless steel has been removed to create a vacuum insulation. It blocks heat from transferring through air (conduction). Our vacuum insulation also features a copper or aluminum layer that is tightly wrapped around the outside of the inner stainless steel layer. This copper or aluminum layer reflects heat (radiation), further minimizing the temperature change. Additionally, the lids are designed to be insulated and close tightly to block heat from escaping through the top opening (convection). We pride our vacuum insulation as the best in industry. Because we’ve been doing it for so long, we have many proprietary techniques to ensure the best insulation. Additionally, we have tight control over quality with multiple inspections before shipment.
Can you describe Zojirushi’s quality standards?
Quality is what is most important to Zojirushi. From the moment the development process begins, during manufacturing and even after they are on the market, products go through several inspections and rigorous testing to ensure consistent and high quality.
Why do you think retailers should carry Zojirushi’s?
Because the bottle that holds high-quality tea should also be high quality. Our mugs and bottles not only promise the best insulation, but they are designed to be lightweight and compact by utilizing new technology that allows for minimal use of materials and creating a vacuum insulation layer that is about 1 mm in thickness without compromising heat retention properties.
Does Zojirushi have any additional innovative tea accessories in the works?
We are considering coming out with a larger capacity vacuum insulated mug with a tea infuser.
What can we expect next from Zojirushi?
We are working on more vacuum insulated mugs and bottles in a variety of colors and sizes, as well as a new water boiler for home use.
Where does the company see tea going?
Tea is definitely trending. There is a bigger selection of tea at restaurants and cafes, and more tea bars and businesses are opening all over the US. Tea is as popular as coffee now. We believe tea will continue to grow as an industry and we are happy to support and to take part in raising awareness of tea.