About Zojirushi America Corporation

Inspirations from Everyday Life.

Product Inspirations –
Go for Gold with the Ichimatsu Patterned Mugs!

Olympic fever is already underway in Tokyo, host of the 2020 Summer Olympic Games, and the themes of the games brings together the heritage of old Japan with the modernity we’ve come to expect from the nation.

This concept infuses current Japanese design trends, drawing upon the Ichimatsu pattern, a traditional Japanese two-toned checkerboard design that originated during the Edo Period (1603-1868). During that time, Kabuki theater was hugely popular, and a famous actor, Sanogawa Ichimatsu, elevated the art form with his performances. He had an iconic style and wore pants with the checkerboard pattern on stage. His style became so popular that the pattern was named after him. Today, this design element from centuries ago connects us to fresh imagery in modern times.

SM-NAE48SA

The Ichimatsu checkerboard pattern is part of our new set of Stainless Mugs (SM-TAE48SA and SM-NAE48SA). The pattern is beautifully displayed on the white, black, red and blue finishes. The SM-TAE48SA model features a flip-open lid, and the SM-NAE48SA model features a twist-open lid.

SM-TAE48SA

Along with these gorgeous finishes, these Stainless Mugs come with a double nonstick coated interior that repels stains and odors. They were made using a special manufacturing process to round the bottle opening, making it more comfortable to drink directly from the mug. Both lid types – flip-open and twist-open – are interchangeable with each mug, allowing for a customized look and drinking experience. And both lid types disassemble for easy cleaning. As always, our Stainless Mugs are built with Zojirushi’s superior vacuum insulation, which minimizes heat transfer and keeps beverages hot or cold for hours. The 1 5/8” (4cm) wide mouth opening makes it easy to fill the mug with ice cubes and all areas that come into contact with beverages are BPA-free.

Rounded Opening

Grab one of these Stainless Mugs and fill it with fresh water, Black Iced Tea or Simply Iced Coffee. We know you’ll love these new, lightweight Stainless Mugs as much as we do. Check them out and let us know what you think!

Design Explained –
Our Innovative Lids

It’s summer time and we always have one of our vacuum insulated mugs on hand. Water, iced tea, hot beverages…no matter what, our stainless mugs are designed to let you carry your favorite beverage in style.

Over the years, we’ve listened to your feedback, and incorporated four smart design features into the lids we use for our stainless mugs: the two-step release and the safety lock in the flip-open mugs, the covered sipping area and the disassembling parts for all mugs.

Step 1

Flip-open lids are super convenient. They’re great in any situation where one-handed operation is required, such as when traveling. The two-step release in our flip-open lids works by allowing the lid open in 2-steps. The first step happens when you push and hold the open button. The open button hooks onto the lid and prevents it from opening, and at the same time, allowing condensation on the lid to flow back into the mug. When you release the button as the second step, the spring at the hinge of the lid will allow the lid to spring open, and because of the first step, wont’ fling any condensation at your friend while doing so. As long as nothing is impeding the back of the lid, the lid will open all the way and stay in place, making it easy to drink without getting bumped in the face by a wobbly lid.

Step 2

The smart safety lock feature of the flip-open lids ensures that the lid doesn’t accidentally open in a bag or purse, causing leaks and spills.

Safety Lock

Along with these great features, both the flip-open and twist-open lids are designed to keep the sipping area clean by keeping it covered when you’re not taking a sip, so you don’t have to worry about getting sand on the sip area if it tips over at the beach. . Perfect for summer beach days!

Clean sipping area!

And finally, the disassembling parts of our lids, whether flip-open or twist-open, mean the lids can be thoroughly cleaned. It’s the worst to find that you’ve been cleaning the lids of other bottles and yet there is still dirt, or worse, mold, inside the components. Each piece is washable and gaskets allow the re-assembled lid to fit tightly and securely.

Disassembling lid of SM-TAE48SA

Disassembling lid of SM-NAE48SA

Each of these features make our stainless mugs stylish and functional…all part of our commitment to smart design. Let us know which mug you have and how you like the lids in the comments below!

Foreign Foods in Japan –
Gyoza!

Supagetti Naporitan. Hayashi Raisu. Kasutera. Japanese cuisine is full of foreign foods with a Japanese twist…and they’re ones that we all love!

Dumplings are no exception, and in this month’s series, we are excited (and hungry!) to talk about Japanese gyoza. Gyoza are a relatively “new” food in Japan, entering the cuisine during World War II, when Japanese soldiers stationed in Northern China fell in love with “jiaozi”, the Mandarin word for dumplings that “stick to the pot”.

Chinese jiaozi, more commonly known as potstickers in the US, are made with a wheat flour dough, rolled out and stuffed with meat and/or vegetables. The dough is on the thicker side, and the finished dumplings are typically of the size that they can be eaten in three to four bites. Jiaozi are made using the fry-steam-fry method, where they are first pan fried in oil in a wok, then steamed in the same wok with the addition of a little water, and then finished by cooking in the wok without the lid on so that the water evaporates and crisps up the dumpling.

When jiaozi were imported into Japan, they were modified to be more subtle and delicate, as much of Japanese cuisine is. The wheat flour dough, or wrapper, is much thinner for Japanese gyoza. And they are smaller, along with being crimped and folded differently from jiaozi. The fillings are chopping up to be much finer than the Chinese version and a dipping sauce of soy sauce, rice vinegar and ra-yu, or Japanese hot pepper oil, is a common accompaniment. Japanese gyoza are often filled with pork, chicken, cabbage, nira or chives, scallions, garlic, ginger, shiitake mushrooms and other vegetables. And the best part is that when making a big batch of gyoza, leftovers can be frozen!

Cooking gyoza is similar to cooking jiaozi. The gyoza are placed in a skillet or pan with a little bit of oil, until the bottom has pan-fried. A small amount of water, just enough to steam, is added to the pan, which is covered until the wrappers are translucent and the inner filling has cooked through. Then the lid is removed and the gyoza bottoms are allowed to crisp up in the pan. Served hot with dipping sauce, they make an amazing savory dish. Our skillets and griddles are great for making gyoza, as the convenient lids help to steam the dumplings.

In Japan, gyoza are ubiquitously available. They are great as snacks and appetizers, are eaten as main meals and are found at izakaya or bars, ramen shops, grocery stores and festivals.

Have you tried Japanese gyoza? Tell us about your favorite filling in the comments below!

Product Inspirations –
Glass Vacuum Carafe
(AH-EAE10)

Did you know that we make carafes? Whether they’re used for home, office, hospitality or other commercial use, our vacuum insulated carafes have always been a big part of our product lineup.

This year, we’re excited to introduce our newest – and dare we say, most stylish – Glass Vacuum Carafe (AH-EAE10). This designer carafe has an iconic style and adds beauty and substance to any table.

The unique vertical, decagonal shape of our carafe was conceptualized by David Tonge of The Division in London, who was inspired by classic Japanese design. According to David, he “wanted to create a unique and sophisticated flask which would have a strong impact on the table.” He studied many different types of carafe designs and realized that most were rounded and had horizontal sections, just as a separate base or top. David explored using a vertical construction for the carafe, and paired with Japanese aesthetic and design principles, resulted in the new AH-EAE10 model.

The carafe is made in Japan, and holds 34 ounces of liquid. It comes in four gorgeous colors: Silver, Black, Red and Gold.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a true Zojirushi product if it wasn’t functional as well as beautiful. The inside of the carafe utilizes a specialized vacuum liner made of premium, medical-grade-equivalent borosilicate glass, which is durable and stain- and odor-resistant. The glass has been tested by a third-party laboratory and rated EP/USP Type I, same as medical grade glass, ensuring that it’s strong and of the highest quality.

The glass liner also provides superior heat retention, using our vacuum insulation technology. As with our other vacuum insulated products, the air has been removed from between the inner and outer layers, preventing heat transfer and keeping beverages hot or cold for hours.

The carafe accommodates most brewing attachments, for that perfect cup of coffee, and the sturdy handle and easy-to-use large push-button stopper allow liquids to pour out smoothly. Pour over coffees are easy to make with this carafe, and beverages like brewed hot tea, hot water or cold ice water stay fresh and at the optimal temperature.

The smart features designed into our newest vacuum insulated carafe make it versatile to use. At home, use it to keep freshly brewed coffee hot all morning or fill it with ice water to serve at mealtimes. At the office, use it during meetings or in the breakroom. And for any hospitality-related event, be it a conference or wedding or show, use it to serve hot beverages easily.

Check out the new Glass Vacuum Carafe on the product page and let us know your favorite color and how you’ll use it!

Design Explained –
Micom Intelligence

“Inspirations from everyday life” is at the core of our business. And for the large majority of Japanese, cooking rice is at the center of their daily activities, a task that involves sourcing, washing, soaking, cooking, steaming, fluffing and serving short-grained, perfectly cooked Japanese rice.

We’ve created an amazing line up of rice cookers to help with this everyday task, and this month in our Design Explained series, we talk about the benefits of our Micom rice cookers.

First of all, what is a rice cooker? A rice cooker is an electric machine that automates parts of the process for cooking rice. Traditionally, rice has been cooked in a pot, with water, over a flame. With a rice cooker, the steps that convert the hard rice kernel into a fluffy, edible staple is automated. Conventional rice cookers, which are the most basic type of rice cookers, simply boil rice, managing turning off when there is no water left in the pot. Our Micom rice cookers, however, automate soaking, cooking and steaming. Our Micom rice cooker that include induction heating and a combination of induction heating and pressure apply additional technologies to prepare perfect rice.

But what really is Micom and how does it work?

Micom is an abbreviation of “microcomputer”, meaning that a microcomputer is built into the rice cooker to control the rice cooking process.

The microcomputer, in this instance, works to automate as much of the cooking process as possible, so that only washing before and fluffing after are manual tasks. With a conventional rice cooker, the cook would have to manage washing the rice, the soaking time, monitor how it steams after boiling, and fluff prior to serving as well. In fact, there is a Japanese saying that explains the benefit of the microcomputer’s work:

Hajime choro-choro Naka pa-ppa Akago naite mo Futa toruna!” meaning “At first it bubbles, and then it hisses. Even if the baby cries, don’t open the lid!” It’s so much easier to let the Micom rice cooker do the work, and better yet, do it on a timer, so that it’s done in one efficient shot.

Our Micom rice cookers also create ideal cooking environments for various types of rice and rice dishes. For example, many of our rice cookers have a setting for sushi rice, which the microcomputer knows to cook for a specific time and at a specific temperature so that it cooks to the required firmness. Some of our rice cookers also have a setting for GABA Brown Rice, which adjusts the soaking time and temperature to increase GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) in brown rice. And they have a setting for porridge, which ensures that the extra water needed to make the soupy rice doesn’t boil over.

Which Zojirushi rice cooker do you have? And have you made the two main staples of Japanese cuisine – White Rice and Brown Rice – following our recipes? Let us know in the comments below!