Northern California is a well-established source of the world’s finest products and services, as the region’s demographic diversity and progressive culture allow companies to test the viability of their products.

Such is the story of Tejava, the first brand of unsweetened tea in the United States marketed by Crystal Geyser Water Company, and owned by Japan’s Otsuka Pharmaceutical.

“Thirty years ago, the owner of Otsuka Pharmaceutical noticed that Americans consumed poor quality tea, loaded with sugar. He wanted to offer healthier, better-quality options,” President and CEO Yasumasa Iwamoto said.

Initially launched as Java Tea in Japan, Tejava is a brand made exclusively for the American market. The name reflects its master brewer’s commitment to using only the best tea from Java, Indonesia.

Having achieved steady growth in California, Tejava is expanding across the U.S. It is sold nationally at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, as well as at regional giants like Albertson-Safeway in Chicago and Texas.

“We’re taking a novel approach to expanding Tejava. While we are increasing share in traditional retail channels, we are also growing in online and non-grocery channels, like Ace Hardware and corporate cafeterias like LinkedIn,” Iwamoto said.

Recognizing consumer demand for variety, the company now offers Tejava Origins, a line of unsweetened, organic teas picked from the best-growing regions around the world in green, oolong, jasmine, Earl Grey and honeybush varieties.

“For us, there is no end in sight and there is no stopping us.  We believe in our products and will keep working to share it with as many consumers as possible,” Iwamoto said.