SHIMADA, Shizuoka Prefecture--This is a cuppa like no other, and always sipped cold.

The premium sparkling tea tastes like champagne, and has a price to match its luxury image.

Developed by local tea manufacturer Marumago Seicha, the bubbly drink, called Homare, comes in 720-milliliter bottles that cost 12,000 yen ($106), excluding tax.

Marumago, founded 113 years ago, owns a tea plantation in the city’s Kanaya district.

Marumago started marketing premium Miyabi bottled tea in July in tandem with Benefitea, a Shizuoka-based company that obtained a patent for a cold extraction method to make high-end tea.

Homare, produced the same way as that for Miyabi and injected with carbon dioxide, came out in mid-September.

The secret to the taste lies in the deep steaming process of Yabukita cultivar leaves for eight to 12 hours.

Homare tea is available in two flavors. The regular sencha label is fragrant and fruity, while the roasted hojicha has a rich aroma and taste.

“I gave a lot of thought to marketing and promotion strategies because so many of my foreign customers commented that tea in Shimada has an extraordinary taste,” said Yusaku Suzuki, the head of Marumago.

Homare went on sale on a trial basis at Mitsukoshi department store in Tokyo’s Nihonbashi district and elsewhere in June, eliciting a favorable response from young people, as well as female customers.

The tea manufacturer intends to promote the tea at hotels and auto-related events.

“We hope it will be used to give a sense of glamor to events and other occasions where alcohol is not served,” Suzuki, 34, said.

For more information, visit the company's official website at (