|Sake is made
primarily from rice and water interacting with microorganisms known
as koji and sake yeast. More specifically, only highly milled rice
is used, and this has a significant affect on the quality of the sake.
What variety of rice is used to make sake?
Japanese rice can be roughly classified into two
varieties. The first, ordinary table rice
commonly used for eating, encompasses a number
of sub-varieties, depending on the manner of
cultivation and the region in which it is grown.
The second variety, known as "sakamai," is used exclusively
for sake production. Ordinary table rice can also be used to make
but, in general, sake made from sakamai has a
higher reputation for quality.
Sakamai not only features larger, softer grains than
ordinary table rice, but it’s also more expensive,
since it grows only in certain areas and requires more complex cultivation
Is the quality of the water used to make sake important?
Yes, the water quality is extremely important, because the mineral
content of the water affects the taste of sake. Semi-hard water
is most suitable for sake production due to its lower iron and manganese
Japan has a large amount of precipitation (approximately 1500mm/year)
and ample high-quality well water throughout the country. As a result,
excellent sake can be produced in nearly every region.