At Tippsy, we believe that classification of sake is not as important as your experience with brands or the time you spend with your loved ones. Here we want to explain just the basics of how rice polishing ratios and brewing techniques represent different categories and form flavor characteristics. And “Yes”, when a half of rice grain is milled away the yield of final product decreases thus the prices of Daiginjo are typically higher than others. But what matters the most is the unique brewing techniques of each brand and the flavor characteristics that enhance your dining experience.

The Three Main categories:

Junmai, Ginjo & Daiginjo

We simplify the terminology and classify the rice polishing ratio by 3 groups: Junmai, Ginjo and Daiginjo. In the process of making sake, rice grains are polished before steaming, mashing, fermenting, and squeezing. The polishing work takes dedicated care and affects largely the type of flavors the brewers want to achieve.


70% or less rice polishing ratio

 “Junmai” literally means pure rice. This is sake that is brewed without the use of brewer’s alcohol. Junmai has rich flavors of rice that holds well at warm temperatures, and the bolder flavors of junmai generally can be paired with stronger flavors.

SHOP Junmai


60% or less rice polishing ratio

“Ginjo” is brewed with rice grains that are polished down to 60% or less. By brewing at lower temperatures the well-polished rice can bring out the aroma components which are also found in fruits like bananas and apples.

SHOP Ginjo


50% or less rice polishing ratio

"Daiginjo" requires  a rice polishing ratio of 50% or less. They are made in smaller quantities, and rely more on traditional methods. Brewers use their highest skills and knowledge to extract the full flavor and aroma from the rice and craft the best quality sake possible. Daiginjo showcases the level of craftsmanship of brewers as it takes a lot of effort and delicate care to achieve the perfect balance of flavors.

SHOP Daiginjo

Sub Categories

There are many different ways and techniques to brew sake. Each different style of sake provides unique flavor profiles. By learning a bit of background, you will enjoy sake quite more.


Alcohol added

During the post-war recovery period in Japan, resources were scarce and the practice of inflating sake with alcohol was rampant. For some, added alcohol may still represent mass-produced, low quality brews, but in modern times, breweries use alcohol to give clean and sharp mouthfeel, not just for price advantages.

SHOP Honjozo


Unclassified other regular

"Futsushu" literally mean regular sake. The sake classification specifies the rice polishing ratio, types of rice, whether or not alcohol is added. Any other types of sake that don't fall under above is classified as "Futsushu". 70% of sake consumption in Japan is from this category.

SHOP Futsushu


Fruit infused

"Flavored sake" is a broad category for Tippsy that includes fruits-infused sake and fruits-mixed sake including "Umeshu" (Plum sake).

SHOP Flavored


Rich, full-bodied, Unfilterd

Sometimes called "Cloudy Sake", Nigori contains the particles of unfermented rice grains that are intentionally left at the filtration. It has rich and often sweet flavors. We recommend the bottle be slightly tilted before serving to blend these particles at the bottom.

SHOP Nigori


Bubbly aperitif

A sparkling sake is a great aperitif. Usually low in alcohol with a fuller body, it can have bubbles from natural fermentation or added-carbonation just like sparkling wine.

SHOP Sparkling


Aged for 3+ years

"Koshu" means aged sake. Most sake are stored at a cool temperature for 6 months before release but Koshu is typically aged over 3 years. It takes on an amber color and milder, richer and well-rounded taste profiles.

SHOP Koshu


Traditional brewing style

A traditional and time-consuming method for fermentation that produces and nurtures lactic acids in the tank. It typically has deep,  bolder flavors with pronounced sweetness and acidity.

SHOP Yamahai


Labor-intensive brewing method

Similar to "Yamahai", "Kimoto" uses naturally-existing lactic acids that requires delicate care and maintenance of the environment for an entire month. And It takes one month of delicate care of maintaining the environment. "Kimoto" also involves the traditional way of mixing the rice mash, which in old days was associated with singing of brewers to stay awake and count time.

SHOP Kimoto



This literally means "unpasteurized". Because it skips the process of pasteurization, "Nama" contains its bold refreshing tastes. It requires delicate constant refrigeration to prevent changes in its color and flavors.




"Genshu" is undiluted sake. Usually at the end of production, sake is typically diluted with water to lower alcohol content to 14-15%. Undiluted sake, on the other hand, has a higher alcohol content with richer and stronger flavors.

SHOP Genshu


Skips carbon filtering

Sake usually goes through carbon-filtration for better transparency and aroma balance. "Muroka", literally meaning not filtered, skips this process to retain robust aromas and raw taste profiles.

SHOP Muroka

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