An excellent cultivar for green tea with a strong popularity
"Asatsuyu" is a very old cultivar, registered at the same time as "Yabukita", but it is still very popular today.
Even those of us who drink hundreds of varieties of tea every year are excited when we hear the name "Asatsuyu" because it is such a reliable and delicious cultivar.
Commonly known as "natural gyokuro"
"Asatsuyu" is often referred to as "natural gyokuro" because of its strong umami. Gyokuro is the highest grade of green tea, which is grown under shade for more than 20 days, and has an exceptionally rich umami that is not found in ordinary sencha green tea.
Its name comes from the fact that it has the same umami as gyokuro, which is usually made with a lot of time and effort, but can be made naturally, which clearly shows that it is a cultivar with such a strong umami.
An early-ripening cultivar that does not tolerate cold temperatures.
Compared to "Yabukita", "Asatsuyu" is an early-ripening cultivar that can be picked 7 days earlier, allowing for a wider picking season, which helps reduce the workload of farmers.
However, it is not suitable for cold regions or mountainous areas, as it is susceptible to frost damage because its shoots emerge in the cold season.
Because of its low tolerance to cold and disease, it is only grown in Kyushu and parts of Shizuoka Prefecture, making it a rare cultivar.
It is a privilege to live in such a warm region, but how does "Asatsuyu" taste like?
The taste of "Asatsuyu"
As Asatsuyu is called "natural gyokuro", and its umami is the most important characteristic of "Asatsuyu".
Sencha is a tasty and gentle green tea
As a cultivar with high theanine (amino acid) content and low catechin (an astringent component), "Asatsuyu" has a mild taste with a strong umami.
In order to make the most of its umami, it is sometimes made by Kabuse(shading) or deep steaming, in which case the aroma is weakened.
"Asatsuyu" has no peculiar aroma, and is loved by everyone for its soft, sweet, grain-like flavor.
As mentioned above, "Asatsuyu" is a cultivar with the potential to be called "natural gyokuro". If you ever come across "Asatsuyu", please try it.