When looking for single origin teas, the "Sayamakaori" is often seen. This time, we would like to introduce " Sayamakaori", a cultivar for Sencha (green tea), which is sometimes processed into black tea due to its characteristic aroma.
An "aromatic" green tea cultivar produced in Sayama
"Sayamakaori" is a cultivar produced in the Sayama area of Saitama Prefecture. The name of the cultivar comes from a variety of sources, but cultivars with the word "Kaori" in their name, such as "Fujiedakaori," "Musashikaori," and "Yumekaori," tend to have a distinctive aroma. The "Sayamakaori" also has a fresh, green aroma, hence its name.
Characteristics of "Sayamakaori"
"Sayamakaori" has the following characteristics.
A farmer's best friend with an overwhelming yield!
The most important characteristic of "Sayamakaori" is its high yield. Even if you look at a tea farm, you can tell that it is "Sayamakaori" with a single glance because of the large number of buds.
The number of tea buds varies depending on the cultivar and the way it is grown. Some farmers focus on the number of buds, while others focus on the quality of the buds, and there are many different styles. This cultivar, which yields significantly more than other cultivars when compared on the same acreage, is a great cultivar for farmers, helping them to stabilize their production.
Excellent cold tolerance
Sayama is a relatively cool region among tea growing regions in Japan, and the "Sayamakaori" grown in such an area has a high level of cold tolerance. It can be grown in all regions of Japan, except in very high altitudes, and with the exception of anthracnose, it is resistant to disease and pests, making it a very easy cultivar to grow throughout Japan.
However, its quality in warmer regions is inferior to that of "Yabukita," so it is more commonly found in cooler regions such as the mountainous areas or nothern area than in warmer regions in the south.
A middle-ripening cultivar that can be picked a day or two earlier than "Yabukita".
"Sayamakaori" is a middle-ripening cultivar like "Yabukita", but it is picked a day or two earlier than "Yabukita". The harvesting season for tea is very short, and even if you pick sprouts every day during the first tea season, you may not be able to pick them in time for the best harvesting season. For such busy farmers, being able to stagger the picking time, even by just one day, is very important in terms of reducing the workload on the farm. The "Sayamakaori" has a combination of characteristics that are very attractive to farmers, including yield, cold tolerance, and picking time. How does it taste?
Taste of "Sayamakaori"
Dry aroma like soybean flour and sesame
"Sayamakaori" has a distinctive aroma. Its aroma is much stronger than that of "Yabukita", and some people find it a little peculiar.
In particular, "Sayamakaori" sencha made by "wilting" has a slightly sweet aroma like soybean flour and a savory aroma like roasted sesame seeds, giving it a somewhat dry impression.
Depending on the region of origin, it may also have a fresh herbal-like aroma, giving it a cool, refreshing flavor.
Compared to "Yabukita", "Sayamakaori" is a slightly more astringent cultivar.
Generally, the word "astringency" tends to give a negative impression, but astringency is an important component of the flavor of tea. Astringency adds depth to the flavor and gives it a lingering taste and sharpness.
Well-made "Sayamakaori" sencha has a refreshing astringency, and brewing it at the right temperature allows you to enjoy the taste of astringency.
Not only for Sencha, but also for black tea
"Sayamakaori" is a cultivar suitable for "wilting" and is used not only for sencha but also for black tea. The black tea made from "Sayamakaori" maximizes the aroma of the cultivar and gives a cool, refreshing impression.
Unlike Assam or Ceylon teas, which have a gorgeous, mellow aroma, this tea has a refreshing taste that is typical of Japanese black tea, so if you are interested, please give it a try.
"Sayamakaori" is a very good tea cultivar!
As mentioned above, "Sayamakaori" has many positive aspects for both farmers and consumers. It is a cultivar that we often encounter in our search for single-origin teas, so if you are interested in it, please give it a try!