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Tea Cultivar | Saemidori

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In this article, we’re going to introduce “Saemidori”, a cross cultivar of “Yabukita” and “Asatsuyu”.

“Saemidori”, Japan’s third most widely grown early riping cultivar

As of 2019, Saemidori accounts for about 4% of the share of green tea produced in Japan and is the third most widely grown variety after “Yabukita” and “Yutakamidori”.

Characteristics of “Saemidori”

The characteristic of “Saemidori” is its excellent quality.

Cross cultivar of “Yabukita” and “Asatsuyu”

“Yabukita” is easy to grow, excellent in both yield and quality. “Asatsuyu” is called “natural Gyokuro” because it is sweet and has a good flavor although the yield is small. “Saemidori” is a cross cultivar of these two excellent cultivars.

It is the highest quality cultivar and is sometimes used for not only Sencha, but also Gyokuro . In addition, “Saemidori” can be said a masterpiece because it has as much yield as “Yabukita”.

It is often produced with many flavors through fertilizer and covered cultivation, and its lack of peculiarities makes it easy to use in blending, so there are high expectations for its future.

Resistant to cold but vulnerable to frost

“Saemidori” is strong against cold but weak against frost damages, and it is not so strong against diseases.

“Saemidori” prefers warm regions, so it was grown mainly in Kagoshima Prefecture and southern Kyushu at the time when it appeared, but recently it is also grown in Shizuoka Prefecture and some other region.

Early ripening cultivar

“Saemidori” is the early ripening cultivar, so the plucking time of “Saemidori” is about 5 days earlier than “Yabukita”, and Shincha (First picked tea) is often picked from late April to early May.

In general, the earlier the tea is distributed, the higher the price in the tea market during the new tea season.

However, “Saemidori” which is grown in warm southern areas such as Kagoshima, is sometimes picked in late March. If you want to buy its Shincha(first picked tea), you should start checking tea shops from the end of March.

Taste of “Saemidori”

“Saemidori” is well inherited the good balance of taste of Yabukita and the taste of Asatsuyu with strong sweetness and umami.

Its fragrance and taste are relatively refreshing. Its taste is less astringent and strong with sweetness and umami. The elegant taste of Saemidori can be a real luxury for those who drink it.

In addition, Saemidori is a beautiful green with a bluish tinge, so it is also recommended to serve important guests.