The Asatsuyu Tea Cultivar

AsatsuyuAsatsuyu (あさつゆ) is a cultivar best known for being “natural gyokuro”.

The reason is that it has a taste similar to gyokuro without the need to go through the shading process.

The Asatsuyu cultivar is meant for sencha, and from what I’ve seen online it’s also popular in the form of fukamushicha.

Its name means “morning dew”, and when made into sencha it brews into a bright, yellow color.

Asatsuyu leaves are tender, so care must be taken when steaming and rolling.

Origin of Asatsuyu

asatsuyu loose leafThis is an old cultivar, it was registered in 1953 as Japanese tea cultivar number 2!

It came from the seed of a tea plant found in Uji. Coincidentally, Uji is very famous for its gyokuro production.

This cultivar makes an excellent tea. It has good sweetness, a fragrant aroma and slight astringency.

Why isn’t Asatsuyu more popular?

Unfortunately, this cultivar is very susceptible to frost damage and its yield isn’t as good as that of Yabukita. Hence, most tea farmers are reluctant to cultivate it.

In order to avoid these issues, a cross of Asatsuyu and Yabukita was made. I’ll tell you more about it in the next post.

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