The Benifuuki Tea Cultivar

BenifuukiBenifuuki (べにふうき) loosely translates as “red riches and honors”.

This cultivar that was originally meant for black tea and oolong, but is now also being processed as green tea.

Benifuuki can be cultivated in every region of Japan, and is resistant to various diseases.

Interestingly, the harvesting time differs depending on the type of tea to be produced. For example, it’s harvested one or two days later than the Yabukita cultivar for black tea, but for green tea the harvesting time is a week later than Yabukita.

History of Benifuuki

Benifuuki was the result of crossbreeding Benihomare with MakuraCd86 in Makurazaki city, Kagoshima prefecture, 1965. The right seedling was selected many years later, and it was registered in 1993.

The MakuraCd86 (枕Cd86) tea plant is quite special. It comes from the Darjeeling region, which produces some of the best teas in India.

Benihomare is of the assamica variety (mostly found in India and Sri Lanka), while MakuraCd86 is of the sinensis variety (popular in China and Japan).  Benifuuki is a hybrid tea plant in many aspects!

More about Benifuuki

This cultivar yields 30% more than Yabukita at harvest.

As a green tea, it has a strong taste and high astringency. However, in this form it has the greatest concentration of methylated catechins of all the Japanese cultivars.

Benifuuki black teaBenifuuki makes a high quality black tea, with a mellow taste and excellent aroma.

As all wakoucha (Japanese black tea), it’s best drank without milk or sugar.

 

 

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8 Responses to The Benifuuki Tea Cultivar

  1. Kayoko says:

    Hello, Ricardo.
    Drinking beni fuuki tea before or during the cedar pollen season in Japan (from beginning of Feb) that resulted in fewer or less extreme hay fever allergy symptoms in Japan. it’s getting popular the tea because of the reason in Japan.
    Actually it really works for me and my dad, we have
    so bad suffer from hay fever in the season every year! I like the taste as well as it lil differnt regular green tea. ofcourse its better than taking pills..

    I always enjoy reading your article!

  2. Nez Tokugawa says:

    Sorry Ricardo, I just couldn’t resist adding this comment. I have been talking about the benefits of this tea for some time now. The active ingredient in Benifuki is methylated catechin which is know to reduce inflammation. I have been marketing a product call “stay clear” which is a powdered benifuki” from Kagoshima for about 5 years that I have repeat customers each spring who are farmers in Oregan. It works to clear allergy symptoms in 30 seconds. http://www.thetasteoftea.com/servlet/the-461/Stay-Clear/Detail
    Take a look. it really works.

    • Hi Nez

      Thanks for the comment. Your tea looks very interesting, I’ve never tried a powdered Benifuuki green tea before.

      I’ll review it as soon as I’m done with other pending reviews : )

  3. Kayoko says:

    Actually the Beni fuuki tea I always drink in Japan which is already powdered. I’ve never seen sold as leaf product. I’d like to try if I can find it!

  4. John says:

    I’m in Tokyo and am going to get more Benifuuki during sincha season.
    One thing to note, they found very low or no levels of methylated catechins in black benifuuki tea (as opposed to green)

    http://www.naro.affrc.go.jp/english/vegetea/benifuuki/index.html

    Look at the 3-4 paragraph with leaf levels.
    Interesting that for the best effect leaves 3-4 down from the top are picked and during the 2nd harvest or in autumn.

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