Kiraka (きら香) is one of the white leaf tea (hakuyoucha) cultivars.
This tea is rare because it is only present in one tea field of just 3,000 square meters.
History of Kiraka
In 1989, Mr. Takeuchi, a tea farmer in Fukuroi city, Shizuoka prefecture, noticed that a bud in his Yabukita tea field had a pale yellow color.
He decided to make a tea field with this cutting.
The process would take him 18 years.
In 2006 Kiraka was registered under seed and seedling law.
It won a gold prize at the 2009 World Green Tea Contest.
Characteristics of Kiraka
The leaves have the pale color on the first flush only.
After that, they turn green.
Kiraka has thin buds with a long elliptical shape, medium size, and high luster.
The mature leaves also have a long elliptical shape, are slightly big, green, with few wrinkles and much serration.
It’s a medium budding cultivar with medium vigor, and medium low yield at harvest.
Regarding cultivation, it is quite similar to Yabukita.
For example, it is resistant to cold weather.
When made into sencha, this tea has a powerful umami taste, and very low astringency.
It is high in amino acids but has a relatively low catechin content.
Here’s a video for you to see how this cultivar looks like: