The Minekaori Tea Cultivar


There are a few Japanese tea cultivars whose main purpose is to make kamairicha. Minekaori (みねかおり) is one of them.

Literally “mountain peak aroma”, Minekaori can be found in the prefectures of Miyazaki, Kumamoto, and Oita.

It produces a high quality kamairicha, with a characteristic fragrance. In particular, it’s best as a kamairi tamaryokucha.

If it’s made into sencha, however, the resulting aroma is quite different from the norm and it doesn’t receive a good valuation.

Minekaori resulted from a cross of Yabukita and Unkai cultivars at the Miyazaki prefecture agricultural research station. It was registered in May of 1988 as Japanese tea cultivar number 38.

Characteristics of Minekaori

Minekaori has good resistance to cold weather and has about 30% better yield at harvest than Yabukita.

It’s also a normal budding cultivar which can be harvested 1 day later than Yabukita tea plants.

Regarding diseases, it has a high resistance to anthracnose and the gray blight.

Although not a popular cultivar, it isn’t difficult to obtain a tea made with it. With a quick search online, I even found some sites in English selling it.


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