Okuhikari (おくひかり) is a cultivar used for sencha and kamairicha.
It offers a good color and aroma.
Regarding its name, oku means that it is a late budding cultivar.
Hikari is light in Japanese. The leaves of this cultivar are quite shiny.
History of Okuhikari
In 1964 at the Shizuoka tea research station, the Yabukita cultivar was crossed with a Chinese tea plant from Hubei province named Shizu-Cy225 (静Cy225).
After selecting the best offspring, it was tested in 1972.
Finally, it was named Okuhikari in 1986 and registered under the seed and seedling law in 1987.
Characteristics of Okuhikari
This late budding cultivar can be picked 6 days later than Yabukita, hence it can better avoid damage due to frost.
Its mature leaves are relatively big and have an elliptical shape. They have a deep green color with much luster.
The buds have a deeper green color than Yabukita, and are more round than Yabukita while still being elliptical.
It resists cold weather better than Yabukita.
Okuhikari is strong against anthracnose, blister blight, and the gray blight. However, it is very weak against the bacterial shoot blight.
Its yield at harvest is similar to Yabukita.
As a sencha, okumidori can be easily rolled into a needle shape.
The processed leaf color is bright green with good luster.
Once served, the liquor is also bright green and judged as desirable.
Its aroma is different to Yabukita. While vegetal, it is rich and feels spicy and lightly sweet.
The taste is refreshing.