Ooiwase (おおいわせ) is named after the Ōi river in Shizuoka prefecture.
Wase (早生) refers to early budding cultivars.
This cultivar is meant for sencha production.
History of Ooiwase
In 1964 at the Shizuoka tea research station, the cultivars Yaeho and Yabukita were crossed.
The best offspring was selected, and years later after testing it was determined to be a high quality cultivar.
In 1976 its cultivation in Shizuoka prefecture was encouraged, and in 1977 it was named Ooiwase.
Characteristics of Ooiwase
Ooiwase can be picked 5 days earlier than Yabukita.
Its mature leaves have luster, an elliptical shape, and are slightly smaller than those of Yabukita.
The cuttings of this cultivar take root easily and exhibit good growth.
The yield at harvest is a little higher than Yabukita.
While weak against anthracnose, it is strong against the blister blight, bacterial shoot blight, and the gray blight.
It’s also susceptible to the white peach scale.
As a sencha, Ooiwase has a good quality, the same as Yabukita.
The leaves can be rolled tightly and have a desirable color.
It has a mild and refreshing aroma, plus a balanced taste.