Shizu-7132 (静7132) is an unregistered Japanese tea cultivar whose main characteristic is its unique aroma of cherry blossom (sakura).
I can’t think of a better aroma to represent spring in Japan.
This cultivar is mostly cultivated in Shizuoka prefecture.
History of Shizu-7132
Since the 1960’s, many cultivars were developed in Shizuoka prefecture using Yabukita as the mother plant.
Those cultivars have the serial 7000 number. For example, we have Surugawase and Fujimidori.
While the father of Shizu-7132 is unknown, it is speculated that it was a foreign cultivar for black tea production. There were many of those in the same area.
At the time, two of the most important characteristics for tea cultivars were umami taste and ease of cultivation and processing.
Shizu-7132 has very thick stems, so it didn’t easily lend itself to the rolling process.
Initially, its special aroma went unnoticed.
A tea farmer discovered that this cultivar had a strong resistance to frost damage, and named it shimo shirazu (unnafected by frost).
Later on, a tea farmer in Shimizu ward became aware of its aroma.
He increased his cultivation area, and it spread under the brand name Machiko.
It seems that a tea picker felt sorry that Shizu-7132 didn’t have a name, so she gave it her own name.
Characteristics of Shizu-7132
The cherry blossom aroma comes from a compound named coumarin.
While some other tea cultivars have this compound, its concentration is highest in Shizu-7132.
This cultivar has thick stems and red buds. Once they grow, they become green.
It has a strong resistance to anthracnose, and its yield at harvest is high.