Takachiho (たかちほ) is a special cultivar in the sense that it was developed for kamairicha production.
This cultivar is named after Takachiho (高千穂) town in Miyazaki prefecture and was registered in 1953, the same year as the Yabukita cultivar.
While not really a popular cultivar, it is still cultivated.
Characteristics of Takachiho
This cultivar was selected out of seedlings from a native tea plant at the Miyazaki Agricultural Research Institute, and later on it became tea cultivar number 11.
What makes a good cultivar for the kamairi (pan fried) process? Besides a good taste and aroma when roasted, it must keep its form after being rolled so that the leaves look curly at the end of the process. This is achieved with a thicker leaf.
Takachiho leaves are a little less elliptical in shape than Yabukita and slightly smaller. It is harvested at a time similar to Yabukita, making it a normal budding cultivar.
As an added value, Takachiho has an excellent resistance to cold weather and disease, plus a good yield at harvest.
When made into kamairicha, it brews into a golden liquor with a pleasant aftertaste and little astringency.
July 18, 2014
Thank you for the useful post as usual.
For those of us who are also in the agriculture side, it would be really interesting if photographs of the leaf and the tea tree were also in the post. If you have them.
Thank you once again for these informative blog posts.
July 18, 2014
Hello Lochan, thanks for the comment.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a picture of the leaf. I guess that most Japanese tea farmers aren’t very active on the internet 🙂