I hadn’t written about Yutakamidori because it’s not an officially registered cultivar, but it ranks second after Yabukita in terms of cultivated area in Japan.
Yutakamidori (ゆたかみどり) means “abundant green”.
It is mostly found in Kagoshima prefecture, where it accounts for 30% of the cultivated area.
History of Yutakamidori
In Shizuoka prefecture at the Kanaya tea tasting site of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, seeds of Asatsuyu where grown.
The best one was selected in 1949, the name at the time was Y-2.
Later on in 1966, the name Yutakamidori was registered in Kagoshima prefecture.
Because this early budding cultivar offers a better yield than Yabukita but it isn’t cold resistant, it was suitable for the southern part of Japan where the temperature is warmer.
However, when processed normally as a sencha it turned out to be highly astringent and with an undesirable color for its liquor.
This issue was fixed by processing it as a fukamushi sencha and by shading the tea plants one week before harvest.
Yutakamidori became a well-known cultivar of Kagoshima prefecture. It has been a success.
Characteristics of Yutakamidori
Yutakamidori can be harvested 5 days earlier than Yabukita.
It is strong against anthracnose and has a medium resistance to the gray blight. But it fares badly in cold weather.
As a fukamushi sencha it has a mild taste. The astringency and sweetness are balanced.
Its liquor has a dark green color.