Okuhikari: A Late-Maturity Cultivar with Superior Aroma and Infusion Color

Cultivar Characteristics

Okuhikari is a late-maturity cultivar that matures 5 to 6 days slower than Yabukita. Its tree shape is upright and possesses strong vigor. The mature leaves are oblong in shape with a dark green color and a rich gloss. During the harvesting period, the shoots are bigger with fewer branches trimmed, and the yield is comparable to that of Yabukita. Okuhikari is resistant to cold, red wilt, and laceration-type frost damage, making it less susceptible to frost damage as a late-maturity cultivar. It is strong against anthracnose, ring spot, and rice blast, but weak against red blight and leaf blight.

Quality Characteristics

The appearance of Okuhikari is sword-like slender with a firm shape and dark green color with a sharp gloss when processed. It has a distinctive aroma different from Yabukita, and the infusion is bright in color. It is a powerful and excellent cultivar with a slightly astringent flavor due to the brightness of the infusion, which is softened when cultivated in mountainous areas.

Notes on Cultivation

Okuhikari has a more upright tree shape than Yabukita, making it necessary to tailor the trees to spread horizontally. It has a small number of buds with a strong tendency to grow heavier buds, requiring branch trimmings to increase the overall number of buds. It is extremely vulnerable to red blight, and careful control is necessary during the early young stage and in naturally grown tea trees in open fields.

Notes on Processing

The infusion of Okuhikari is bright green, powerful, and superior in color. If the astringency is rather strong for its infusion color and challenging to commercialize, slight steaming like Fukamushi tea tree type is recommended. However, Okuhikari is less suitable as a deep-steamed tea because of its dark green color.

Dissemination and Land Suitability for Cultivation

Okuhikari is an upright and vigorous tree with a shiny dark green leaf color, making it a fine quality late-maturity cultivar with a wonderful infusion color in terms of crude tea quality. It is ideal for combination cultivation after Yabukita, a medium-maturity cultivar, and is particularly resistant to cold and anthracnose. When grown in mountainous areas, it has excellent color, luster, and flavor quality.

Leave a Reply