Saemidori: An Early-Maturity Cultivar with Excellent Quality and Expanding Cultivation Area

Quality Characteristics

Saemidori is known for its outstanding quality, with bright, sharp green color and luster, and an elegant aroma. It has a less astringent flavor with umami, making it one of the best early-maturity cultivars. In fact, it competes well with its parent cultivars, Yabukita and Asatsuyu.

Notes on Cultivation

While Saemidori is an early-maturity cultivar with strong resistance to cold, it is susceptible to frost damage, and the chance of recovery is not good. Therefore, windbreak measures are necessary in windy areas during the early young tree stage. Disease resistance is moderate for anthracnose and weak for ring spot disease, so control is necessary in areas that are prone to outbreaks. Although its yield is not very high, it has a higher number of buds and is stable among early-maturity cultivars.

Notes on Processing

Saemidori’s infusion color may have a slightly reddish tint when steamed evenly. However, when steamed a little deeper, it produces a beautiful green color.

Dissemination and Land Suitability for Cultivation

Initially grown around southern Kyushu, Saemidori’s cultivation area in Kagoshima Prefecture was already 99 ha, according to a 1998 survey. Currently, cultivation is expanding in Shizuoka Prefecture and the Kinki Region. More writings on examples of cultivation of this cultivar have started to appear, and some products have been sold as single origin without blending with other varieties of tea in Kagoshima, Miyazaki, and Shizuoka prefectures.

In conclusion, Saemidori’s excellent quality, coupled with its expanding cultivation area, makes it a promising cultivar for tea production. Although it requires some care in cultivation and processing, the result is a flavorful and high-quality tea that is sure to please discerning tea drinkers.

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