Yamanoibuki: A Fragrant and Early-Maturing Tea Cultivar, Perfect for Growing with Yabukita

Yamanoibuki is an early-maturing tea cultivar that is harvested four to five days earlier than Yabukita. With its slightly upright tree shape and vigorous growth, it produces good quality buds that are uniform in shape, though slightly lighter than those of Yabukita. Its yield is comparable to that of Yabukita, and it has strong resistance to cold and red wilt. Moreover, it is slightly more resistant to anthracnose than Yabukita, although it is vulnerable to damping-off and white peach scales, much like Yabukita.

Despite being an early-maturity cultivar, Yamanoibuki has excellent infusion color, aroma, and flavor. It has a fresh and uplifting aroma with a full-bodied umami flavor and little astringency. Yamanoibuki has high levels of amino acids and theanines, which are umami components, and a low level of catechin, which is an astringent component.

When cultivating Yamanoibuki, it is important to tailor the young trees and secure a stock due to their vigorous growth and slightly upright shape. Frost protection is also necessary as it is an early-maturity cultivar. Additionally, measures against damping-off and white peach scales, which are as vulnerable as Yabukita, are necessary to prevent damage.

In terms of processing, Yamanoibuki requires careful attention to steaming time to bring out its best qualities. Steaming for approximately 30 seconds produces excellent shape and color, while 45 seconds brings out the best internal quality, such as aroma, infusion color, and flavor.

Yamanoibuki has a wider range of adaptability than Ooiwase because of its resistance to cold and anthrax and its strong vigor. However, it is still an early-maturity cultivar and is best suited to moderate temperature zones with less frost damage. When combined with Yabukita, it makes an excellent tea blend that is both fragrant and early-maturing.

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