Cultivars: Why You Should Think Twice About Them

March 27, 2021

Cultivars: Why You Should Think Twice About Them

When we think of tea there’s much to love I know many who appreciate quality and the freshness in select teas. I know others that are staunch fans of genmaicha’s flavors and that is their proverbial calling. Growers of tea and admirers of landscapes often talk about the beauty of tea plants and their leaves and the arrangements found across parts of Japan for example. In some respects, there is a uniqueness to the culture of tea and as it continues to unfold, I suspect we will appreciate tea just that much more. It’s in this context that tea cultivars push into our vocabulary. I want to spend some time discussing why you should look out for this variable of tea moving forward.

We’ve had the opportunity to discuss cultivars in a previous post. Cultivars, in short, are the desired attributes that a grower is attempting to replicate on a larger scale. In recent decades, cultivars have blossomed, so to speak, to add a certain depth for tea drinkers. But why should any tea drinker take any serious look at cultivars?

Japanese Green Tea Co
Many have suggested that our age is blessed in a sense. This blessing takes the form of globalization established in the 1970s to our present day. While not a unique age from a historical perspective, it helps shape our exposure to cultivars and the opportunity to continue exploring this side of tea. A short history of cultivars will help illustrate this point and the relationship between tea lovers and tea growers.

The “first” large-scale Japanese cultivar that much of the world is familiar with is, perhaps unsurprisingly, the Yabukita cultivar. This cultivar makes up the vast majority of tea plants across Japan. In fact, on this point alone it's hard to believe that Japan has produced so many other cultivars. Japan’s transition to modernity continued in the early 20th century and innovation eventually reached tea farms. Japan’s continued tea endeavors reached governmental support after World War 2 in the form of tea research projects and the furthered development of cultivars. Very few cultivars changed the dominance of Yabukita however globalization eventually opened the doors to new markets and increased demands.

Too many options, too much fun!

Japan has a continued interest in developing new cultivars. In fact, it is as much of a regional and national sense of pride as it is a key element of Japan’s soft power. But much of this could not be accomplished without tea being consumed in our homes. Farmers and researchers are going to continue planting and growing new cultivars. In combination with globalization, the latest era of technology and information has helped “spread the word”. Online tea reviews or blog posts such as this help define this new push for more on tea. In effect, as tea drinkers continue to consume, there will likely be a clear positive correlation with an increase in knowledge and products available. Yes, what came first, the chicken or the egg? In some respects, this doesn’t matter but it helps us dig a bit deeper into why cultivars will likely be a larger part of how we look at tea. At this point, the question may be which cultivars have you tried? Are you keeping track? Are you looking out for certain attributes?

The connection between our age and cultivars is more complicated than it appears. There is a strong tendency towards personalization and individualism in our contemporary economy. We can, for example, shape and filter enormous amounts of information. We can customize more types and kinds of products. We have more at our disposal to shape more areas of our life. Given this, it's hardly a stretch to see the growing importance of cultivars. There are mornings where the smell of cherry blossoms sits perfectly on my table. Other days I crave the full umami of the Asanoka cultivar.

Matcha Green Tea

Cultivars are not simply matching specific tea needs. Most cultivars stand out viz-a-viz their aroma and, in other cases, match a unique flavor. Cultivars shape the market in other ways. Yabukita is popular for a reason. It’s clearly helped keep prices relatively low particularly when factoring in economies of scale. Other cultivars have allowed farmers in other areas of Japan to continue competing by growing in areas that are more difficult to grow tea. As the world of tea continues to grow, the entire market of cultivars will likely shift: Chances are Yabukita will remain the staple cultivar for the foreseeable future but what will we see in grocery stores? Will labels further detail the company’s cultivar offerings?

The present state of cultivars is exciting. The future will build on that excitement. What excites you about cultivars?

Related articles you may be interested

Get Free Bonus Content

Green Tea and Matcha Books for Bonus

If you have ever thought that Green Tea is an “acquired taste” or that it is “too bitter” to enjoy, we’re here to change your mind! We want everyone to experience the health benefits of Green Tea and show you that this can be an amazing, refreshing, and delicious drink when made correctly. With just a few tips on how to brew this powerful leaf we can change your mind about the taste and enjoyment of drinking Green Tea.

Don’t miss out on the health benefits of tea!

  • Improve health
  • Increase brain function
  • Regulate weight
  • Lower your risk of cancers
  • Reduce risk of heart disease
  • Lowers risk of diabetes

We know that you will love this tips to brewing tea and getting the most flavor and elegance out of every cup.  Sign up for Free Japanese Green Tea Club and get this great informative manual on brewing green tea. You will learn what it is that makes it one of the most popular beverages in the world.

Sign up for Free Green Tea Club for to Get The Two Books for Free.

Unsubscribe anytime. It's Free!


Sign up free to Green Tea Club to get tips and exclusive articles about how to use your matcha and green tea for a healthy lifestyle. Green Tea Club is hosted by Kei Nishida, Author of Cook with Matcha and Green Tea and CEO of Japanese Green Tea Company.

Get free E-book "Green Tea Science – 12 Scientific Tips for Brewing Green Tea To Taste Better" By Kei Nishida - Value $9.99

Get free E-book "Matcha Lover's 21st Century Recipe Collection" By Kei Nishida (42 pages recipe book)  - Value $9.99

Get immediate access to 10% Off coupon for your first order and access to Exclusive Coupons and Specials - Value $50+

Monthly Giveaways - Value $50+

Access to New Green Tea Recipe and Health Articles - Value $50+

Unsubscribe anytime. It’s free!

What do you think about the article? Please comment below or reply me privately here!

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Also in Japanese Green Tea and Health

17 Best Matcha Snacks to get on Amazon
17 Best Matcha Snacks to get on Amazon

June 14, 2021

Looking for a sweet but healthier version of regular snacks? Do you want to consume green tea on the go? Take a look at these matcha snacks and see if these treats will satisfy your cravings. Links to find them on Amazon are included.

View full article →

How To Tell If Japanese Green Tea Is Good Quality Or Not
How To Tell If Japanese Green Tea Is Good Quality Or Not

June 09, 2021

With so many companies and brands selling Japanese green tea varieties these days, it can be tricky knowing which tea is the best quality. There are a few different ways of knowing how good your Japanese green tea is. Checking how it looks, smells, and tastes can all be signs of how good the quality is or not. Testing different ways of preparation can also have an effect on the final cup of tea. This article goes into detail on each of these factors to help you figure out how to get the best-tasting cup of Japanese green tea possible!

View full article →

Japanese Green Tea For Diet: Benefits & Science
Japanese Green Tea For Diet: Benefits & Science

June 07, 2021 6 Comments

Is losing weight your healthy lifestyle goal? Japanese green tea may be able to help. Calorie counters can rest easy knowing that a cup of plain green tea contains just 2 calories or less. Apart from being low in calories, green tea contains a metabolism boosting anti-oxidant which blocks the enzyme that breaks down the hormone used by the nervous system to signal fat cells to break down fat. Better still, this is just one of the ways in which green tea can support your healthy weight loss program. 

Derived from the Camellia sinensis plant, green tea has been used as medicine for over 5,000 years in places like China and India.  In this article we will explorer the true facts and science behind how Japanese Green Tea can help you lose weight, and tips for how you can take most advantage of Japanese Green Tea used for diet purpose... 

View full article →

Steeping Guide
Steeping Guide