We are open and shipping all items with no delay! Free 2-5 Days Shipping

Sale is Ending soon!

Sale ends once the timer hit zero

  • days
  • Hours
  • Minutes
  • Seconds

What is Single Origin Cultivar?

September 15, 2020

What is Single Origin Cultivar?

In some respects, it is easy to understand that tea cultivar selection is not the biggest consideration when buying tea. Chances are, you or perhaps those you know can share very few details about cultivars in agriculture, let alone tea. In fact, it is a surprising element in the tea market that continues to flourish and expand. Regardless of how complicated the topic of cultivars can be, it is possible to break it down into several key components.

As market demand continues to develop for specific tea cultivars, perhaps this blog’s entry will provide you with the opportunity to educate others. More specifically, this entry’s focus is on understanding "single origin cultivars" with a quick review of cultivars.

Do you know what “cultivar” is?

A cultivar, in the world of horticulture, is where specific traits are sought in a given plant and subsequently grown. Cultivating plants is not specific to the tea plant, also known as Camellia sinensis. Norman Borlaug, aka the "Father of the Green Revolution," used crossbreeding to attain desired traits to help stem off wheat rust and fuel new methods for attaining higher yields of wheat in the US and Mexico. While often attributed to the work of those on the ground, cultivars can be established, albeit rarely, in the wild as well. Click here to read more about cultivars.


Some unique cultivars you may not be familiar with…

For those more interested in tea cultivars, the Japanese have helped fuel this development in recent decades through national research. If you are keenly interested, some unique Japanese-created cultivars include "benifuuki" (grown often in black teas, you will also find it in green teas for its higher methalated catechin count—a great tea to help with allergies; feel free to check out our 1 minute explanation of benifuuki tea here), Yabukita, and Shizu-731 (known for its distinct cherry blossom aroma. Yes, oddly enough, it smells like cherry blossoms). The list of Japanese tea cultivars is long and continues to grow! (Please see more on cultivars and Japan here.)

Our selection of Benifuuki Allergy Relief Tea includes both green tea powder and our tea bags, as well as actual candies.

A brief look at cultivars in your everyday tea

Now that you have an understanding of cultivars generally, let's spend some time exploring why a single-origin cultivar is worth its distinction. Before we do that, however, we must get an idea of how tea is processed, particularly via modern manufacturing methods.

If you have purchased sencha at a store, for example, there is a good chance you have seen small, "folded" tea leaves that may be broken and even smaller twigs or branches in the package. Many larger manufacturers and resellers of tea purchase the leaves from farms and package them accordingly. They are often less interested in parsing out specific tea leaves, for example, and more interested in gathering what is available and selling it. Each of the farms that they purchase tea from, however, is growing tea from a given cultivar. While the most common cultivar in Japan is yabukita, this does not account for all It is entirely possible, for example, that the sencha you purchase in that store may contain several or many different cultivars.

But what exactly is a single origin cultivar?

This is precisely where "single origin cultivar" distinguishes itself in our discussion. These teas are often straight from a single farm, where a farmer has chosen a given cultivar and sold it to a reseller who is looking for that specific cultivar. To use benifuuki as a further example, resellers understand that allergies are a real concern for many and that this single cultivar is often a great solution for their customers. Single-origin cultivars are slowly becoming more popular, and it may be worth the time to understand these a bit further.

Next time you are out shopping for tea, take a second to review the packaging. Is there a cultivar listed? If so, what is the cultivar? Do you know what desirable traits are present? As you may have guessed, there is a lot more to learn, but one step at a time may be one of the best ways to shape your tea experience.

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 these tips for brewing tea and getting the most flavor and elegance out of every cup.  Sign up for the 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 Green Tea Club 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

Behind the Scene – How We Made the Homepage Video
Behind the Scene – How We Made the Homepage Video

September 27, 2023

Learn more about the hard work that went into making our appealing homepage video by seeing the process behind its creation.

View full article →

How to Use Ginger with Japanese Green Tea
How to Use Ginger with Japanese Green Tea

September 27, 2023

Taste the delectable blend of Japanese green tea and ginger. Learn how to add a wonderful kick of spice and flavor to your tea.

View full article →

Hojicha Cookie Dough - Three Must-Try Recipes
Hojicha Cookie Dough - Three Must-Try Recipes

September 25, 2023

Discover the unique flavor of Hojicha with these three different cookie dough recipes that are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth cravings.

View full article →

Steeping Guide
Steeping Guide