Tea trees were first imported into Japan from China more than a 1000 years ago. Since then several varieties unique to Japan were discovered or developed to suit the demands of the local market. These tea varieties were subsequently propagated through cuttings and are often referred to as cultivated varieties (cultivars).
Similar to wine (i.e. merlot, pinot noir, chardonnay, etc), there are numerous cultivars of tea. At d:matcha Kyoto we grow a range of cultivars that include yabukita, samidori, okumidori, and gokou.
Depending on the cultivar, the shape of the tea shoots, the flavour profile, the growth rate, and even the use is different.
As we have our own tea fields of different cultivars, we also have the luxury of creating new products to showcase the uniqueness of each product.