The most common type of tea plant in Japan is the Yabukita cultivar, said to make up 80% of Japan's sencha production. Developed by research Hikosaburo Sugiyama in 1954 at the Shizuoka Prefectural Tea Industry Laboratory, it was selected as the recommended tea plant for the prefecture, and over the decades was adopted across Japan. In 1999, as much as 95.6% of Japan's tea farms cultivated tea from the Yabukita tea plant cultivar. Yabukita is so highly utilized because it produces a very good quality leaf in addition to adapting well to various climates, soils, and producing a high yield.
Name: Yabukita Midori First Flush
Ingredients: 100% Shizuoka-grown green tea leaves
Harvest: Early May harvest
Cultivation Notes: Grown pesticide free. Fertilized with organic compost.
Region: Fujieda, Shizuoka
Vendor type: Family-operated farm cooperative.
Producer: Toshiaki Kinezuka, President, Hito to No, Shizen wo Tsunagu Kai (NaturaliTea)
NaturaliTea is a private cooperative of farmers managed by the Kinezuka family, whose own tea fields produce over 20% of the cooperative's teas. Based in the hills of Fujieda, Shizuoka, the cooperative was established nearly 40 years ago by Toshiaki Kinezuka. Farmers in the cooperative develop techniques together to grow tea, rice, and vegetables without the use of pesticides or synthetic fertilizers.