The Benihomare cultivar was discovered around 1942 and is the first cultivar to have been registered under Japan’s cultivar registration system in 1953. It was Motokichi Tada who upon return from Calcutta in India had brought several seeds of the Assamica cultivar back to Japan and planted them in his tea garden to further research how such cultivars developed on Japanese soil. The Benihomare cultivar was discovered from among the many bushes cultivated in this garden, and became recognized as a favorable species for the manufacturing of black tea in specific. When in the years between 1955 and 1970 the industrialization of tea manufacturing in Nara took place, this particular cultivar too was among the favorite new species to be planted on newly exploited tea gardens. In 1958, during the period when the export of Japanese black tea was a t a thriving stage, the tea produced from the Benihomare cultivar received the highest price at the London World Black Tea Competition; this to indicate the favorable embrace with which it was received globally. However, when in 1971 new measures for the liberalization of import were introduced Japan’s black tea export waned, and most black tea factories in Nara were closed, together with the transplantation of Benihomare tea gardens with green tea cultivars.
About the tea
・Origin: Tsukigase, Nara, Japan (single estate).
・Farmer: Fumiaki Iwata.
・Type: Black tea – Wakocha.
・Cultivar: Benihomare cultivar.
・Harvest: May 21, 2018.
・Tea bush age: 13 years.
Cultivar chart – Benihomare
・Breeder: Motokichi Tada.
・History: Discovered in 1942, registered as #1, named “Benihomare” in 1953.
・Growth: Late grower. Comparatively small yield.
・Specifications: Its immediate heritage to Assam provides the bush with large elliptical leaves. When produced as black tea it produces deep red liquor with a full-bodied aroma, and a taste that may be slightly on the bitter end but with a sufficiently sweet and mellow tone to make it sufficiently agreeable.
About the tea garden
・Name: Iguchi Yama (井口山).
・Area: 10 ares.
・Geological features: Magmatic rock on the Japan median tectonic line. Mesozoic era.
・Soil type: A mixture of sand soil and clay soil.
・Direction an angle: North-west westward facing mountain slope.
・Ridge direction and shape: Along the contour lines of the mountain.
・Other specifications of the tea garden and cultivation: Due to the cultivar’s Assamica roots the bushes are arranged to produce a larger yield.
About the climate
・Climate: The area is positioned to receive good winter winds.
・Surroundings and environmental circumstances: Two sides of the farm are flanked by mountain forest.
・Other information: The farm is located at the top of a V-shaped valley with tea bushes on both flanks.
The tea bush has Assamica roots, which is believed to bring about a strong aroma during the fermentation stage. Therefore, the farmer has taken care not to let the tea wither too strongly to allow for sufficient fluid in the leaf’s veins to remain, which is then used for a more rigorous fermentation process.
Measurements per portion.
・Amount of tea ：4g
・Steep duration：60 sec
Suggested no. of infusions: 
Reduce the steeping duration for a less bitter brew.