Okumidori Matcha: Japan's Finest Ceremonial Grade Matcha

By Avery Hastings

Okumidori Matcha: Japan's Finest Ceremonial Grade Matcha

Unveiling the Okumidori Cultivar

The Okumidori cultivar traces its roots to the picturesque tea-growing regions of Japan. What sets Okumidori apart is its unique ability to thrive in the shade, developing strikingly lush, vibrant leaves. These leaves possess a captivating aroma, a richness of flavor, and an enticingly deep green hue that whispers of their unparalleled quality.

Okumidori is similar to Yabukita and the two are often blended. This cultivar has slightly smaller leaves than Yabukita but is known for its vibrant green colour. It has a high concentration of amino acids and is typically used for high quality matcha powders. Okumidori cultivar which is characterized by a vivid, bright green colour and is considered a rare cultivar. On the palate, it is smooth, round and mellow with low astringency.  

But why is Okumidori Matcha so special? Okumidori's inherent sweetness, balanced umami, and velvety mouthfeel make it the perfect candidate for crafting exceptional ceremonial grade matcha. The choice to harvest Okumidori leaves at just the right moment adds another layer of complexity to its taste profile, further enhancing its allure.

 tea field with rows of tea bushes

The Magic of Okumidori Matcha

The alchemy begins with a remarkable process known as "shading." About a month before the harvest, tea farmers carefully cover the Okumidori tea plants with traditional black netting or woven straw mats. This shading technique is called "tana" or "kabuse," and it shields the leaves from direct sunlight. This deliberate shading stimulates the production of chlorophyll and amino acids, which give Okumidori its signature vibrant green color and delightful umami taste.

Once the leaves have been lovingly nurtured under the veil of shade, it's time for the harvest. Expert harvesters pluck only the youngest, most tender leaves from the Okumidori plants. These delicate first flush leaves, also known as "shincha," are teeming with nutrients, flavor, and fragrance.

The harvested leaves undergo a precise steaming process, also known as "chumushi." This step halts oxidation, preserving the vibrant green color and locking in the tea's natural goodness. The leaves are then meticulously dried and cooled, preparing them for the next mesmerizing transformation.

The dried Okumidori leaves are now ready for the ancient art of stone grinding. Using traditional granite mills, skilled artisans carefully grind the leaves into a fine, velvety powder. This process requires patience and expertise, as the grinding must be slow and gentle to maintain the tea's delicate flavors and aroma. Okumidori matcha achieves a perfect balance of sweetness and umami. 


bright vivid green matcha

Discovering Ceremonial Grade Okumidori Matcha

The process of crafting ceremonial-grade Okumidori Matcha is an art form in itself, and the selection of leaves is of utmost importance. Only the finest and youngest leaves from the Okumidori tea plants make the cut. These leaves boast a higher concentration of nutrients, amino acids, and antioxidants, which contribute to the matcha's superior flavor and health benefits.

Once the prized leaves have been carefully harvested, they undergo meticulous processing, starting with the shading technique we explored earlier. This crucial step is what sets ceremonial-grade matcha apart from other grades, as the shading not only enhances the flavor but also imparts a smooth, velvety texture to the final product.

The tencha leaves are stone-ground with the utmost care and attention to detail, ensuring that each particle of Okumidori Matcha is fine and delicate, like a silk caress on your palate.

Okumidori tends to be favored for higher quality matcha powders due to its high amino acid and chlorophyll content which enhances the umami flavor. This cultivar typically offers a refreshing fragrance that is sweet and buttery, similar to baked biscuits or wafers, along with notes of chocolate and grass. On the palate, it is smooth, round and mellow with low astringency.


okumidori matcha powder

Health Benefits and Okumidori Matcha

High levels of catechins, specifically epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), bless this matcha variety with potent antioxidant properties. Antioxidants help fight free radicals, reducing oxidative stress and promote cellular health. In fact, studies have revealed that matcha contains significantly higher levels of antioxidants compared to other green teas, making Okumidori Matcha a true health champion.

Shade-grown nature of Okumidori amplifies its nutritional profile. The prolonged shading process increases the concentration of chlorophyll, the pigment that lends matcha its iconic green hue. Chlorophyll is a powerful detoxifier, assisting the body in eliminating harmful toxins and heavy metals.

Okumidori Matcha is also rich in L-Theanine. This amino acid plays a pivotal role in enhancing the calming effects of matcha, promoting a sense of relaxation and focus without inducing drowsiness. L-Theanine's synergy with caffeine, also present in matcha, offers a balanced and sustained energy boost, unlike the jitters often associated with coffee and may improve cognitive function.

Sipping Okumidori Matcha also offers an array of vitamins and minerals to nourish your body. Vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, iron, and calcium are just a few of the essential nutrients that this matcha variety bestows upon its drinkers. These nutrients are vital for overall well-being, supporting everything from immune function to bone health.


Ceremonial Grade Okumidori Matcha

Ceremonial-grade Okumidori Matcha stands as the pinnacle of matcha excellence, and its exquisite taste is an ode to the harmony of nature and human ingenuity. As you whisk the emerald powder into a creamy elixir, remember the love and dedication of the tea artisans who nurtured each leaf to perfection.

Embrace the myriad of health benefits that Okumidori Matcha gifts you, from antioxidants combating oxidative stress to L-Theanine's calming embrace. With each sip, feel the energy infuse your being, promoting focus, vitality, and overall well-being.



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