CA278 – The sensational new tea from Kagoshima
CA278. It sounds like someone’s impossibly difficult password, right? Well, believe it or not, CA278 is the name of a Japanese tea that is creating buzz in the tea world. Today, I would like to introduce this new tea to you and tell you all about it – where it comes from, the unique characteristics that make it so special, and why you should waste no time trying it out if you haven’t yet.
What is CA278?
CA278 is a tea cultivar. You might be wondering, ‘Oh no, another tea expert term again!’ but not to worry, tea cultivar is a ‘type’ of tea in the simplest terms. Cultivar means ‘cultivated variety, and it implies that this tea comes from a ‘type’ of the tea plant that was cultivated or grown by tea growers by crossing other varieties of teas to achieve the best possible qualities in the tea plant. Let me give you an easy example from our daily life – take Granny Smith’s Apples. For instance, they are an apple cultivar made by crossing the ordinary apple and the European wild apple, resulting in a delicious apple cultivar with juicy flesh and a crisp bite. If you want to read more about cultivars, please head on to this article, where I have discussed them in detail.
Origin of CA278 – How and where did it come from?
CA278 cultivar originates in the Ei City of Kagoshima Prefecture. Kagoshima prefecture is located at the Southwestern tip of Japan, and its hot climate, active volcano, and bay area have earned it the nickname “Naples of the East .”Now, from a tea-farming perspective, you might want to ask the question, why is Kagoshima an ideal place for growing tea? It is because the geographical location of Kagoshima gives it two vital advantages:
- It gives the tea plants maximum sunlight and a warm climate. These factors are the secrets behind the tea varieties from Kagoshima with their characteristic vibrant, emerald, green color.
- The volcanic soil of Kagoshima is rich in minerals, making the tea grown in the area rich in flavor and taste.
Now that we know about the birthplace of CA278 let’s talk about how and why this cultivar was made in the first place. As I have discussed before, cultivars are made when tea plant experts are looking to achieve specific characteristics in a tea plant – it could be many things, such as better color, taste, flavor, weather resistance, leaf size, etc.
You will be surprised to know that CA278 has been an essential part of the study for resistance against a significant tea pest called the tea green leafhopper. This insect is one of the biggest enemies of tea plantations, and scientists have been studying ways to make a tea plant that can naturally fight off this insect. So, a genetic cross was made between two tea plant varieties – Ch2 from China and Ai57 from Assam, India. They found that CA278 has good pest resistance compared to the other cultivars. However, it turned out that CA278 had something even more precious than pest resistance: its fantastic taste and flavor!
Taste and Flavour profile of CA278
CA278 is intensely fragrant, starting with a refreshing vibrancy and finishing with a mellow taste in the end. The tea’s ‘Fukamushi’ (deep steaming) processing (more on Fukamushi here) gives the taste richness and depth. It also has hints of seaweed, floral, and fruity notes. All the CA278’s taste profile components are balanced nicely by a moderate astringency.
- Sweetness: ★★
- Bitterness: ★★★
- Umami (richness/depth) ★★★
CA278 At a Glance
If you are looking for a new tea that you could try out, I highly recommend this exciting tea from Kagoshima. I believe you will not only be in love with its exciting name but also with how delicious it is.
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