Tea cultivation has a long history in Oita. In the Saiki and Hita regions, collective production of pan fired teas became established in the Edo era. Geographical appellations like Inbi and Tsue tea became well known. Until 1965, Kitsuki was a black tea producing area, but liberalization of black tea imports promoted a switch to green tea, of which Kitsuki is now the leading producer in Oita.
The northern part of Oita has seen large-scale farmland reclamation and production of Yabakei tea. This activity is centered on Nakatsu City, but since the 1990s, new plantations have also been established in former Ono Country. And in Usuki City, organic tea cultivation is thriving.