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Wagyu Cattle Breeds

Kobe Beef > Wagyu Breeds (this page)

Other articles: Grading | Feeding and Raising | Kobe Beef CharacteristicsOmega Fatty Acids

Wagyu Breeds and Grading.

Wagyu is a Japanese term meaning "Japanese cow." The term refers to several breeds of cattle primarily raised in Japan, famous for producing extremely tender and well-marbled beef. Below, we'll examine the different Wagyu cattle breeds and the grading of their beef.

Wagyu Breeds.

  • Kuroge Washu (Black Breed) This is the most famous breed and represents approximately 90% of Wagyu cattle in Japan. They are known for their unique ability to marble fat, leading to highly marbled beef.

  • Akage Washu (Red Breed) Much less common and mainly found in Kochi and Kumamoto prefectures. The beef from this breed is usually leaner with less marbling.

  • Mukaku Washu (Polled Breed) This is a rare breed famous for the excellent quality of fat it produces.

  • Nihon Tankaku Washu (Short Horn Breed) Known for its hardiness and high-quality beef, this breed is less common than Kuroge Washu.


Wagyu Beef Grading..

Wagyu beef is graded according to a system that evaluates the beef for its marbling, color, and texture, among other factors. The grading consists of

  • Yield (A-C) This letter represents the proportion of usable meat. Class A is the highest.

  • Quality (1-5) Quality is judged in five areas: marbling, meat color, fat luster, texture, and fat color. The score is calculated on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the best.

  • BMS (Beef Marbling Score) This score evaluates the marbling of the beef on a scale of 1 to 12, with 12 being the highest level of marbling.

Wagyu beef is renowned for its exceptional taste, texture, and quality. With an understanding of the different breeds and how beef is graded, consumers can make more informed decisions when purchasing this delicious meat. The quality and rarity of Wagyu beef also make it a luxurious choice for special occasions.

The next time you enjoy a Wagyu steak, you'll be able to appreciate the careful breeding and grading that contributed to its exceptional taste and texture.

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