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What Is Wagyu Beef? Colorado Reserve Wagyu Explains

These days, taste connoisseurs are on the lookout for delectable meals and unbeatable dining experiences. If you’re a meat-lover, chances are that you’ve already heard of Wagyu beef. At the very least, you’ve heard of the superior flavor of Kobe beef. All across the globe, diners are seeking out the unsurpassable taste and tenderness of Wagyu beef. If you’re interested in learning about the value behind Wagyu and it’s renowned marbling, it helps to do your research before investing in the world’s top beef!

Colorado Reserve Wagyu is here to provide unbelievable flavors resulting from our finely tuned practices raising cattle according to Japanese customs. We’re excited to show customers just how amazing American Wagyu can be, and are happy to help breeders improve their existing bloodlines.

Today, we’ll highlight exactly what Wagyu beef is, as well as the ratings and genetics behind this popular dish. If you have questions, feel free to contact us online!

What Is Wagyu?

Wagyu (waa-gyoo) literally translates to “Japanese Cow,” although this can be a bit of a misnomer. Over the centuries, Japanese cattle farmers and chefs have focused on the best practices to deliver the best beef possible,relying on one of four Wagyu-specific breeds.

Colorado Reserve Wagyu understands that this beef is the most in-demand across the globe, and our team strives to meet the legendary status of Japan-native Wagyu. Learn about the story behind our genetics, and be sure to contact us if you have any questions!

The Difference Between Kobe Beef and Other Wagyu

Kobe beef is among the top three brands of Wagyu in Japan. We hear about a lot of confusion when it comes to Kobe and Wagyu, and we’re here to set the record straight:

Japanese Wagyu is often rated by the strain and where it is sourced from. Kobe beef, for example, consists of Tajima cattle raised in Japan’s Hyogo Prefecture. Any Wagyu bred and raised outside of this region cannot technically qualify as “Kobe.” Japan reveres their Wagyu, and does not export their beef products. These two factors mean that any Kobe beef you purchase in the United States will likely be the result of false advertising.

Discussing Wagyu Genetics

Wagyu beef comes from four different breeds of cattle in Japan. These bloodlines can be traced back for centuries, providing a clear picture as to the quality of your beef. Of the six breeds commonly found here, only four can be considered Wagyu:

  • Japanese Black (Kuroge Washu) — Sourced from the Tajima line, this cattle is renowned for its amazing marbling, making Wagyu a world-famous dish worldwide. A large majority of the cattle in Japan consists of the Kuroge Washu breed.
  • Japanese Brown (Akage Washu) — This small breed was introduced to Japan around the second century AD, and tend to be more tan in color. Japanese Browns makes up nearly 20% of the Wagyu market.
  • Japanese Shorthorn (Tankakushu) — Mainly raised in the Tohoku Region, this cattle is dark red. Japanse Shorthorns account for one or two percent of the market.
  • Japanese Polled (Mukaku Washu) — Black and smaller in stature, the Japanse Polled is an endangered breed of cattle. Today, this breed makes up less than one percent of the Wagyu beef available.

Colorado Reserve Wagyu relies on our Tajima-influenced herd, providing exceptional marbling and unbeatable flavor. Check out our shop to buy a quarter, half, or whole cow!

The BMS System

Japan utilizes a Beef Marbling Standard (BMS) to rate the degree of marbling in your meat. The scale ranges from 0 to 12, with 0 consisting of almost no fat and 12 indicating a truly rare level of fat. Many people believe BMS scores over 8 to be too rich, fatty, and filling. Anything up until this point, though, is fair game!

Wagyu beef tends to range between 4 and 7 on the scale, with Kobe beef requiring at least a six to be labeled as such. By comparison, American beef tends to top out around 4, with most steaks rating at a 2 or 3 on the BMS scale.

Grading Systems

In addition to the BMS, Japan also relies on two scales to accurately rate the quality of Wagyu beef:

Yield Grade

As the name suggests, this grade dictates how much meat can be obtained from certain areas of the cattle’s body. Your beef’s cutability is graded from A to C, with A being above standard and C being below standard.

Quality Grades

The Japansese grading system relies on four key components to determine a score ranging from one to five, with one rating as poor and five rating as excellent:

  1. Marbling
  2. Meat color
  3. Firmness and texture of meat
  4. Color and quality of fat

These two ratings are combined to provide a clear picture of the quality and yield expected from your Wagyu. A5, for example, shows the best of both ratings, indicating a far superior beef.

Shop Our Store for American Wagyu Today!

Colorado Reserve Wagyu outside of the Denver Metro area is here to provide unbeatable 100% fullblood Wagyu, relying on our proven practices to ensure our customers are left with a truly exceptional outcome. Our team focuses on responsible management of our cattle and rangeland, creating a deliciously sustainable outcome for all involved. Be sure to browse our shop to find the best Wagyu beef for sale, and be sure to contact us if you have any questions. We look forward to making you a customer for life!