Matcha, the powdered green tea originating from Japan, is known for its unique flavor, rich texture, and health benefits. Matcha can be prepared in two different ways: Usucha and Koicha. Usucha is the thin tea made by whisking Matcha powder and hot water, whereas Koicha is the thick tea made by using a higher ratio of Matcha powder to water. In this blog post, we'll explore what Koicha is, how it's prepared, and why it's a unique and enjoyable way to enjoy Matcha.
What is Koicha?
Koicha (濃茶) is a thick and smooth Matcha tea with a creamy texture that is made by whisking a higher ratio of Matcha powder to water. Typically, a higher quality of Matcha powder is used for Koicha, and the tea is made with a ratio of 1.5 to 2 teaspoons of Matcha powder per 3 to 4 ounces of water. This is in contrast to Usucha, which is made with a ratio of 1 teaspoon of Matcha powder per 3 to 4 ounces of water.
Koicha has a unique and complex flavor profile, with a deep umami taste and a slightly sweet aftertaste. It also has a thicker, creamier texture than Usucha, and it is less frothy. The color of Koicha is a darker shade of green than Usucha, and it has a more vibrant, grassy aroma.
How is Koicha prepared?
Koicha requires a bit more preparation time and attention to detail than Usucha. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to prepare Koicha:
Sift the Matcha powder. Sifting the powder ensures that it is smooth and free of any clumps.
Heat the water. Heat the water to 160-175°F (70-80°C) and pour it into a small Matcha bowl or Chawan. It is important to use water of the right temperature as hot water can damage the delicate flavors of Matcha.
Scoop the Matcha powder. Use a bamboo scoop called a chashaku to scoop 1.5 to 2 teaspoons of Matcha powder into the bowl.
Add the water. Using a bamboo whisk called a chasen, slowly whisk the Matcha and water together in a zig-zag motion until the mixture becomes a thick, smooth paste.
Whisk the mixture. Continue to whisk the mixture until it becomes smooth, shiny, and free of any lumps. This should take about 15-20 seconds.
Serve the Koicha. Pour the Koicha into a small tea bowl or cup and enjoy!
Why is Koicha unique?
Koicha is unique in several ways. First, it is made with a higher quality of Matcha powder, which has a richer and more complex flavor profile. Second, the higher ratio of Matcha powder to water creates a thicker and creamier texture, which some people find more satisfying and enjoyable. Third, Koicha is typically enjoyed during traditional tea ceremonies in Japan and is considered a more formal and elegant way to enjoy Matcha.
Another unique aspect of Koicha is the utensils used to prepare it. The Chawan, or Matcha bowl, used for Koicha is typically larger and deeper than the one used for Usucha. The chasen whisk used for Koicha also has fewer prongs than the one used for Usucha, which helps to create a smoother and creamier texture.
Koicha is a unique and enjoyable way to experience Matcha. With its thick and creamy texture, complex flavor profile, and elegant presentation, Koicha is an excellent option for those looking to elevate their Matcha experience.