Thick Matcha tea, Koicha? Matcha tea you didn’t know

Thick Matcha tea, Koicha? Matcha tea you didn’t know

Matcha tea is a drink enjoyed at Japanese tea ceremony, but did you know that there are two types of Matcha tea? Matcha tea can be Usucha (thin) or Koicha (thick).(・0・。)

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Usucha (thin Matcha tea) and Koicha (thick Matcha tea)

Typically, Matcha tea is referred as Usucha (thin Matcha tea), because most of Matcha tea cafes provide Usucha.

However, there is another type of Matcha tea that is served at Japanese tea ceremony, what we call it “Koicha” (thick Matcha tea). There are only few places/cafes that provide Koicha and even most of Japanese people have not tried it.

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What is Koicha (thick Matcha tea)?

Koicha tends to be much thicker than Usucha. It doesn’t froth like Usucha and is prepared with more tea leaves and less hot water. Please think about Usucha as regular coffee, and Koicha is espresso! But the texture of Koicha is not watery at all, it is more like a rich and thick melted chocolate.

In tea ceremony, Usucha is a basic tea that beginners usually start with. Koicha is for advanced learners.

High grade Matcha is commonly used to make Koicha. Because of the high concentration, the taste of the tea tends to be strong and direct. If cheap Matcha is used, it can end up tasting too bitter. In proper Koicha, the umami flavors of the Matcha overpower the bitterness, making it quite delicious to drink.



Where can I try Koicha?

Places/cafes that you can enjoy Koicha are very limited compared to Usucha. Please find cafes that are specialized in Matcha tea or if you are in Japan, there are classes where you can have Japanese tea ceremony experience and try Koicha!


What Wagashi is good with Koicha?

Koicha is very thick so Wagashi (Japanese traditional sweets) that goes well with Koicha should be more sweet than typical Wagashi. Usually Wagashi that have a strong taste of red bean paste match well with Koicha, for example Yo-kan and Nerikiri (beautiful shaped Wagashi that is made of white bean paste mixed with sweet Mochi). Richness of Koicha in general match well with the sweetness from Wagashi!

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You may be surprised at the first time when you try Koicha because it is very thick. But once you can have a really good Koicha, I bet you will be obsessed with it! (just like me!) It may be difficult to find places where you can try Koicha, but if you find it please give it a shot!


Matane! (in Japanese, means “see you soon!”)

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