Koicha (Thick Matcha Tea)


Koicha (Thick Matcha Tea)

There are two fundamental traditional Japanese preparation methods for matcha: Koicha (which translates to "thick tea") and Usucha (which translates to "thin tea").

A few things to keep in mind...


Preparation Tools

When preparing koicha, you will need the following tools (which are all available in our Tools & Gifts collection - individually boxed or in our Complete Ceremony Set:


Matcha Grade


We recommend only using higher grades of matcha (like our Limited Edition Ceremonial offerings or our Teahouse Edition Ceremonial grade) when preparing koicha. Ceremonial grades are crafted the youngest tea leaves during Ichibancha (First Harvest). Younger tea leaves have higher concentrations of L-theanine with invite sweeter notes, more umami, and a vibrant green color. 


Water Temperature

As a best practice, prepare matcha with water temperatures ranging from 140°-175°F — anything hotter will burn the delicate tea leaves. Hot (boiling) water will increase the rate of oxidation and invite more bitter notes and burn the matcha powder, visibly altering the color from a vibrant green to a brown-green hue.


Water Quantity

Very little water is needed to prepare koicha. We recommend using 1-1.5 oz of water. If more is needed to achieve a desired consistency, slowly add .5 oz more water.


What does Koicha taste like?

Koicha has an intense, concentrated flavor profile since it is prepared with more matcha powder and less water. This preparation is recommend when assessing matcha flavor profiles as the nuanced notes are at the forefront, this means you may experience deeper umami and velvety sweetness. The thick, honey-like consistency lingers on your palate for a longer finish. 


How do I enjoy Koicha?

Once prepared, you can enjoy the koicha straight from your chawan (tea bowl). Since koicha is more viscous, it will slowly make its way into your mouth as you tilt the chawan towards your lips. You may also use a tasting spoon to scoop the koicha into your mouth — if this is your first time trying koicha, we recommend tasting a small amount and pairing it with a sweet treat (like mochi or sweet fresh fruit) to balance out the stronger flavors.





  • Sift matcha powder into a chawan (tea bowl). Sifting is an important step to ensure that large clumps are broken down, resulting in the smoothest bowl of koicha.



  • Slowly pour water along the edge of the sifted matcha, avoid pouring water directly over the matcha.



  • Use the chasen (bamboo whisk) to slowly knead the water into the matcha powder using small circular motions until a thick, honey-like consistency forms. If the koicha is too lumpy, slowly add .5 ounces more hot water and continue kneading with circular motions until it is fully incorporated.



  • Once the desired consistency is achieved, drink the koicha straight from your tea bowl or use a tasting spoon to scoop a small amount and taste.



"I tasted Koicha, it's not for me..."

If this is you, we appreciate your openness in trying Koicha. We recognize that it is not for everyone and that is completely understandable. If you find the flavor profile a bit too strong for your liking, simply make Usucha (thin tea). Just add 3-4 ounces of hot water into your bowl of koicha and use the chasen to vigorously whisk the matcha with M-shaped motions, until frothy. The result will be a beautiful traditional bowl of matcha.