Tea Reviews

A Thick, Dark Brew of Our Matcha Koicha Hoshino

This matcha is, currently, the most premium matcha that we offer. Here are some notes I took of my experience when trying this matcha.

What is Koicha?

Koicha is effectively a matcha paste. Often translated as “thick tea”, it can also refer to the type of matcha that is used to make a brew of koicha. Different than usucha or “thin tea”, the type of matcha used to make koicha is designed to not turn bitter even it it is made super thick. “Super thick” means that you would use more leaf and less water than you would to make usucha. If you were using more leaf and less water, you might think that the brew would be too bitter and, with any other matcha besides koicha, this would most likely be the case. That is why, to make a bowl of koicha, it is recommended to buy matcha for that purpose. You can always make usucha with matcha designed for koicha, but it is not recommended to make koicha with matcha that is designed for usucha.

Tasting Notes of the Koicha Hoshino

Koicha Hoshino has a nutty, sweet flavor with a hint of a roasted finish. It is creamy and smooth on the pallet as if it is melting in your mouth. There is a savory taste to the tea that is reminiscent of beef or mushroom broth. The overall flavor, aromatics and body feel invite us to become more contemplative, alert, and really savor the session. The experience of this green tea is quite antithetical to the typical experience or understanding that people might have of green tea and matcha. They might think that green tea is super bitter and that matcha in particular is only a sweetened drink. This matcha is an entire package with different facets of it’s flavor and mouth feel.


The dry matcha has a rich, almost luminescent green as if it is full of life. When brewed to make koicha, this luminescent character transforms into a dark forest green. The brew coats the walls of your chawan as if it is less of a drink and more of a very rich soup. The smell of the dry leaf is like the taste of the tea liquid: there is an aroma that is liken to beef broth, mushrooms, forest morning dew, malted milk chocolate balls and autumn leaves.

 Additional Notes Regarding this Tea

  • When brewing this Matcha, we recommend that you sift the Matcha through a fine strainer before whisking. This adds an additional silkiness to the texture of the brew.
  • You can whisk the tea in a “M” or “W” shape with your wrist to generate more froth.
  • This Matcha is made with a blend of Yabukita, Okumidori, Saedori, Saemidori leaves.
  • The tea is produced in the renowned village of Hoshino, in Yame. This is a place where premium Gyokuro and Matcha are grown in rich soil nurtured by the morning mist. You will experience a rich aroma when you whisk this Koicha.

We definitely recommend this matcha for the avid matcha enjoyers of the world. At $0.68/g, we feel this matcha does better as a weekend special than a daily drinker but it really depends on your budget. This tea would especially be worth it if you wanted to hone in the brew and really focus on the subtleties of the matcha. If you are looking for more of a daily drinker matcha, you could opt for our Matcha Usucha or Ceremonial Matcha Uji, as these give you a bit more of bang for your buck in this regard.

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