Tea Culture

Have You Considered Brewing Koicha and Usucha?

You’ve probably seen it before. A nice, emerald green cup of matcha with a lot of froth that is surely a pleasant sip. Have you, though, seen a brewed matcha that was so thick it is basically a paste? In this article, we’re going to talk about two generally understood styles of preparing matcha: usucha and koicha.

What do these terms mean? Basically, these are both terms used to describe different styles of matcha brewing. Usucha (aka “thin tea”) is a style of brewing matcha aimed at making a brew that is a bit watery, with a nice foam layer, nice green color, smooth mouth feel, etc. This is how you might expect a bowl of matcha to be. Koicha, on the other hand, uses about twice as much matcha as usucha with less water. As you would imagine, this makes more of a forest green matcha paste that can be quite powerful to experience.

With koicha, the matcha becomes so think that it is as if you are kneading the matcha, not whisking it. The taste of these can be quite different. There are matchas (such our Matcha Koicha and Koicha Hoshino) that are designed to be able to sustain their sweet, umami profile even when making such a thick tea. Using another kind of matcha would result in a bitter brew. That is why if you were shooting for the more widely accepted cup of matcha (that is, more of an usucha style matcha) you’d probably want to roll with our Matcha Usucha, Usucha Honyama, or other matchas such as our Ceremonial Matcha Uji.

Both usucha and koicha can be used to have a great tea time. Both can command the attention of the drinker and provide an uplifting experience. Because you are using effectively double the amount of matcha, one should be careful about the timing of drinking koicha as it can easily lead a lack of sleep. Perhaps a good rule of thumb: you can make usucha with a matcha designed to make koicha, but you probably should not make koicha with a matcha designed to make usucha. If this is done, the brew will most likely be quite bitter.

Den-chan seems to like both, depending on the day of the week.

Did this article help you at all? Let us know by emailing us at info@denstea.com. We’d love to hear what kinds of matcha you have enjoyed and what style of matcha you like to brew. Feel free to follow us on our instagram and tiktok. You can also subscribe to our newsletter by visiting our website and scrolling to the bottom of the page.