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Matcha Thick Tea (Koi-cha) and Thin Tea (Usu-cha)

This article is about preparing matcha tea in traditional way as in Japanese Tea Ceremony, if you want to prepare matcha latte, please read our post here.


For regular drinking, we recommend ~1g (about half tea spoon) for 150ml water. Water temperature around 80-90C. Traditional way of matcha preparation uses lot more matcha which some may finds too heavy. 


There are 2 traditional ways in preparing Japanese matcha : Usucha (thin tea) and Koicha (thick tea).


There is no strict rule on which matcha should be used to make Koicha, or Usucha. The general rule of thumb is that the higher grade matcha (more greenish vibrant colour, high level of sweetness) should be used to make thicker tea, and the lower grade should be used to make thinner tea.


matcha koicha thick tea vs usucha thin tea



Preparing Thin Tea (Usu-Cha)


Thin tea is a popular way in Japanese Matcha tasting.

  1. To prepare matcha, first we must prepare the whisk and bowl. Pre-heat the matcha bowl by filling the bowl with 1/3 hot water, then put the whisk into the bowl in the way the whisk is facing down, preheat and wet the whisk prongs.
  2. Add 2g of matcha (about 2 scoop with matcha scoop) into matcha bowl, then add 60ml water (70C).
  3. Whisk matcha with bamboo whisk in a fast "W" or "M" movement until it cover with foams. Move only your wrist when whisking, not your arm. 

matcha frothed usucha thin tea with foam



Preparing Thick Tea (Koi-Cha)


Thick tea has double amount of matcha powder, and half amount of water compare to thin tea. Therefore, thick tea is 4 times thicker than thin tea.

  1. To prepare thick tea, we need to prepare the matcha bowl and matcha whisk first as in preparing Usu-cha.
  2. Add about 4g of matcha into matcha bowl, then add 30ml water (70C).
  3. Whisk slowly and gently in a circular 360 degree movement.

matcha Koicha thick tea



For both thin tea and thick tea, we recommend that you sift your matcha first before preparing matcha tea.

sift matcha


Below table shows the comparison between preparation of Usu-cha and Koi-cha

  Usu-Cha (Thin tea) Koi-Cha (Thick tea)
Matcha Amount 2g (about 2 scoops) 4g (About 4 scoops)
Water Volume 60ml 30ml
Water Temperature 70 Degree Celcius 70 Degree Celcius
Whisk Type 50-120 prongs whisk 32-50 prongs whisk
Whisk Movement Rapid "W" or "M" Movement Slow 360 degree rotating
Results Thin tea covered with foam Shiny thick tea with no foam


There is no strict rule that you must prepare your matcha in either Usu-Cha or Koi-Cha form. You may add a gram of matcha into your cup of hot water, if you prefer stronger taste, add 2 gram. If you want to have less intense matcha tea, add more hot water. You can always personalized your own matcha to suit your own taste. The only and most important rule is, use only good matcha.


For Koicha, we recommend Samidori Premium Ceremonial grade matcha.

For Usucha, we recommend Mori ceremony matcha , Okumidori Yame Ceremonial Matcha , Saemidori Organic Ceremonial Matcha or premium grade matcha.

For best result, it's highly recommended to use matcha accessories such as bamboo whisk, matcha scoop and matcha bowl to prepare matcha. Visit our matcha accessies section.