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.
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.
Preparing Thin Tea (Usu-Cha)
Thin tea is a popular way in Japanese Matcha tasting.
- 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.
- Add 2g of matcha (about 2 scoop with matcha scoop) into matcha bowl, then add 60ml water (70C).
- 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.
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.
- To prepare thick tea, we need to prepare the matcha bowl and matcha whisk first as in preparing Usu-cha.
- Add about 4g of matcha into matcha bowl, then add 30ml water (70C).
- Whisk slowly and gently in a circular 360 degree movement.
For both thin tea and thick tea, we recommend that you sift your matcha first before preparing matcha tea.
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 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 ceremony grade matcha.
View this video we found from Youtube.