The Ultimate Guide To Koicha: Your Matcha Questions Answered
There are many reasons you’ll want to consider substituting your current caffeinated beverage with a matcha green tea alternative, instead. Koicha is a method of preparing matcha that helps to deliver on bold and beautiful flavors, as well as all of the great health benefits that are often associated with drinking matcha.
Here at Tenzo Tea, we believe that everyone should have access to the resources and information that makes it easy to create healthy and delicious matcha drinks at home, including through the koicha method.
Here are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind when picking out your matcha green tea powder and following matcha tea and dessert recipes.
What is Matcha Tea?
Matcha is a type of green tea that is dried and made into a powder, rather than steeped like tradition teas. Matcha, like many green teas has both energy boosting and health benefits and can prove an excellent substitute for other caffeinated beverages like coffee or energy drinks.
Matcha is delicious, versatile, and low impact, so you won't have to worry about common side effects often associated with coffee and other caffeinated beverages.
Benefits to Drinking Matcha
While coffee is the most commonly enjoyed caffeinated beverage in the United States and around the world, there are often side effects associated with drinking it, including headaches, stomachaches, anxiety and stress, and difficulty sleeping.
One of your alternative caffeinated drink options is matcha. Here are some of the benefits to swapping out your coffee and making matcha at home today.
It Gives You Energy
Matcha tea is rich in antioxidants and can provide you a strong and powerful energy boost that doesn't leave you feeling fatigued or tired in a short amount of time. While it has a lower caffeine content than coffee, it is full of vitamins that are refreshing and supportive for overall health and wellness, so you can maintain energy and focus all day long.
It Has Fewer Side Effects
Unlike coffee, matcha delivers on all of those great benefits without associated side effects, like headaches, increased anxiety, and difficulty sleeping. One of the most common side effects of regular caffeine consumption is the caffeine crash that often follows. You won’t have to worry about a caffeine crash when you swap out your coffee for matcha.
It Can Support Overall Health and Wellness
Because matcha tea is mixed with hot water, rather than steeped like traditional teas, it maintains more of its nutritional value, which can be useful for boosting immunity, digestion support, and supporting skin health. It’s also useful for managing signs and symptoms of anxiety and getting a better night’s sleep.
Ultimate Guide to Koicha
When it comes to matcha, there are a few different types of preparation. It’s a good idea to explore your options, so you can learn about the different methods and begin making your favorites at home today. Here’s your ultimate guide to Koicha, a matcha tea preparation method.
What is Koicha?
Koicha is one of the two traditional methods of matcha preparation, though it’s important to note that matcha powder can be used in a wide variety of recipes, from breakfast to dessert to evening cocktails.
Matcha tea preparation has long been associated with ceremonies. In fact, history indicates that Buddhist monks were the first to bring matcha tea from China to Japan thousands of years ago and matcha has been used by Japanese samurai in training, as well. Koicha is a ceremonial method of preparation, and is both fun to experience and to try at home.
Koicha is the “thick tea” variation of matcha, in which the concentration of matcha to water is significantly higher than the alternative. Unlike traditional teas, or even the other common methods of matcha preparation, koicha should appear thick after mixing—think the consistency of syrup, rather than a liquid. Because koicha is a concentrated type of matcha, you can expect that the flavors and aromas will be bolder and richer.
Why Should I Make Koicha?
The main reason you’ll make koicha is for a traditional tea ceremony. The idea behind the ceremony and behind the preparation of koicha is about the intention to step away from the rigors and fast pace of everyday life to enjoy the hospitality of the host in a peaceful and unique environment.
While koicha is mostly enjoyed during tea ceremonies and special occasions, it can have bold and delicious flavor and provide a truly aromatic and unique tea drinking experience that will certainly be remembered!
What is the Difference Between Koicha and Usucha?
If koicha is thick tea, usucha is its opposite—thin tea. It is the other common preparation for matcha in these ceremonies and, as the name would indicate, is mixed for a thinner consistency.
Many matcha drinks resemble usucha, such as matcha lattes, and it is the more common method of preparation between the two. Koicha can be bold and very rich, and usucha delivers the same delicious matcha flavors in a subtler and more gentle way.
How Do I Make Koicha at Home?
There are many ways to experience a tea ceremony in the United States and abroad, but you can also bring some of the koicha making experience into your own kitchen genuinely and respectfully, as well.
When it comes to making matcha according to tradition, it’s all about the ratio of water to powder. You’ll want to experiment with different ratios to find the right thickness of your koicha, but since koicha is much thicker than usucha, you can expect that there’s going to be a significantly higher powder to water ratio.
It’s also a good idea to use high-quality matcha powder when making your matcha tea, but especially when making Koicha, since it will taste very strong and bold. Koicha is usually around three times thicker than usucha.
The ideal temperature for koicha tea water is around 180F. If you use boiling water, it can burn the matcha and make it taste bitter. Once your water has cooled, use a bamboo whisk to achieve that smooth, rich texture.
How Do I Pick the Right Matcha?
Picking the right matcha is essential to getting the flavors, textures, and drinking experience you deserve when it comes to your next cup of koicha. Matcha can vary significantly in flavor depending on where it was grown and how it was produced, and here at Tenzo Tea, were dedicated to bringing you the highest quality matcha and tools available. It’s also important how you store your matcha, since it degrades quickly, especially after opening.
Should Koicha Be Paired With Anything?
There are a few tea ceremony desserts you’ll want to pair with your koicha for an incredible overall experience. Because koicha can be very bold and rich in umami flavors, especially given its thickness, sweets are often enjoyed before, between, and after the koicha for a full flavor profile. Most commonly, these sweets are made of bean paste, glutinous rice flour, or sugar, which gives a balance of sweetness to the strong koicha flavors.
There are many different ways to enjoy matcha both at home and when you travel, and koicha is one of two common ceremonial methods of preparation, along with usucha. The two differ in their texture and viscosity, with koicha being much thicker, usually around a three to one ratio, which means it delivers on very rich and bold flavors that are often umami in nature.
When making koicha at home or as part of a traditional tea ceremony, it’s essential to use a high-quality matcha powder, like the kind you’ll find here at Tenzo Tea. We harvest and prepare our green tea leaves in the ideal environment and provide the information and resources you need to properly store your tea at home, so it maintains those bold and beautiful flavors for as long as possible.
There are many health and wellness benefits to enjoying matcha in any form. To start, it can provide energy without a caffeine crash or other related side effects. Matcha, unlike other types of tea, is mixed directly with hot—but not boiling—water, which means it’s rich in vitamins and antioxidants which are excellent for supporting your immune system and reducing the risk of developing oral health conditions like periodontal disease.
When you’re ready to begin experiencing all that matcha has to offer for yourself, explore our library of resources here at Tenzo Tea and begin mixing up your next cup today.