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Koicha, for a Next-Level Matcha Experience

Written on January 19, 2023

Koicha ("thick tea") is a style of preparing matcha with a thick density. True to its name, a properly-made koicha has a consistency somewhere in-between maple syrup and warm honey. Koicha contrasts with usucha ("thin tea"), the typical matcha preparation style with a cream-like consistency.

Picture of koicha thick matcha being poured into a black teabowl Thick enough to scoop.

Why make matcha so thick?

Koicha is the dark chocolate to usucha's milk chocolate; its robust taste is a pure delight for die-hard matcha fans.

It's simply the best way to experience any matcha powder's full, pure, and unhindered taste.

Take a sip and let it sit heavily on your tongue for a moment. The initial impact of its flavor will develop and expand, commanding your attention and lingering forever in the finish.

Picture of two tea bowls, one with usucha thin matcha and one with koicha thick matcha in it Koicha on the left, usucha on the right.

Which matcha is good for koicha?

Since koicha produces such a powerful flavor, you’ll want to choose a matcha that has more sweetness and less sharpness.

For Ippodo Tea matcha blends, our matcha recommended for koicha are any that ranks higher than Kan. For Ippodo Tea matcha blends, we recommend any matcha from and higher in the .

How is koicha made?

We use twice the amount of matcha powder and half the amount of water that we use for usucha.

After sifting the powder into a matcha bowl and adding the water, we start by slowly stirring using a chasen. The drink becomes smoother and more consistent as the powder combines with the water. Soon enough, it takes on a beautiful luster that indicates it is ready to drink.

The Recipe

Brew the tea with boiling temperature for a minute, producing a rich, concentrated flavor brew. Then, pour the tea into a small pitcher full of ice. The ice dilutes the tea to the right strength, and quickly cools it off at the same time. The result is an aromatic, flavorful, and refreshing iced tea, brewed up in just a few minutes.

1. Sift Matcha
  • Measure 4 g (3 heaping tea ladles, or 2 level teaspoons).
  • Sift the matcha into a matcha bowl.
2. Add hot water
  • Use 30 ml (1 oz) of 80°C (176°F) water.
  • Cool boiling water by pouring it into a teacup first, then pour it into the bowl. There should be enough to just cover the matcha powder.
3. Whisk
  • Using a chasen, gently tamp the matcha powder to incorporate it with the water.
  • Then, mix for 15 seconds, moving back and forth and in circles. When finished, the liquid should be smooth and have a beautiful luster.
4. Enjoy
  • Drink from the same bowl you prepared the tea in. Take small sips and go slowly.
Ippodo Tea - Sifting matcha into a white teabowl with spout

How to Enjoy Koicha

Koicha is best enjoyed on its own, savored as a delicious treat. Since it has such a rich taste, you might want a cup of cool water to sip on the side. We recommend eating something before sitting down for koicha—its strength can be overwhelming on an empty stomach.

Picture of koicha thick matcha in a cermaic bowl Picture of koicha thick matcha being poured over vanilla ice cream in a glass cup
Koicha with wagashi... or poured over ice cream.

For those with a sweet tooth, try pure koicha as a topping or sauce for desserts. Make a matcha affogato by pouring koicha over a small dish of vanilla ice cream.

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