While it is certainly no “shaken or stirred” debate, there is more to matcha than just powder and some hot water. For those who want to earn bragging rights as a matcha green tea connoisseur, they have to learn to recognise the subtle distinction between two very different kinds of brew – Usucha (thin) and Koicha (thick).
What’s the Difference?
Thick and thin are pretty self-explanatory words to describe the two different viscosities of matcha, but for those new to the matcha revolution, they can mean very little. Thin, or usucha, matcha is the product of tea brewed with more water and less powder. The vigorous whisking during the tea preparation gives usucha matcha its instantly recognisable frothy head and resulting crema.
While usucha tea still has a high taste profile and many matcha drinkers enjoy it for its latte-like charm. It is often made from younger tea plants, those that fall under 30 years of age.
Thick, or koicha, matcha, the other hand, is an unforgettable experience. Like warm honey or melted chocolate in a cup, koicha packs maximum flavour into each cup. Koicha is best made with only the highest ceremonial grade powder. This means that the tea comes from the first harvest of green tea plants that are over 30 years old when the leaves are at their flavor peak. With the use of a high quality matcha powder, imbibers not only get that beautiful vibrant colour and the best taste, but they will fully be able to enjoy the natural sweetness of the tea.
The major difference between koicha and usucha is the lack of any frothy head. With koicha, the rich viscosity is created by gently massaging the tea with the bamboo whisk and slowly pouring in the water until the desired thickness is reached.
While everyone has their own tastes, thick matcha is considered one of the best way to enjoy this antioxidant-packed super brew. For those looking to learn more about the intricate brewing process or matcha itself,The Flavor Project has you covered. Just head on over and contact us today.