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How to Make Delicious "Koicha" Matcha

The ultimate way of enjoying the quality of your Matcha. Careful - this is not for all Matcha!

This article was last modified November 24th, 2021. by Yuki


It can be argued that the ultimate form of Japanese green tea is this "Koicha" or the thick tea preparation of Matcha.

Koicha is a very special way of drinking Matcha. The Matcha will be much thicker than that of Usucha. Unlike usucha, it will not be whisked to create the frothy texture. Drinking Koicha is to enjoy the pure quality of premium Matcha in a rich and simple way.

Quality Matcha suitable for Koicha preparation

Koicha requires quality Matcha powder

Koicha requires different Matcha powder from Usucha.

If you try to use normal quality Matcha powder to make Koicha, the bitterness and astringency will be too strong. Koicha only allows premium quality Matcha powder – which is much more expensive than the normal quality powder. You can use Koicha powder and use it for Usucha, but it doesn’t go the other way around.

The names of the Matcha powder sometimes indicates whether it’s suitable for Koicha or not. If the name of the Matcha end with “Shiro” (Such as “Miyabi-no-shiro”), then it is a Matcha powder suitable only for Usucha. If the name of the Matcha ends with “Mukashi” (Such as “Manyou-no-mukashi”), it is a premium grade Matcha that can be used as Koicha.

If you are looking for Matcha on our web shop, at Tealife we do indicate whether each Matcha can be used as a Koicha. For example, the Unkaku by Marukyu Koyamaen is a Matcha suitable for Koicha, where the Isuzu by Marukyu Koyamaen is only suitable for Usucha. You'll find those explanations in the product details.

Usucha Koicha Cold Matcha

Powder (g)




Chashaku (scoops)




Teaspoons (roughly)


2 tsp


Temperature (Celsius)




Water (ml)


30 ml

60 ml





Chart: Instructions on how to make delicious Matcha

holding a matcha chawan

What to Prepare

What do I need in order to make Koicha?

tea tools required for Matcha Koicha

From top: Chasen, Matcha-jyawan, Natsume (Matcha powder holder), Chashaku, Tea Strainer

The Chasen (bamboo whisk) for Koicha is different from the one used for Usucha. While Usucha Chasens have 100 bristles, Koicha Chasens would be about 80 bristles. This is because the Chasen is used to mix, but not to make the bubbles.

This is an essential tool for the Koicha. Try and find a suitable bamboo brisk beforehand. You can find some on our online shop as well.

Step 1: Soak the Chasen in water or hot water

soaking chasen in water

Soak the Chasen in water

The first step is the same as Usucha. Place the Chasen in a bowl of water for it to soak up. If it’s a new Chasen or one you haven’t used in a while, make sure you keep it in the water for about 20 minutes.

Why soak Chasen in the water?

  • The Chasen is a very fragile tool. Soaking it in water will help prevent the bristles from breaking when mixing the Matcha.
  • When soaked in water, the Chasen will bend more easily. This will allow easier use when mixing the Matcha and generating the foam. If it’s dry, the bamboo will be hard. It’ll be more difficult to generate the rich foam.

Step 2: Warm the Chawan

warm the chawan with hot water

Warm the Chawan with hot water

Continue to follow the same steps as Usucha by pouring boiling water into the Chawan. Once the Chawan is warm, discard the water. Wipe the water with a clean cloth or a paper towel.

This is also a very important step in preparing delicious Matcha. There are 2 reasons for this as well.

Why warm the chawan?

  • If the temperature of the Matcha becomes too low while mixing, it will not taste as good. This step is taken to ensure the Matcha stays at a high temperature.
  • The moisture of the water will help prevent the colour of the Matcha from staining the Chawan.

Step 3: Prepare the Matcha

sift the Matcha powder

Prepare the high-quality Matcha powder for Koicha

For Koicha, take 4 grams of Matcha powder and pour it into the Chawan. This would be 4 scoops if you are using a Chashaku, or 2 scoops if you are using a Teaspoon.

Put the Matcha powder through a tea strainer as you pour it into the Chawan. This is to avoid the Matcha powder from forming lumps when you mix. Avoiding these lumps of Matcha powder is one of the key points in preparing delicious Koicha - it is unpleasant when there are lumps of tea powder in the Matcha.

Step 4: Prepare the hot water and pour it into the Chawan

Add water to the Koicha

Add water to the Koicha

For Koicha, the water is poured into the Chawan 2 separate times. The first step is to add just enough water so that the Matcha powder can be kneaded into a muddy state.

Steps for adding water

  • Prepare hot water at around 90 degrees Celsius. (Boil the water and leave it for 1 minute)
  • Add 15ml of hot water into the Chawan.
  • Use the tip of the bristles of the Chasen to press on the Matcha powder so that the water soaks in and there is no dry powder left.
  • Use the Chasen to knead the Matcha for about 1 minute.
  • Use not only circular motion, but also vertical and horizontal motion to knead.
  • The Matcha will become smooth and will develop a shine.

Step 5: Add additional water

Add another 15ml of hot water into the Chawan and continue to Knead. It would be done as to be gathering the Matcha sticking on the surface of the Chawan in a circular motion.

Continue to mix the Matcha from between 90 – 120 seconds once the Matcha becomes a texture of a melted ice cream, it is ready to serve.

Step 6: Serve and Enjoy

Serve and enjoy the Koicha.


Which Matcha powder in Tealife are suitable for Koicha?

Any of our Matcha powder from Kinrin and above are low enough in astringency that you can enjoy Koicha. We actually have a number of options.

When is Koicha being drunk?

In the scheme of the traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony, the Koicha is considered the highest form of "omotenashi" (hospitality to guests), and is the main event of the tea session.

In normal day-to-day use, it's recommended as a morning booster, as it's very high in Caffeine.

Author Yuki


Yuki is the Editor-in-Chief AND Community Manager at Tealife. He bleeds Japanese Tea and loves being a part of the Japanese Tea journey of others. Writes, does events, conducts tasting sessions, drinks, drinks and drinks tea! Easily accessible - hit him up on whatsapp (+65) 85882980.