Skip to main content

How To Make Delicious "Usucha" Matcha

A step-by-step guide on how to prepare the standard way of drinking Japanese Matcha tea.

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


Drinking infused Japanese green tea such as Sencha or Houjicha daily is wonderful - however, why not mix it up occasionally with Matcha?

It’s not only an incredible nutrient booster, but also a great way to feel a taste of Japanese tradition.

Have you ever tried a frothy cup of delicious Matcha that was prepared by whisking with a bamboo whisk? If you haven’t – well, you’re in for a treat. This is the traditional style of preparing Matcha, and you’ll find that it’s a fantastic experience.

If you already like Matcha, you’ll like Matcha 10 times more! This is precisely the key point in preparing great tasting Matcha.

Usucha whisking

The Usucha and the Koicha

There are 2 ways to prepare Matcha. One is the Usucha (thin tea), and the other is the Koicha (thick tea).

The main difference is how much Matcha powder they use. The Usucha, or the thin tea, is what you see in the picture above. The Koicha uses a lot more Matcha powder than the Usucha, ending up in a more muddy looking tea.

In this article, we’ll go over how to prepare Usucha, which is more suited for casual drinking.

If you're unsure which you should try first, then go for the Usucha.

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 Matcha

Tools for Matcha

What to Prepare

What do I need in order to make Usucha?

tools required for preparing matcha

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

Many of these traditional Japanese tea tools are replaceable with something you might already have in your kitchen.

However, the Chasen, or the bamboo whisk is a key tea tool that is required to make delicious Matcha and may not be replaceable that easily. Try and find a suitable bamboo brisk beforehand. You can find some on our online shop as well.

You can find Chasens with different numbers of bristles. For Usucha, use the Chasen with 100 bristles. This helps generate the rich creamy layer of bubbles, giving Matcha it’s frothy texture and allows for the aroma to be released. The Chasen with 80 bristles are used for Koicha.

Make sure you have Matcha powder too as well!

Step 1: Soak the Chasen in water

The first step is to 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. There are 2 reasons for this very important step.

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.
soaking the chasen bamboo whisk

Soak the Chasen in water

Step 2: Warm the Chawan

Pour boiling water into the Chawan to warm. Then, discard the water. Wipe the water with a clean cloth or a paper towel.

warming the chawan

Warm the Chawan with hot water

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

sifting the Matcha

Putting the Matcha powder through a tea strainer

Take 2 grams of Matcha powder and pour it into the Chawan. This would be 2 scoops if you are using a Chashaku, or 1 scoop if you are using a Teaspoon.

Sift 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. This is also a very important step - 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

pouring water into the matcha bowl

Pour 70 ml of hot water at 80 degrees Celsius

First you should boil the water at 100 degrees to remove all the chlorine in the water. Once the water is boiling, pour the water into a Yuzamashi, or a water-cooling bowl. If you don’t have a Yuzamashi, you can use any bowl you like. By pouring the water into a Yuzamashi or a different bowl once, it will lower the temperature to an optimal temperature.

Don’t make it too cool, as the delicious creamy layer of bubbles is difficult to produce if the water is not hot enough.

When you pour the water into the Chawan, make sure you don’t pour it directly onto the powder as this will cause the Matcha to splatter. Pour the water gently from the side of the Chawan.

Step 5: Whisk

whisking the matcha

Whisking the Matcha to mix the powder with the hot water

This is perhaps the most important step of Matcha preparation. Whisk to mix the Matcha with the water, and generate the rich frothy texture of Matcha.

The whisking is done by taking the bamboo whisk and whisking the Matcha back and forth in a quick, small motion.

I recommend not to whisk in a circular motion – as it will not be enough force to generate the bubbles. The Chasen should be slightly above the bottom of the Chawan, and it should lightly touch the Chawan as you whisk.

Use the snap of your wrist and vigorously whisk the tea back and forth. Do not put too much strength in your arms or shoulders, as that will make it difficult to whisk as fast as required. Whisk as fast as possible and continue for 30 seconds until there is a nice thick layer of bubbles on the surface of the tea. It may be tiring – but it’ll be worth it.

Ultimately, there is no correct way of whisking. Try to find a way that's comfortable for you.

Step 6: Serve and Enjoy

Drinking Usucha with a wagashi

Enjoy Delicious Usucha with a Wagashi

Enjoy the Matcha. Serving Matcha with any kind of Wagashi – or Japanese sweets – would make the Matcha experience extra pleasurable.

Japanese Tea Ceremony and Usucha Matcha


What should I do if the Matcha doesn't froth well?

Consider the following points if you find it difficult to froth your Usucha Matcha.

      • Is the water temperature high enough? (It's easier to froth if the temperature is high)
      • Did you sift the tea before-hand?
      • Are you using enough Matcha Powder?

If you still find it difficult to froth, there is a possibility that the Matcha powder you have may not be suited for frothing. The Matcha powder not being fine enough, or bad storing contributions may contribute to such situations.

Should I use mineral water for preparing Matcha?

It's better to use tap water.

Mineral water tends to contain high levels of minerals, which make the harness of the water too hard for Japanese tea.

It's better to use tap water, boil it so the chlorine is removed, and use that.

You can read more about the type of water and Japanese tea here.

Is Matcha a Shincha, or could it be a nibancha?

If you have a quality Matcha, most likely it would be a Shincha, or first flush tea leaves.

While it is technically possible to produce Matcha from nibancha, which are the second flush of tea leaves, it is extremely difficult to match sufficient quality from second flush tea leaves. The umami is just not sufficient to do so.

If by chance you did find a Matcha made from Nibancha, I would definitely avoid it!

If I don't have a Chasen, is there anything I can use?

Some other alternatives I tried and have managed to work are as below.

      • An electric milk froth
      • A cocktail shaker

While these did work, it still wasn't easy. I strongly recommend you to find a Chasen if you would like to try Matcha.

Tools for preparing Usucha Matcha
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.