joelbct wrote:Well, try experimenting with the temperature and amount, like you would with any tea. Use the suggestions as a baseline, and go from there. I'm not even sure what the "official" line is on matcha water temperature, but 170 or 160 even seems to work for me. 180 might kill some of the flavor.
The temperature is indeed a little lower for koicha
. In tea ceremony there is a distinct pause between when you first mix the matcha with a little
water, to make a super-thick paste*, and when - a little later - you add enough hot water to make it the correct consistency. (If you think of the consistency of chocolate when it is melted, that's just about perfect.)
So, even though the tea bowl is heated with hot rinse water and then dried prior to making the koicha
, nonetheless there is still a little cooling that goes on between steps 1 and 2, and again more cooling before the bowl is served to the guest. (I'm always amazed at just how quickly it cools down... and how the viscosity of the koicha
There is also a difference in water temperature depending on the season. This is from An Introduction to Japanese Tea Ritual
by Jennifer L. Anderson:
By furo [summer] season, tea powder has theoretically become weak with age (the tea is supposed to have been harvested in the spring of the previous year). For this reason the lid of the water jar is removed, enabling the host to add a dipper full of cold water to the kettle. Doing so lowers the water temperature, which in turn, protects the delicate flavor of the tea. Only two or three tablespoons of hot water are added to the tea bowl for every three grams of tea powder. The beverage is supposed to be very thick and viscous.
*If you've ever mixed cornstarch into a very thick paste, then gradually added more water to make a thinner liquid that can then be added to sauce as a thickener ... you've got the right idea