Koicha


Made from leaves that have not been oxidized.

Postby Shelob » Feb 17th, '09, 12:53

Thanks Chamekke for sharing your wealth of knowledge on the tea ceremony! It is so interesting. I love matcha and am very interested now to try koicha, thanks to your posts! I just got my first matcha bowl and I love it.
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Postby xuancheng » Feb 18th, '09, 01:14

ryux wrote:Has anyone tried Tenju, Choan, and Eiju from marukyu-koyamaen before?

How different do those 3 taste? I am wondering if it's worth the $ to order Tenju instead of Choan and Eiju. And whether Choan taste much better than Eiju since it's only few bucks more. Oh and how many cups (let say a 3oz cup) can a 20g can Matcha make?

Thanks!


Have you had a lot of matcha before?

I think if you are new to matcha, you should just buy the cheaper stuff. I just bought 3 different cans of matcha from them:
Sosho Shihousai favoured Hagi no Shiro 100g 4,725yen
Tenju Matcha 20g 4,200yen
Unkaku Matcha 20g 1,628yen

I have been drinking a lot of the Hagi no shiro because I have a lot of it. I finished my can of Unaku, which I thought was very good, and I haven't opened my Tenju, because I want to be able to finish all of my matcha without it going bad.

Even the cheaper matcha is quite good for usucha, the foamy, thin tea. Of course the expensive stuff is great for ushucha as well.

I also think you should buy a couple of kinds of marukyu koyamaen matcha, because its all good tea, and you can compare and contrast. Don't buy a big can unless you can finish it fairly quickly as the stuff goes bad quickly.

here are some reviews:
http://mattchasblog.blogspot.com/search/label/matcha
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Postby olivierco » Feb 22nd, '09, 03:27

xuancheng wrote:
here are some reviews:
http://mattchasblog.blogspot.com/search/label/matcha


Thanks for the link!
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Postby TIM » Mar 25th, '09, 14:27

My first taste of KoiCha is an eye opening experience. Creamy, dairy and floral. Amazing. Anyone had experience Urasenke Center in NYC?
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Postby chamekke » Mar 26th, '09, 00:07

TIM wrote:My first taste of KoiCha is an eye opening experience. Creamy, dairy and floral. Amazing. Anyone had experience Urasenke Center in NYC?


Joel (joelbct) has been there, although I'm pretty sure he was served usucha rather than koicha.
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Postby chamekke » Apr 16th, '09, 16:06

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 increases accordingly!)

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 :)
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Postby inspectoring » Apr 16th, '09, 21:33

can someone please post pictures of the amount of tea to different phases of adding water and then the final product? I have been experimenting but I am not sure if I have hit the mark yet.
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Postby chingwa » Apr 16th, '09, 23:27

Make it too thick... then you've got it. as Chamekke keeps saying, it's like ketchup, almost....

found this one on flickr... http://www.flickr.com/photos/wlshepherd/528397721/
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Postby inspectoring » Apr 17th, '09, 01:26

chingwa wrote:Make it too thick... then you've got it. as Chamekke keeps saying, it's like ketchup, almost....

found this one on flickr... http://www.flickr.com/photos/wlshepherd/528397721/

I have seen this before but I am afraid that this may have too much matcha powder for one time consumption by one person.
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Postby Geekgirl » Apr 17th, '09, 01:46

Use a small bowl. :wink: :lol:
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Postby olivierco » Apr 17th, '09, 11:06

inspectoring wrote:I have seen this before but I am afraid that this may have too much matcha powder for one time consumption by one person.


Koicha should be very thick.
I sometimes have a double koicha bowl (up to 8gr of matcha) which isn't too much, at least if you don't drink it daily I guess.
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Postby chamekke » Apr 17th, '09, 11:43

For people who are new to koicha, I would suggest starting with a single serving. It's pretty potent stuff.

Note: if it's too thick, the koicha simply sticks to the side of the chawan and you're very lucky to get even a mouthful. (This is particularly the case as it cools.) That photograph may be a case in point. Sadly, in tea ceremony you're not allowed to lick the bowl clean with your tongue. Of course I'd never do that at home :wink:

In tea ceremony there is a consolation prize of sorts - you can haiken (look at, examine) the bowl after everyone has drunk from it. At this point it's traditional to admire the "landscape" of the remnants of the koicha in the chawan. And if the bowl is black raku, it's an especially beautiful sight.
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Postby Salsero » Apr 17th, '09, 14:06

I tried my hand at making koicha for the first time a few days ago, and the result was not good. It seemed bitter and unpleasant. I used Ippodo's Horai-no-mukashi: 3 heaping (bamboo) teaspoons sifted into preheated chawan, 60 ml water. Although it was pretty thick, it did still flow, but it tasted awful. Is it possible that I just don't like koicha? I really like usucha and have loved every bowl I've made. Could I have done something wrong?
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Postby olivierco » Apr 17th, '09, 14:47

It shouldn't be bitter.
As you got the right consistency, there isn't any problem with the quantities.
Maybe you could try with somewhat cooler water temperature.

I haven't tasted the Horai yet, but according to Ippodo this grade of matcha should be OK for koicha.
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Postby Oni » Apr 17th, '09, 14:50

I would like to ask from those of you who bought directly from marukyu koyamaen, do you still need to fax them your personal info, or have they upgraded their methods.
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