Koicha


Made from leaves that have not been oxidized.

Postby Salsero » Feb 14th, '09, 14:49

I haven't taken the koicha plunge yet. I guess that will have to be my next tea discovery. Do you strive for foam on the koicha like on the usucha?
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Postby Geekgirl » Feb 14th, '09, 15:01

Salsero wrote:Do you strive for foam on the koicha like on the usucha?


Nope, no foam. I'm personally not hardcore enough for koicha. It's a texture thing though, the taste was fine, if a bit overwhelming.
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Postby Salsero » Feb 14th, '09, 15:49

Well, if I get a koicha-ready matcha, I can always use it for usucha if I prefer. Right?
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Postby Geekgirl » Feb 14th, '09, 15:53

I do. The ippodo waka is koicha-ready, but I use it for usucha. The nice thing is you can mix it with a heavy hand, it is still usucha, but very flavor-intense without the paint texture.

The usucha quality matchas are a little throat-locking if you use too high a concentration.
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Postby olivierco » Feb 14th, '09, 15:57

Salsero wrote:I haven't taken the koicha plunge yet. I guess that will have to be my next tea discovery. Do you strive for foam on the koicha like on the usucha?


No foam for koicha. Koicha is too thick to get some.

Salsero wrote:Well, if I get a koicha-ready matcha, I can always use it for usucha if I prefer. Right?


Of course!
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Postby chamekke » Feb 15th, '09, 02:52

This morning I had koicha - Kinrin by Koyamaen. It was goo-ood.

I've struggled with describing the consistency of koicha, but yesterday I read a mention of koicha that said, "It's the thickness of melted chocolate." That's probably the best description I've read yet.

It isn't possible to get foam on koicha; trust me, it's too thick. Usually we say that you "knead" it. In tea ceremony, you add a small amount of hot water to the matcha in the (heated) chawan, slowly and carefully (and reverently?) kneading it into a smooth paste. Basically, at this stage you are making sure that there are no lumps left, and the mixture is uniformly thick - very thick indeed at this stage. Then you add a little more hot water and knead that into the mixture. At this point the koicha is still thick, but it's liquid enough so that when you tilt the chawan upwards, it will flow into your mouth - eventually.

Most of you are probably too young to remember the old Heinz ketchup advert with Carly Simon singing "Anticipation," but somehow I always think of that whenever I drink koicha :)

The longer you let it sit around, the cooler (and "thicker") it gets - so it's important to drink it very soon after preparing it.

It's also the "sacramental drink" of tea ceremony, incidentally. Each guest drinks usucha (thin tea) out of their own individual bowl; but koicha is drunk out of a shared bowl, and received in silence. Whole different vibe.
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Postby Salsero » Feb 15th, '09, 03:11

Gee, that sounds like a lot of work.
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Postby olivierco » Feb 15th, '09, 05:14

Salsero wrote:Gee, that sounds like a lot of work.


Not really if it isn't part of a tea ceremony.
The good thing is if you add too much water you can still get a double bowl of usacha.
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Postby chamekke » Feb 15th, '09, 13:42

Definitely. The matcha used for koicha can be used for delicious usucha, too.

I don't think it takes all that long to make koicha ... but it does take attention. The principle is the same as adding (say) corn starch, as a thickener, to a sauce or stew. You have to mix up a thick paste first, then add water gradually to get it to the consistency you want. If you add all the water to the koicha at once, you'll probably have a lumpy mess. And it's not very pleasant to find lumps in your koicha :wink:

If I have the chance, I will try to make a short video of what it looks like to make koicha - outside the tearoom, that is. Of course this means recruiting my hubby as cameraman, since you pretty much "knead" both hands to make koicha. Har har.
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Postby Buzz fledderjoh... » Feb 16th, '09, 01:16

chamekke wrote:If I have the chance, I will try to make a short video of what it looks like to make koicha - outside the tearoom, that is. Of course this means recruiting my hubby as cameraman, since you pretty much "knead" both hands to make koicha. Har har.


That would be excellent. I've made koicha a few times...at least I think I have. I'd like to see it done by someone who knows what they are doing.
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Postby ryux » Feb 16th, '09, 23:04

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!
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Postby olivierco » Feb 17th, '09, 03:02

2g per serving so 10 chawans for 20g as usacha, and since you have to double the quantity only 5 servings for koicha.
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Postby ryux » Feb 17th, '09, 08:47

:? I'll need at least 40g can then haha. Thanks for letting me know. Hopefully someone else can help me answer questions on the 3 different teas from koyamaen too
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Postby Buzz fledderjoh... » Feb 17th, '09, 10:58

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!


I've tried the Eiju before and I really liked it. I made it as koicha and usucha. I haven't tried the others you mentioned so I can't compare. I never keep track of how many bowls of matcha I can make from a tin...sorry. It would really depend on how much you use per bowl anyway as a chashaku isn't really an accurate measuring device. :D
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Postby chamekke » Feb 17th, '09, 12:01

Interesting note. I learned the other day that the traditional tsubo (the large tea jar used to store tea for tea ceremony) contains two grades of tea: higher-grade leaves for koicha or thick tea (which are wrapped in small paper packets), then lesser-grade leaves (which are packed around the koicha-leaf packets). These lesser-grade leaves are used for making usucha, thin tea. Until the early 17th century, thin tea wasn't a major part of tea ceremony; only thick tea was. However, many hosts would add hot water to the koicha remaining in the bottom of the teabowl, then whisk to make a thinner tea - which was called usucha. This thin, lower-status tea would often be consumed in a second room. So this is why thin-tea containers (natsume) have lower status than thick-tea containers (chaire). However, that lower - and more informal - status also means that the makers of these tea containers have more artistic latitude, and the person purchasing them can express him/herself more freely in the choice of design.
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