Koicha


Made from leaves that have not been oxidized.

Koicha

Postby olivierco » Apr 27th, '08, 05:36

I tried Koicha with Wakamatsu-no-mukashi (Ippodo)

I used 4g of matcha (sifted), with 50-60ml of water (about 80°C)
I followed Ippodo's brewing instructions

I managed to obtain a decent result, thick tea, consistency similar as "crème anglaise"

The taste with the Wakamatsu-no-mukashi matcha was far better than the taste I obtained when I brewed it as usacha which was already very good: no trace of astringency at all, strong taste and very long and pleasant aftertaste.

This was my first attempt at brewing Koicha, so if someone would like to share his or her Koicha experiences, it would be a great help, especially as there isn't much information available on Koicha.
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Postby chamekke » Apr 27th, '08, 11:15

In Chadou, koicha is served out of a common teabowl, with each guest taking the requisite three and a half sips before passing it to the next person. To make the right amount, you put about 3.5 scoops of koicha per person into the chaire (tea caddy). So, this amount of matcha is based on the assumption that each person will drink only this number of sips.

After adding the koicha to the teabowl, you then add a quite small amount of hot water - only enough to make it very slightly liquid. The powder and water are then kneaded together, slowly and deliberately, until the mixture is completely smooth. You then take the ladle and add a little more hot water - just enough to arrive at the right consistency. Now you knead the remaining water into the extra-thick mixture. The result should be the consistency of paint.

Yesterday in tea class I served koicha to one person (my teacher), since the two other students had to leave early. I was not used to making only enough koicha for one, and added a little too much water. My teacher asked me to add more water and whip the mixture into usucha (thin tea) instead. Luckily, koicha matcha also makes superb usucha :)
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Re: Koicha

Postby joelbct » Apr 27th, '08, 14:33

olivierco wrote:I tried Koicha with Wakamatsu-no-mukashi (Ippodo)


I have that same matcha open, it is one of the best I have tried, and very good price for the quality. I agree it tastes better as Koicha than Usucha. "Creamy," not bitter at all, and that succulent taste that I guess is the umami.

Tips: Try it also with slightly cooler water, even as low as 150 F/ 65 C or lower. I think 176 F/ 80 C gets you more foam, but kills some of the taste, regardless of what the "official" instructions are.

Also, sifting it first definitely helps, I recommend Ippodo's mesh sifter. There is a surprisingly noticeable difference in taste and consistency with sifted matcha.
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Postby olivierco » Apr 27th, '08, 15:05

Thanks chamekke for your detailed (as always) explanations.

Joel, did you try other matcha from Ippodo? I will definitively reorder Wakamatsu-no-mukashi and maybe also the top grade Ummon-no-mukashi which is only 33% more expensive.
Thanks also for your cooler water tip.
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Postby joelbct » Apr 27th, '08, 15:43

I have not yet tried Ippodo's other selections. I too will reorder the Wakamatsu, and I will also try their Ummon and Seiun, which come in 40g cannisters. According to their literature, their 20g Matcha are used by the Omotosenke school, and the 40g containers are used by the Urasenke school.

These are the other types that I would recommend, out of what I've tried so far:

Matcha-Koto no Tsuki Koicha from Ito En.


Organic Kaoru, an Usucha from O-cha which is just as good as their Premium Kaoru in my opinion, and better than some non-organic matcha I have tried.

I have O-Cha Uji Manten on the way, which is the most expensive matcha I've ordered, I will post a review, but I hear good things about it.

Matcha-Banreki No Mukashi Koicha and Matcha-Hojin No Shiro Usucha are Ito En's superior tea-ceremony-grade matcha's, and they are on my list as well.

Then lastly, Tea Toys (edit- for anyone interested, currently site is down, see below) has 35 types of Koicha listed by plantation, some up to 9,000 yen per 40g cannister, and 46 types of Usucha.
Last edited by joelbct on Apr 27th, '08, 16:07, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby chamekke » Apr 27th, '08, 15:55

joelbct wrote:Then lastly, Tea Toys has 35 types of Koicha listed by plantation, some up to 9,000 yen per cannister, and 46 types of Usucha. It may take some time to get through that list, but I will try some of them ;) Their site may not be all that polished, but they are linked from the Urasenke New York page, so they must be reputable. Among their accessories they even offer blank bamboo sticks to carve your own chakashu ;)


I sent an order to them a couple of weeks ago via their website, and have not heard from them since (not even a confirmation reply). Then I sent an e-mail - no answer to that, either. Perhaps the owner is away, or it's taking longer than originally expected to get the site back up and working - I don't know.

Tea Toys are reputable, but the silence makes me wonder what's up. You may want to hold off on sending your credit-card details until you can first reach them by e-mail.
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Postby joelbct » Apr 27th, '08, 16:06

chamekke wrote:
joelbct wrote:Then lastly, Tea Toys has 35 types of Koicha listed by plantation, some up to 9,000 yen per cannister, and 46 types of Usucha. It may take some time to get through that list, but I will try some of them ;) Their site may not be all that polished, but they are linked from the Urasenke New York page, so they must be reputable. Among their accessories they even offer blank bamboo sticks to carve your own chakashu ;)


I sent an order to them a couple of weeks ago via their website, and have not heard from them since (not even a confirmation reply).


Ah I forgot, teatoys has a message up saying that their proprietor is ill, and orders were to be resumed by March 2008, which has come and gone... Oh well, I hope they come back, because that is an impressive selection!

edit- When witches brew and I go to the Urasenke NY demonstration in a few weeks, I will try to ask tactfully whence they source their Matcha ;)
Last edited by joelbct on Apr 27th, '08, 16:06, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby inspectoring » Apr 28th, '08, 13:33

I currently am sipping the Matcvha-koto no Tsuki from Ito-en....and I have tried to make thick matcha but it does not come out as good as it should....I am using 2 matcha spoons and 4 -5 0z of water...

Interestingly what happens is that after I make the tea....the bottom part in the cup is a little thicker than the top part....as a result - the top part does not taste that good...but the bottom thick sludge is to die for.....

Out of curiosity - what do yo think of this ito-en tea compared to the others your have tried?


joelbct wrote:I have not yet tried Ippodo's other selections. I too will reorder the Wakamatsu, and I will also try their Ummon and Seiun, which come in 40g cannisters. According to their literature, their 20g Matcha are used by the Omotosenke school, and the 40g containers are used by the Urasenke school.

These are the other types that I would recommend, out of what I've tried so far:

Matcha-Koto no Tsuki Koicha from Ito En.


Organic Kaoru, an Usucha from O-cha which is just as good as their Premium Kaoru in my opinion, and better than some non-organic matcha I have tried.

I have O-Cha Uji Manten on the way, which is the most expensive matcha I've ordered, I will post a review, but I hear good things about it.

Matcha-Banreki No Mukashi Koicha and Matcha-Hojin No Shiro Usucha are Ito En's superior tea-ceremony-grade matcha's, and they are on my list as well.

Then lastly, Tea Toys (edit- for anyone interested, currently site is down, see below) has 35 types of Koicha listed by plantation, some up to 9,000 yen per 40g cannister, and 46 types of Usucha.
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Postby inspectoring » Apr 28th, '08, 13:40

Actually - anyone who has experience with den's Matcha?
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Postby olivierco » Apr 28th, '08, 14:01

Living in Europe, I prefer to buy directly in Japan.

Den's matcha for koicha is 24$ for 20gr, quite expensive: about 2500Y, so quite the 66% more than Wakamatsu-no-mukashi matcha.


EDIT I found a review by AlexAnother tea Blog
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Postby joelbct » Apr 28th, '08, 15:36

inspectoring wrote:I currently am sipping the Matcvha-koto no Tsuki from Ito-en....and I have tried to make thick matcha but it does not come out as good as it should....I am using 2 matcha spoons and 4 -5 0z of water...

Interestingly what happens is that after I make the tea....the bottom part in the cup is a little thicker than the top part....as a result - the top part does not taste that good...but the bottom thick sludge is to die for.....

Out of curiosity - what do yo think of this ito-en tea compared to the others your have tried?


Make sure you whisk it very vigorously, and probably you should sift it first if it is clumpy or uneven- again, this mesh sifter is excellent.

I like that Ito En Koto no Tsuki about as well as any other matcha I have tried, that and the Ippodo Wakamatsu are probably my favorites, and the O-cha Organic Kaoru for usucha. Keep in mind, some of this is probably subjective matter of personal taste.

I got the O-Cha Matcha Manten today as well. It is excellent, but at that price, I cannot justify ordering it regularly, and it is a bit subtle. Very fresh and foamy, though.

Again, next on my list to try are the Kiko and Chiyo Mukashi from O-Cha, and the two ceremony grade Matcha's from Ito En. The latter I should be sampling this week at the Ito En shop, I will let you know my thoughts.

I haven't tried Den's, Do, Matcha and More, or Matcha Source yet.
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Postby olivierco » Apr 28th, '08, 15:44

inspectoring wrote:I currently am sipping the Matcvha-koto no Tsuki from Ito-en....and I have tried to make thick matcha but it does not come out as good as it should....I am using 2 matcha spoons and 4 -5 0z of water...

Interestingly what happens is that after I make the tea....the bottom part in the cup is a little thicker than the top part....as a result - the top part does not taste that good...but the bottom thick sludge is to die for.....


For koicha, you should use more matcha (4 matcha spoons, ca 4g) and less water (60ml).
Did you preheat and dry the bowl ?
As joel wrote, sifting gives better results.
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Postby inspectoring » Apr 28th, '08, 16:53

Yep...sifted and heated the cup. However, my water temperature is around 180. Do you think that the temperature is affecting the taste? I thought that while making matcha - temperature really does not taste. Now if we were talking gyokuro - that is a nother thing altogether. I am going to try lower temp.

Another chance I can make is with the amount. But I have to admit - even with less tea than 4 matcha spoons - the taste is pretty strong. If I sip it slowly and use lower temperatures for brewing - it may go cold soon.
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Postby joelbct » Apr 28th, '08, 18:01

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.
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Postby inspectoring » Apr 28th, '08, 18:27

joelbct, olivierco Thank you guys.....
I just made one with 4 matcha spoons with about 1.5 to 2 oz of water...and temp was about 155.... W O W !!!!...
THsi is the first time I can say I have tasted this side of matcha....however - I am so tweaked its not even funny....was planning on studying for my board exam but I doubt that will happen tonight....

Once again - thank you guys.

You high on matcha friend... :)
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