All our Ceremonial Matcha comes from an esteemed Japanese tea producer with a 150 year history based in Shizuoka. They produce high quality organic and traditional teas on their plantations in Kagoshima, Aichi and Kyoto Prefectures. The current batch of this Koicha Matcha is from blended harvests from Kyoto, which were ground in May 2022.
Authentic matcha is produced by shading the first flush tea bushes for 3 weeks, similarly to gyokuro (玉露) green tea production. This shading process limits catechins but increases theanine in the leaves, decreasing bitterness and adding umami. The leaves are then harvested, steamed and dried to make tencha (碾茶). Tencha differs from most other Japanese teas as it is left flat to dry and crumble, rather than kneaded, after which the stalks and stems may be removed. The final step for Ceremonial Matcha is to grind the leaves into a fine powder using granite stone mills.
Our Ceremonial Koicha Matcha has a flavour that is more complex and balanced than our ceremonial matcha. While its profile is balanced, it leans towards more sweet and tangy flavours. Having a sweeter, more subtle flavour makes it better for koicha or thick matcha, which is drunk mostly in formal tea ceremonies. For thin matcha we recommend our original Ceremonial Matcha.
As koicha is a thicker matcha drink, 4 grams (2 tsp) is needed per 50ml of hot water. Usually, matcha is measured with a matcha spoon (chashaku 茶杓) into a small bowl (chawan 茶碗). Very warm water (around 70°C) is then added and briskly mixed with a matcha whisk (chasen 茶筅) until frothy. However you can use any bowl and whisk or even a protein shaker; the important point is to properly mix the water and powder completely. Each 20g packet makes up to 5 cups.
Matcha powder is delicate and should be stored in its packet and tin, away from strong smells and light to keep its flavour and freshness. This way it will last a few months, and you will be able to tell from the vibrancy of its green colour how fresh it is.