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Preparing Matcha

To make usucha (thin tea), add about 2 ounces of hot simmering water (75-95 C) into a bowl with 1.6 grams of matcha.  This amount of matcha is about equal to a slightly rounded 1/2 teaspoon or two scoops with a chashaku (bamboo matcha scoop).  Usucha is whisked with a chasen (bamboo whisk) until a froth similar to a light head of beer is formed on the surface.

 

To make koicha (thick tea), begin by kneading with a chasen (bamboo whisk) 3.75 grams of matcha per person, with about 3.5 ounces of hot simmering water (75-95 C). This amount of matcha is about equal to three scoops from a chashaku (bamboo matcha scoop).  Koicha is far thicker than usucha and has no foam; for a thinner consistency blend in more water after kneading.  A single bowl is shared among up to five guests.


Matcha is suspended not dissolved.


Care and storage of matcha

The quality of matcha is affected by five factors:
1. Light
2. Heat
3. Humidity
4. Odor
5. Oxygen

To minimize these factors, store matcha in its covered tin, in an airtight container, and in the refrigerator.  Before using, take out the amount of matcha you will use and let it come to room temperature.  Then, sieve the matcha to ensure that it will dissolve quickly, easily, and completely with no lumps.

If the matcha will not be used up within several days, store it in the freezer.  Again, it should be covered and in an airtight container.  Transfer to the refrigerator a smaller amount that you will use within 2-3 days.  The temperature difference from the refrigerator to room temperature is not as great as from the freezer.  Keep the matcha covered while it is coming to room temperature.  This will help keep condensation to a minimum and protect the quality and freshness of your matcha.