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About Our Matcha

Only the best premium grade matcha

Way of Tea specializes in providing customers with only the highest-quality, premium grade matcha available. Way of Tea is pleased to offer customers the excellent, ceremony grade matcha produced by Marukyu-Koyamaen in the Uji region of Kyoto, Japan. All our matcha ships fresh directly to customers from Japan in sealed, air-tight metal canisters.

Koicha

Matcha typically comes in one of three main grades: Koicha (thick tea), Usucha (thin tea), and cooking matcha. Koicha, the highest grade of matcha, is used in Japanese tea ceremony to make tea with a very thick consistency, somewhat like the consistency of gravy or a heavier salad dressing. Because of the very high concentration of matcha to water, koicha matcha must be cultivated and produced from only the very best, fresh young tea leaves. Koicha is characterized by its incredibly bright green color, often called "Jade Dew", and can be described as having a very strong, sweet leaf-like flavor.

Usucha

Usucha, the second highest grade of matcha, is used in Japanese tea ceremony to make thin tea in a consistency like that of regular steeped tea. Since the ratio of tea to water is much lower than that of Koicha, the tea leaves used to make Usucha matcha are of a slightly lower quality than that of tea leaves used in Koicha. Usucha is characterized by a layer of bright frothy green foam (from whisking the tea) and has a milder but more earth like or woodsy flavor than that of Koicha. It should be noted that any Koicha matcha can be used to make thin tea, but because of the additional water added for thin tea, the flavor of the Koicha matcha will be much more subdued and very similar to that of Usucha matcha.

Cooking Matcha

The third and lowest grade of matcha, cooking matcha, is used as an ingredient in cooking and preparing food. Because the matcha is mixed with other ingredients, the tea leaves used to make cooking matcha are of a much lower quality than that of Usucha or Koicha matcha. Some people may make thin tea with cooking matcha but because of its bitter and somewhat astringent flavor it is not recommended.

Way of Tea stocks only high-quality Usucha and Koicha matcha. All our matcha is suitable for use in Japanese tea ceremony. Even our lowest grades of  usucha matcha, Aoarashi and Isuzu, still have a wonderful bright green color, fresh leafy aroma, and rich earthy flavor. And our koicha matcha is absolutely sublime. Once you try our matcha you will be hard pressed to find higher-quality matcha anywhere!

About Marukyu-Koyamaen

Marukyu-Koyamaen has been growing and producing tea since the early 1700s and is one of the foremost producers of fine teas in Japan. Know throughout Japan for the high quality standard, Marukyu-Koyamaen strives for excellence and innovation in all areas of tea production.

Tea cultivation in Uji, Japan

Marukyu-Koyamaen is located in the Uji region of Kyoto. Historically, Uji is thought to be the birthplace of tea in Japan. Due to its fertile soil, Uji has long been one of the best locations for the cultivation of green tea in Japan.

Map of Uji Japan

Urasenke Tea School favored matcha

Marukyu-Koyamaen also has the distinct privlege of providing ceremonial matcha to Urasenke tea ceremony school in Japan. Urasenke is one of the main schools of Japanese tea ceremony. The grandmasters of Urasenke can trace their lineage back to Sen no Rikyu, who had a profound influence in shaping the tea ceremony and Japanese “Way of Tea” during the 1500s. Current grandmaster Sen Soshitsu Zabosai and past grandmaster Sen Genshitsu Hounsai have chosen a selection of their favorite Marukyu-Koyamaen matcha and these are available in our store.