Matcha; The Gossamer Tea Powder of Japan by Mary Lou Heiss

An in-depth exploration into the history, production and appreciation of this amazing genre of tea we all love.


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4 Responses to “Matcha; The Gossamer Tea Powder of Japan by Mary Lou Heiss”

  1. Kim Says:

    Allow me some minor corrections – please forgive me:
    If koicha is served, it is always served before usucha because of the unifying moment (The procedure for making a bowl of koicha is much more older, too).
    And koicha is also prepared with a chasen, or tea whisk, which is only slowly stirred to avoid bubbles.
    The chashaku is a spoon made of bamboo to scoop the tea from its caddy to the bowl.

    Kim (Ueda Souko Ryuu Instructor)

  2. admin Says:

    Although I did have koicha before usucha when living/studying in Japan, the tea whisk is not always used for koicha. Though the Japanese tea ceremony is much more formalized than other traditions, there are indeed variations from teacher to teacher, tradition to tradition. My teacher, for example, taught me in the same way as Mary Lou (author of this article) was taught: that usucha is best served with a frothy foam created by vigorous whisking. Also, I have seen the koicha made with the spoon, rather than the whisk as the article suggests, though my teacher taught us to use the whisk, more gently. In the end, I don’t think you are correcting anything; rather, you are pointing out the differences between schools/traditions.

  3. Kim Says:

    Forgive me if I have been sounding rude…
    Indeed there are dozens of traditions with some minor differences.
    Most traditions serve frothy usucha (as we do), but omotesenke e.g. only uses a thin layer of froth.
    Koicha shouldn’t be frothy at all but more carefully and slowly kneaded
    with the chasen.

    Anyway, let us enjoy the multiple offerings of camelia sinensis…

  4. admin Says:

    You were not rue at all; and your insights are always highly appreciated. It is indeed a vast world, tea.

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