Kocha is Japanese black tea. It is mellower and less bitter than those from elsewhere in the world, due in part to Japan’s climate and soil, but also because of the unique tea cultivars used.
While green teas are quickly heated after picking to prevent oxidisation, black teas are allowed to fully oxidise before drying. This process breaks down the chlorophyl which darkens the leaves and removes the vegetal flavour, as well as releasing tannins which decreases astringency.
Teas in Asia are generally categorised by colour of the liquid and so Kocha literally means red tea. It is also sometimes referred to as Wakoucha which means Japanese red tea.
Japanese black tea is seldom exported and so is extremely rare to find outside of Japan.
Our Kocha has been sourced especially for us from Kyushu, Japan’s southernmost main island, who’s subtropical climate and volcanic ash laden soil is perfect for tea cultivation.
Black teas can be made from the same leaves that make green tea, but our Kocha is produced from a high-grade tea cultivar called Benifuki which is grown in Japan specifically for making black tea.
Distinctly Japanese, it is naturally medium-bodied with a smooth oaky aroma and a rich, nutty flavour with chocolate undertones
Generally black teas allow hotter water and longer brewing times than green teas. For our Kocha we suggest adding 1 teaspoon of tea for every cup of water at around 90°C (straight from the boil is fine) and allowing it to steep for around 3 minutes, by which time it will have infused a deep reddish-brown liquor.
As the tea is drunk you can confidently top up the pot with more hot water another one to two times till you notice the flavour and colour become milder.
Add 1Tbsp Kocha to pot.
Pour in 2 Cups of water at 90°C.
Allow to steep for 3mins.
If you like your black tea with milk or sugar, by all means add them to taste, but we would actually suggest trying our stone-ground Kocha powder for that though.
There are two iced tea methods we suggest. The first is fairly quick and involves simply making a pot according to the above method but with half the amount of water, the remaining half to be added in the form of ice after steeping for a few minutes. If you like fruit in your iced tea, you might want to try adding some peaches or apples to the tea while still hot before the ice goes in, so that the flavour really infuses.
Another slower method involves adding tea in a similar ratio to cold water and allowing it to stand overnight. You will find this creates quite a different flavour that features some of the more subtly sweet and malty aspects of the tea. This method passes much more caffeine into the liquid so that should be kept in mind for those who don’t drink coffee.