So.. what's the difference between ocha and matcha? I thought matcha was specifically for green tea, and ocha is just tea in general? (All matcha is ocha but not all ocha is matcha kind of thing.) Can anyone confirm?
Matcha is green tea, but though its meant to mean 'thick green tea' And then ocha means tea in general You are most correct :-)
Matcha (green tea that is actually green in colour) can be the thick kind called 濃茶 こいちゃ koitya/koich(y)a that's drunk at the start of tea ceremonies (just don't drink the whole thing as I did) or the thin kind called 薄茶 うすちゃ usutya that's more usually drunk. 緑茶 りょくちゃ ryokutya is generally the leaf tea as opposed to the powder tea -- together, I'm told, they're called 日本茶 nihoncha. お茶 おちゃ otya is used for pretty much anything -- Oolong tea which is black but not quite as fermented as Western tea, tisanes like barley "tea", mixes of tisanes with teas like genmaitya, even things that are by no imagination tea so much as you'd think otya merely means something non-carbonated, non-caffeinated, and non-alcoholic to drink . . .
But it is often used to mean green tea as opposed to 紅茶 こうちゃ ko(u)tya when asking people which they want, on flights and such . . .
お茶（ちゃ） is the tea, and green tea is called the 緑茶（りょくちゃ）, and 抹茶（まっちゃ） is just one of the varieties under green tea.
Why is the yu/yo/ya written smaller than other hiragana in words like ocha or kyo?
They are pronounced slightly different: きょ is kyo, きよ would be kiyo If the Y character is small, it means that the sound before it is short
Roman spelling is 'cha'. It is like pronouncing 'Chart' ちゃーと. Chya would be a understandable spelling but not usual.
Why did they write kyō with ō (which means a long vowel) instead of a ū (since we have う) ?
because that's how the hepburn romaji system works. う modifies-lenghtens the vowel before, but there is no U sound there, there's just long o sound. If you wrote ū, you would have to pronounce the U sound, but there is no such sound in きょう
The Hindi word for tea is "Cha" or "Chai". In ancient tea was exported from India. Im wondering if this is the reason the word "ocha" & "chai" sound so similar.
Hm. Very interesting. My brother says that ocha is also the farsi word for chai.