Bamboo matcha whisk is perfect for mixing and whisking matcha powder to create a foamy, uniform green tea and release the earthy and umami flavors of matcha. This is traditional Japanese style matcha whisk made from a single piece of bamboo. It has 100 fine, flexible, and naturally strong prongs (a.k.a. pondates), which ensure there are no clumps left when matcha is whisked, and it is evenly distributed to produce a rich lather.
What is special about our handcrafted bamboo matcha whisk (chasens)?
Matcha whisks (a.k.a chasen) are made from one piece of bamboo that is repeatedly split into very fine prongs or bristles to form a whisk. Bamboo provides natural flexibility and is durable with no flavor of its own. The fine and flexible prongs create a luxurious and uniform layer of bubbly foam on top when whisked. Matcha whisks are considered visually pleasing, elegant, and often appreciated for the craftsmanship. The number of prongs may vary from 80 to 120. Crafting whisks with more prongs (tines or pondates) requires finesse and is often considered a work of art. The optimum number of prongs of a chasen is 100.
Is it necessary to use matcha whisk?
Even though good quality matcha powder has particle size less than 20 microns, it is not a soluble material in water. Hence when matcha powder is simply added to water it will start to settle down at the base. Good quality matcha made from young and supple leaves is lighter and will take longer time to settle down compared to cheaper matcha. To ensure that matcha particles remain suspended in water, it is necessary to shake them vigorously in water.
A whisk is a perfectly designed to do that. Of course, you can shake or mix vigorously using other tools (e.g. fork, electric whisk, etc.), but fine and flexible bamboo whisk generally produces a better result. Matcha whisk also creates a rich layer of fine foam on the top which is desired when making ceremonial matcha tea. However, the taste and flavor of matcha tea is mainly dependent on the quality of matcha powder.
The use of a matcha whisk is deeply rooted in the traditional Japanese tea ceremony. The ceremony is an art form that emphasizes mindfulness and attention to detail, and the chasen plays an integral role in this ritual. The whisking process is considered an essential element of the authentic ceremonial experience.
How to use matcha whisk?
To create a perfect bowl of matcha green tea the traditional Japanese way, you need premium ceremonial grade matcha powder, matcha bowl (a.k.a. chawan), and high quality, fine matcha whisk. When 1 ounce (30ml) of warm water at 175 deg Fahrenheit (80 deg Celsius) is added to half teaspoon of ceremonial matcha powder and whisked vigorously in W or M shape using this whisk, it will result in matcha being evenly distributed in water with rich foamy layer of bubbles on top. This is relaxing and rejuvenating matcha green tea. Proper care and maintenance of a matcha whisk is essential to ensure its longevity and performance. This includes rinsing and drying the whisk after each use and occasionally allowing it to air dry completely.
Step-by-step guide to making ceremonial matcha tea using bamboo matcha whisk
A matcha bowl or a wide, shallow cup
A bamboo matcha whisk (chasen)
Hot, but not boiling, water (about 175°F or 80°C)
Warm the bowl or cup: It is a good idea to warm your matcha bowl or cup to start with. You can do this by pouring hot water into it and then discarding the water. This not only helps maintain the temperature of your matcha but also removes any residue that might be present.
Sift the matcha: Using a small sifter or sieve, sift the matcha powder into your warm bowl or cup. This helps break up any clumps in the powder and ensures a smoother consistency in your tea.
Add hot water: Heat the water to about 175°F (80°C), which is just below boiling. Pour a small amount of hot water (about 1 ounces or 30 ml) into the bowl with the matcha powder. The amount of water can vary depending on your preference for the strength of your matcha
Whisk the matcha: Now, it’s time to whisk the matcha. Hold the chasen in one hand and place the other hand over the top of the whisk to keep it steady. Whisk vigorously and quickly, using a back-and-forth motion and a “W” or “M” pattern. Start with a brisk pace and then gradually slow down as a frothy layer forms on the surface. This usually takes about 15-20 seconds.
Enjoy: Once the matcha is well-mixed and has a frothy layer on top, your matcha is ready to enjoy. You can drink it directly from the bowl or pour it into another cup if you prefer.
Clean the whisk: After you’ve enjoyed your matcha, it’s essential to clean the whisk. Rinse it thoroughly with warm water, gently shaking off excess water. Allow it to air dry with the tines facing upward to maintain its shape.
The above steps to make ceremonial matcha tea are simple but quite meditative and ritualistic. However, it is not necessary to do all the steps if you do not have “me time”. Simply follow steps 2-4 and you can still enjoy matcha green tea, as part of your daily healthy lifestyle.
What do I use if I do not have matcha whisk?
Alternatives to matcha whisk are simply mixing with spoon or preferably fork. When mixing with spoon and fork, matcha powder will mix in warm water to create matcha green tea, but it will not create a uniform and smooth foam, as shown in the picture above. There are also battery powered whisks, but those work better for making matcha latte, than just mixing matcha in water to make green tea. Electric whisks can create rich foam in milk mixed with matcha, but not when matcha is added to just warm water. Electric whisks also requires larger quantity of matcha in water to create thick, uniform foam. The traditional method of whisking matcha in warm water using bamboo matcha whisk is arguably the best way to create a soothing and rejuvenating ceremonial matcha green tea.
Buy matcha, premium quality, organic and ceremonial grade, which is lighter and easier to mix with whisk, and enjoy soothing, relaxing and rejuvenating matcha green tea.