I used to believe that I could not truly enjoy matcha because I did not have the proper tools to make matcha. I would whip it up in a cereal bowl with an electric frother, and while it was not the best, it worked enough. Much like with Chai that I believed I needed to have the “right” ingredients to properly make chai, I believed that I really could not properly experience matcha without the right tools. This is obviously not true, but recently this memory has me thinking about the tools involved in making matcha. After my deep dive into the Origin of Matcha, here is my research on the tools behind making matcha.
Tools Behind Matcha
Chawan (Tea bowl): This is the ceramic vessel that matcha is prepared in. This teaware originally is from China but is prevalent in tea ceremonies since the 13th century. The different type depends on the type of ceremony and tea, but typically they have a 5-inch diameter, are smooth in texture, and easy to pick up.
Chasen (Bamboo Whisk): This is one of the most important tools for making matcha is the chasen. The whisk is created out of dozen of smaller tines which aerate the matcha and create a unique froth. It is made from one single piece of bamboo. There are multiple variations of chasens that vary in height and thickness of the bamboo, number of tines, the width of tines, and coloring of the thread around the handle. After use, a chasen needs to be placed on its whisk holder (chasen kusenaoshi). One thing to be aware of: There are many cheaper matcha whisks that can be found online, but the mass-produced versions are not as well made and can break easily.
Different variations can prove a different matcha experience. If preparing koicha, a chasen with a lower string count is preferred (around 16-48 strings). More variable matcha can be made with a 64 count chasen, making both koicha and usucha. If looking to prepare usucha, more strings ensure evenly mixed matcha and more froth (68-120 strings).
Chashaku (Tea “Spoon”): This utensil is small and curved to be able to scoop out the matcha powder into the chawan. Its unique size and shape allow it to perfectly portion out the matcha into equal scoops. They are typically made of bamboo. One and a half to two scoops of tea normally works out to about 2 grams of tea.
Hishaku (Water Scoop): This is a long-handled ladle which transfers the water into the chawan. The use of a hishaku makes it easier to use the proper amount of water when making matcha.
Kusenaoshi (Ceramic Stand): This ceramic stand holds the chasen inbetween uses, helping keep the shape of the tines and preserve the quality of the chasen.
Furui (Sifter): Before making matcha, a sifter can often be used to avoid clumping. I personally avoid this step and change the way I prepare the tea to get rid of clumps, preparing the tea into a koicha form and then adding more water into an usucha form.
Discover More of My Matcha Research
What tools do you use when making matcha? Do you have any that you would add to this use or any additional information to add to any of these tools? Add to the comment section! Happy Brewing!