What to Look for in a Matcha Whisk
Although some plastic matcha whisks are available, bamboo is the traditional and best material. It’s delicate and will give the best results. Look for a whisk made in Japan from natural bamboo.
The more prongs or bristles a whisk has, the finer they will be, making it easier to make a smooth and foamy bowl of matcha. You can find chasen that offer a string count anywhere between 16 and 120. The higher the number, the easier it is to whisk the tea powder into the water and create the soft peak of foam. In general, beginners should look for a whisk that has around 70 prongs.
Matcha chasen whisks come in many different shapes as well. Beginners should look for a chasen with curled tips, as they will be easier to use for creating foam than a whisk with straight prongs or tines. After you wet the whisk for the first time and begin to use it, its shape will naturally begin to open up and change. That doesn’t necessarily indicate a poor-quality whisk as that’s a normal part of the process, but using a whisk holder will help the whisk to keep its gently rounded shape.
Why is a matcha whisk necessary?
Matcha powder does not dissolve in water, so it must be whisked together with water to form a smooth and velvety drink. Using a fork or spoon will leave you with clumps of powder and bits of powder clinging to the sides of your tea bowl or cup. Using a metal whisk will work slightly better, but still will not fully incorporate the powder.
If you prefer foamy matcha, only a traditional bamboo matcha whisk can give the layer of fine bubbles on top that a perfectly prepared cup of matcha will have.
How long does a matcha whisk last?
A decent-quality matcha whisk, when handled and stored with care, can last for up to six months, depending on how often it’s used, while a high-end matcha whisk can last for several years.
Soaking the prongs of the whisk in warm water before using it, rinsing it well after use, and then air drying and storing it on a matcha whisk holder after use will help to prolong its lifespan. Whisks with more prongs are more delicate and more prone to breakage,
Is a matcha bowl necessary?
No, it’s not strictly necessary to use a traditional chawan, or matcha bowl, to prepare and drink matcha, but it is best to use a bowl of a similar shape and size. A bowl that’s about 4.5 to 5 inches in diameter, with a wide base and sides that are high enough to prevent matcha from splashing out as you whisk, will make it easier to prepare the matcha properly so that it’s smooth and clump-free.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
This article was written by Danette St. Onge, a food writer and former editor at Cook’s Illustrated magazine (part of America’s Test Kitchen). A tea enthusiast, she has been fascinated by matcha culture and traditions ever since experiencing traditional tea ceremonies for the first time in Kyoto.
For this article, Danette interviewed Ruriko Yamakawa, a certified instructor of the Omotesenke school of Japanese tea tradition. She teaches courses in Japanese tea culture in New York City as well as online through the Nippon Club.
Through this article, we hope to help you understand Best matcha whisk