Do I need a matcha whisk to make matcha?

February 15, 2018

It depends...

How you prepare matcha will determine if it's necessary to have a bamboo whisk. Matcha is such a versatile ingredient that can be used so many ways, it's important to have the right tools in order to make the perfect cup.

Whisk 101

Chasen is the term for the traditional Japanese bamboo matcha whisk. These are made from a single piece of bamboo, where thin strips are cut out to form prongs. The high number of prongs helps suspend matcha (since matcha never fully dissolves) and helps create a nice froth, without any clumping. A traditional stainless steel kitchen whisk or spoon are not effective tools for whisking matcha since matcha is ground so fine. The finely ground leaves have to be separated and suspended in a quick manner in order to avoid clumps.

Matcha grade matters

Our premium matcha line (both flavored and unflavored) work really well when shaken up in a bottle of water for a quick cool tea, or shaken in a cocktail shaker with some ice and water for iced tea. Because our premium matcha is ground a little coarser than the ceremonial grade, clumping is not as much an issue. We do recommend sifting all matcha before use, for the best results. The vigorous action from being shaken is enough to suspend the tea leaves. We do not recommend using the shake method for our ceremonial grade since it's ground so finely, and is more prone to clumping. 

Are you using matcha as an ingredient?

If matcha is being used as an ingredient, no whisk is required. Just add matcha to food (such as a smoothie, or yogurt) and mix away! Since matcha is the entire tea leaf that's consumed, there's no steeping required. 

Want the optimal matcha experience?

If matcha is part of your routine, and it's something you want to enjoy in the best way possible, investing in a chasen is the optimal way to whisk up matcha. Using the bamboo whisk helps create a beautiful froth, and suspends the matcha for the smoothest cup. 

So, how do you use it?

Sift matcha into a wide bowl, then add a couple ounces of warm water (not boiling!) Keeping the water temperature around 175 degrees F will prevent matcha from turning bitter. Using a vigorous "W" or "M" motion, whisk until matcha is frothy and well distributed. Top off with more water, or milk if making a latte. After use, use warm water to clean whisk and let air dry. 

What if I don't want to invest in a traditional bamboo whisk? Do I have other options?

Yes! You can use our battery powered milk frothers, or if making a latte, add milk, matcha and (optional) sweetener into a blender. Blend until frothy, then heat up in a separate container, or pour over ice.

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