Milk Frother Vs. Matcha Whisk - Which One's Better?

  • 5 min reading time

Unlike teas that are brewed and steeped, it might not be obvious what to use to best prepare a powdered tea like matcha and hojicha. 3 Leaf Tea recommends two different tools to make your matcha at home taste just like it does in store: the electric milk frother and the bamboo whisk. Are both tools really necessary? Perhaps not. Their necessity all depends on how you like your matcha and how you want to experience your matcha. Check out the guide below to see which tool is best for you.

Electric Milk Frother

1. Can froth milk

If the name wasn’t enough of a hint, this machine’s best feature is that is can create a delicious foam out of milk. In fact, it can even make whipped cream. Lattes are 3 Leaf’s most popular beverage style so if you are looking for a strictly latte making tool, then this is the tool for you.

2. Can be used for both cold and hot liquids

The electric milk frother can be used for both hot and cold drink preparation. Matcha is easily mixed into hot liquids but matcha has a tendency to clump when combined with cold liquids. After lumps form, it’s difficult to break them up by stirring with a spoon. However, the frother can agitate the drink much faster than hand stirring and breaks up any lumps.

3. Cannot produce fine bubbles

While it is perfect for milk, the agitation mechanism of the milk frother simply cannot produce the same silky-smooth bubbles when using water. For water-based beverages, the surface foam is thinner, the bubble size inconsistent, and also tends to dissipate a little faster than matcha prepared with a bamboo whisk.

4. Practical for on-the-go matcha preparation

Its stainless-steel head piece is rust resistant and easy to clean and store. It easy be tucked into a bag or suitcase.


Bamboo Whisk

1. Cannot froth milk (or make whipped cream)

Milk is too thick for the whisk to work. You’ll simply end up with well-mixed matcha milk. Trust us on this one and save your wrists the workout. 

2. Cannot be used with cold liquids

Matcha tends to clump when mixed into cold liquids. When using a bamboo whisk, the clumpy matcha sticks to the prongs, which won’t combine properly and is a bother to clean. The bamboo whisk was designed for whisking matcha into hot liquids. 

3. Creates ultrafine surface foam

As expected of the original matcha making tool, the bamboo whisk is perfect for creating a delicate head of long-lasting foam on a bowl of matcha. We especially recommend the whisk for our ceremonial grade and matcha reserve, which have complex flavor profiles that are best explored by introducing lots of air and unlocking its unique aroma and more subtle flavors. Just like a red wine that tastes best well aerated, matcha also needs to breathe. 

4. Difficult to travel with

Bringing a bamboo whisk along when traveling can be inconvenient. The whisk must be washed, dried, and stored properly after use to prevent molding. While bamboo is a sturdy material, there is a risk that the prongs could be bent if it gets crushed at the bottom of a bag. 

Each tool has its strengths and weaknesses. From our perspective, matcha lattes are the most popular drink style on our menu so it would seem that the electric milk frother is the best choice for many of our customers. Unfortunately, its inability to produce ultrafine foam is a bit of a drawback. It’s nice to have a bamboo whisk on hand for the times when you want to indulge in a creamy bowl of hand-whisked matcha but the extra work and cleanup involved can be off-putting. How to choose the right tool really comes down to what kind of drinks you can enjoy and what you are looking to get out of your tea drinking experience. Which tool do you prefer?


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