Ultimate Matcha Whisk Guide

The bamboo matcha whisk, or chasen 茶筅 is light, delicate, and typically handcrafted with a single bamboo stalk. Although it is simplistic in looks, it is an essential tool to the art of making matcha. The chasen can be dated back to the 1500s and it is sad that there are only three remaining families who are artisans of the bamboo chasen. From the climate the bamboo is grown in, to the carving of the whisk, every step of a genuine chasen is precisely intricate and beautifully made. 
junbi matcha whisk chasen

Why Matcha Should Be Whisked

The Process of whisking matcha is considered to be the most crucial step to preparing a good matcha. A good key to note is that all matcha is green tea, but not all green tea is matcha. Matcha technically does not dissolve in water on its own, nor does it steep on its own the way green tea leaves do. Instead when matcha powder comes in contact with water, it will most likely clump up together. The sole purpose of whisking it to mix the matcha so that it can be completely suspended in water. When whisked, you'll find a luxurious frothy, foamy layer sitting on the bright emerald green matcha, read to be sipped.

junbi electric whisk

Our Traditional Whisk vs. Electric

Bamboo Whisk -- Our Junbi bamboo matcha whisk contains 100 prongs compared to competitive brands on the market, with 50 prongs. During the whisking process, the additional prongs add more airiness to the matcha, and as a result you will achieve the frothy layer!

Electric Whisk - Our electric matcha whisk is a great non-traditional option, but nonetheless does a fine job. It is perfect for on the go, battery-operated, and with a press of a button, your matcha is ready! Beware of the splashes! Make sure to use a tall glass, or less liquid to avoid a messy cleanup.

Well What about using a regular metal whisk?
The standard metal whisk is not recommended to whisking matcha as it is usually rather larger in size and the prongs are separated too far to properly whisk matcha. It will also likely scratch your bowl. We wouldn't want that to happen!

The art of making matching is a beautiful ritual. Each tool is made intentionally and serves its purpose in creating a gorgeous cup of morning sunshine. While our electric whisk is an amazing alternative, nothing truly compares to making matcha with a chasen, traditional bamboo whisk. While whisking, you will be transported to a therapeutic state of mind.

How to Whisk Matcha

STEP 1: SOAK CHASEN

Fill a small cup or bowl with warm water and briefly soak your chasen while you prepare to make your matcha. This will soften and unfurl the bamboo prongs, helping them become more supple and flexible for that perfect foamy topping.

STEP 2: ADD MATCHA

Use your chashaku (matcha bamboo ladle), or a measuring spoon, to measure 1/2 tsp of Daily Ceremonial (or premium ceremonial matcha if you're feelin' fancy!) and add it to your chawan (traditional tea bowl), or any bowl large enough to whisk 1/2 cup of water without spilling.

STEP 3: ADD WATER

Add 4 ounces (1/2 cup) of water. This can be hot, warm, cold- whatever you're in the mood for today.

STEP 4: WHISK MATCHA

Time to fiinally get down to some whisky business. Quickly and vigorously whisk back and forth for 15-40 seconds. Begin by running the whisk around the inside of the bowl and then move the whisk quickly and energetically up and down in a zig-zag motion. Think: W & M motions for "whisk" and "matcha."

STEP 5: ENJOY!

Once a gorgeous layer of matcha froth surfaces, come to a slow, gentle stop and use your chasen to pop large bubbles. This makes for smoother, uninterrupted sips of matcha (and honestly, is just good fun. Imagine as if you're doing away with your fears and doubts with each pop!).

Enjoy your matcha straight from the chawan. There's no inner peace quite like sipping on your meditative morning matcha while knowing there's one less dish you have to worry about cleaning. Cheers!

chasen and chawan

How to Care for Your Whisk

BEFORE

Before each use, soak your whisk in warm water to unfurl the bamboo prongs, helping them before more supple and flexible.

While we all want to avoid any clumps in our matcha and achieve that dreamy, frothy topping, being too forceful at the wrong time is not good for your chasen. If you're preparing matcha the traditional way and adding the matcha to your bowl before the water, you can loosen up the matcha with the chasen.

While whisking, it is important to suspend the chasen in the matcha, then you can be rigorous to get your desired froth. To avoid damaging the bamboo prongs, try not to forcefully scratch the bottom of your bowl with the chasen.

Don't wait to clean your chasen! Thoroughly rinse the prongs with warm water, taking care to remove remaining traces of matcha. It is important to immediately clean your chasen because traditional bamboo whisks naturally retain moisture, making them susceptible to mold if you're not careful.

Pour hot water in a chawan (matcha bowl) and whisk until clean, then pour the water out. Completely dry both the chasen and chawan before storing them.

Important Note: Be sure to never run your bamboo whisk through the dishwasher as this can severely damage it.

Once your chasen is clean, shake off the excess water and store it on your kusenaoshi (ceramic whisk holder), or allow it to air dry while standing upright on its base. 

If you aren't storing it on the kusenaoshi, take care to store your chasen upright (never on its side!) to prolong its lifespan and ensure it maintains the proper shape.

Thank you so matcha for tuning into our blog!
 

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