An Introduction to Matcha Tools

An Introduction to Matcha Tools

Matcha is associated with the formal ceremony of Chanoyu but it can also be used for casual drinking at home. These pieces can range from very simple and basic to one-of-a-kind pieces handcrafted by artisans. When you are first starting out, I recommend starting with inexpensive options and then upgrading as your skill level and interest progresses.

 

Chawan 

First things first, you’ll need something to make your matcha in and to drink it from. Matcha bowls can come in all sorts of shapes, colors and sizes. From traditional and plain to colorful and contemporary, there’s a bowl to suit every taste. The two things that they will all have in common are a wide, flat base and high sides. You may see this style referred to by the Japanese term chawan, which literally means tea bowl. It is common to match the style of the bowl with the season. If you don’t have a chawan any wide bowl will do. Before I owned any chawan I often used rice or cereal bowls.

Chashaku

The chashaku is a scoop used to measure out portions of matcha powder. Usucha, or thin tea, usually calls for one and a half to two scoops of tea. This usually works out to about 2g of tea. I personally like the authentic look and feel of a bamboo scoop but a teaspoon could do the job just as easily. Tea masters have traditionally carved their own scoops, giving them a poetic name that suits their seasonal identity.

Chasen

The most important tool for making matcha is the whisk. Motorized gadgets can be used but the taste and texture will be different than when it is traditionally prepared. Each chasen is handmade from a single piece of bamboo. Isn’t that incredible? They will wear out over time since they are made out of a natural material but keeping them clean and dry will make them last a lot longer.

Making matcha can seem intimidating but all you really need are these three things and water. There are a few other accessories that you may find useful as your interest progresses.

 

Hishaku 

The hishaku is a long-handled ladle used to scoop water into the chawan. I like using them because it takes the guesswork out of the volume of water to use. It took me a while to find but I found an inexpensive one on Amazon that has worked really well.

 

Kusenaoshi 

The Kusenaoshi is a simple ceramic stand that holds the chasen. It helps to shape the tines, improving the longevity of the chasen over time. My whisks definitely maintain their shape better since I’ve started using one.

Furui

Sifting your matcha before whisking can keep it from becoming clumped and in many ways I feel it improves the taste. You can purchase specially made tins with built in sifters but I use an old fashioned stainless steel mesh tea strainer and it works just fine.

Are there any other tools that you use for matcha? Let me know about them in the comments!

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