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Prepare matcha tea with a chasen or ‘matcha whisk’
Matcha tea has been prepared for centuries using a chasen – the Japanese name for what is known in the West as a matcha whisk. But calling it a ‘whisk’ is simply not doing this essential tool justice because you cannot use just any old whisk to prepare matcha tea.
The Aiya chasen is handmade from a single piece of bamboo. The tines or prongs of the chasen are individually cut out of the bamboo stick and shaped. A chasen cannot be made using machinery. Only chasen craftsmen with years of experience and knowledge have mastered the proper technique for creating a high-quality matcha whisk. An additional benefit of the handmade approach is that every chasen is completely unique.
Watch the video below to find out more about matcha and how a chasen is crafted (starting from 5.27 minutes):
Why use a chasen to prepare matcha tea?
Matcha is an ultra-finely ground green tea whose powder cannot be dissolved in hot water nor in warm cereal drinks as it will clump, no matter how hard or frequently you stir it with a spoon.
The best way to prevent clumping is to use a chasen whilst preparing your matcha tea, allowing you to create a light and foamy drink. To make stirring with a chasen easier, matcha tea is always prepared in a bowl instead of a cup. This is because bowls have a wider mouth meaning you can easily stir and move the chasen up and down.
Make sure to properly take care of your chasen by letting it dry on a matcha whisk holder after use.
Preparing your matcha
- Spoon the matcha into a ceremonial bowl
- Add the water and gently scoop up the matcha from the bottom using the chasen
- Stop scooping and instead rotate the chasen in a circular motion through the tea
After your matcha is ready
- Clean your chasen properly. Do not place in the dishwasher but rinse in warm water
Tip: after you have drunk your matcha, fill the bowl with warm water and whisk your chasen through the water in the same manner as preparing tea.
- Remove the chasen from the water when all bits of matcha are removed and shake off the excess water
- Leave the chasen to dry on a chasen whisk holder.
Depending on how often you use your chasen, the bamboo tines will separate. The bamboo tines on an unused chasen are very close together, but the more you use the chasen the more the tines will part as a result of the pressure caused by whisking with the chasen. It is completely normal for your chasen to ‘open up’. Use the chasen whisk holder so that it dries properly and keeps its shape.