Choosing Tea Ware - Matcha
If you are new to Japanese tea, you may wonder what tea ware you should choose or what tea ware you need. Maybe this is your first time to see Japanese tea ware or you wonder how it is used. Below are some tips on choosing tea ware for those new to Japanese tea.
Tea ware for preparing and serving Matcha
- Chasen (Bamboo Whisk):
First of all, the mesh filter at the base of the Kyusu spout should be Chasen is an essential tool for correct Matcha preparation. To enjoy flavorful Matcha, it must be lathered or frothed very well. To froth Matcha, you must whisk with a Chasen, otherwise it will not taste right and may have lumps. It is impossible to stir or mix Matcha into hot water with a spoon. Whisking with a Chasen is necessary for best taste and consistency or texture. Chasen are made from bamboo, and some have a greater number of bristles. More bristles generally create a better froth.
- Matcha Chawan (Matcha Bowl):
Though Matcha Chawan is not completely necessary, it is best to use a bowl with a similar shape and size. To lather Matcha well, you should move the Chasen (Bamboo Whisk) quickly like writing the letter "W" in a Matcha Bowl. If you use a bowl that is not wide enough, you can’t move the Chasen quickly enough, and the Matcha will not be frothy or flavorful. Also, the sides must be high enough to prevent splashing the Matcha out of the bowl, but low enough so that the Chasen can touch the bottom of the bowl.
- Chashaku (Matcha Spoon):
To prepare Matcha, it is not essential to use a Chashaku - one can use a teaspoon to scoop and measure Matcha. However, since the Chashaku is made specifically for Matcha, it is the best tool to easily scoop the appropriate amount of Matcha and also plays a role in creating the traditional WABI SABI atmosphere. And usually, it is not too expensive.
- Kusenaoshi (Whisk Keeper):
Though Kusenaoshi is not essential, it is useful to improve the longevity of the Chasen (Bamboo Whisk). With repeated use, the Chasen will naturally loose its curved shape. Kusenaoshi is used to return the Chasen to its original curved shape.
- Matcha Sifter:
Matcha often gets lumpy due to static electricity because Matcha is a very fine powder. To avoid lumps, it is best to sift Matcha just before preparing. If you don’t have a Matcha Sifter, you can use a tea strainer or flour sifter made from steel mesh, but the Matcha Sifter is made specifically for Matcha, so it is the best tool for properly sifting Matcha. Also, it is useful for storing Matcha for a few days if necessary.
There are two main types of Natsume. Traditional Natsume are made from wood and coated with lacquer. The other style of Natsume is made from plastic in order to provide a similar item at a lower cost. Natsume is a container to temporarily hold Matcha during the tea ceremony. After tea ceremony, leftover Matcha is returned to the storage container from Natsume. So, Natsume is not for the long-term storage of Matcha because it is not airtight. For storing Matcha, a metal pull-top can like the ones used for our Matcha Super Premium, Premium, and Pinnacle, is much more useful to keep the tea fresh.