Matcha 101: Matcha Tools
What is Matcha? Where did it come from? How do I make it? Our Matcha 101 series serves as a quick, introductory guide to all things Matcha.
Matcha 101: Traditional Tools
The preparation of Matcha tea is a ritual that began over 900 years ago. To follow the traditional method of making Matcha, you’ll need some ceremonial Japanese tea tools that you may not have on hand. Here’s a bit of background on what you’ll need and how each piece fits into this centuries-old practice:
Chawan: The chawan, translated as tea bowl, is the ceramic vessel in which Matcha is prepared. The chawan originally hails from China and has been used in Japanese tea ceremonies since the 13th century. There are a number of different types, colors and shapes of chawan, depending on the ceremony and type of tea. Typically, Matcha bowls should be about 5 inches in diameter, smooth to the touch and easy to pick up to make it ideal for sipping.
Chashaku: The chashaku, or tea spoon, is a small, curved utensil used to scoop Matcha powder into the chawan. The size and unique ski-like shape of chashaku help to portion out Matcha powder into equal scoops. While modern chashaku are typically made of bamboo, they were originally carved from ivory when they were first imported to Japan.
Chasen: The chasen is a bamboo whisk
integral to the Matcha-making process. This hand-carved utensil has dozens of small tines used to aerate the Matcha, yielding its signature froth. There are many variations of chasen depending on the height and thickness of the bamboo, number of tines, width of each tine and color of thread wrapped around the whisk’s handle. For proper storage, the chasen should be placed on a chasen kuse naoshi, or whisk holder.
Now that you have an understanding of the traditional tools used to prepare Matcha, it’s time to put them to good use! Check out our Pure Matcha or Matcha with Ginger Tea, and read Matcha 101: Preparation to learn how to make your own.