The matcha whisk is both the traditional and the most effective tool for preparing matcha.
As a design that has evolved over the centuries to reflect the essence of chanoyu
(the Japanese tea ceremony), this beautifully symmetrical matcha whisk
is an expression of the incredible utility and refinement of the
classical Japanese aesthetic.
The chasen (matcha whisk) is
skillfully hand crafted from a single, unbroken segment of lightweight
bamboo and a simple bit of cotton string; the fine tines that extend
from the handle were each painstakingly carved and shaped, all the
while remaining fully connected to the handle.
It is a tool that
serves its purpose effortlessly and conforms to the human hand with
grace and poise. Function determines form in the most intuitive,
dignified and artful of ways. It is no wonder that modern-day design
scholars have praised this ancient tool as a prime example of an
enlightened, well-intentioned, and even spiritual approach to design.
At Samovar, the Matcha Hekisui , the matcha scoop, the chawan (tea bowl) and the chasen remind us of why tea, human interconnectedness and spirituality are so intrinsically intertwined in Japan and in chado (the way of tea).
Here is how you can experience the elegant-yet-simple beauty of matcha for yourself:
* Rinse your utensils and tea bowl in very hot water. Never use soap, as it will taint the flavor of your tea.
* Use the tea scoop to place two tea scoops of matcha into your tea bowl. Alternately, you can use three knife tips of matcha.
* Pour four ounces hot (below boiling) filtered water into the bowl.
Hold the whisk so it is partially submerged in the tea bowl’s water.
Using your wrist to move the whisk, blend the tea rapidly, making small
“W” shapes in the tea.
* As you whisk, introduce air into the mixture for a frothy, delicious brew.
Make sure to whisk the bottom of the bowl and run the whisk over the
sides of the bowl where it meets to water – this will help remove any
clumps from your tea.
* When the matcha is pale green, frothy and thick, it is ready to drink.
* Enjoy your tea.
When you are done, re-rinse your bowl and utensils in hot water(without soap). Make sure that your utensils air-dry completely before you store them. Store your whisk in its packaging to help it keep its shape and to prevent broken tines.
To learn more, check out the video of Jesse's visit to the Urasenke Foundation school of Chado to see a Bai Chasen Matcha Tea Whisk in action.