Do You Really Need A Bamboo Whisk For Matcha?

As a flavoring for your favorite Starbucks drink or your new favorite mochi ice cream flavor, the smooth, subtle, sweet flavor profile of matcha is unique and unmatcha-ed. But in order to maximize the flavors and minimize any unwanted textures, you'll first need to know what you're dealing with, and you'll want to have the proper equipment.

You'll also need to know exactly what matcha is. According to Bon App├ętit, matcha is a special kind of Japanese green tea that is grown without direct sunlight. These leaves grow in the shade and therefore produce higher levels of chlorophyll (the compound in plants that give them their green color, per WebMD) and other natural compounds. Once they're ready to be harvested, the leaves are picked, separated from their stems and veins, and ground up into a fine powder; this is the final product of matcha, ready to be added to whatever dish is fortunate enough to be blessed by the beautiful muted green.

Traditionally matcha is served and consumed hot (particularly during Japanese tea ceremonies), but there are now many recipes and chefs that have used matcha in everything from new-age cocktails to stylish entrees to sweet desserts, per The Spruce Eats.

Chasen bamboo whisk

Because matcha is incorporated into the water (or milk, or any other liquid you choose), rather than steeped in it like with other teas, you are consuming the entire leaf and are getting all of those strong flavors and nutritional benefits, but you're also at risk of getting a grainy mouthful if the matcha has not been properly handled. Enter the chasen. According to Tezumi, these Japanese bamboo whisks are specially designed for getting your matcha to the perfect consistency.

Matcha never really dissolves completely into the water, but rather it stays suspended throughout the liquid, per Three Leaf Tea, this means that a good matcha is whisked into a frothy frenzy that is smooth, consistent, and uniform. Because of the many tines that chasen have and because they're made with a light material like bamboo, chasen are perfect for incorporating air into your drink and getting that mousse-like consistency that is so irresistible.