How To Choose The Best Matcha Whisks
By The Whistling Kettle August 24th, 2021
Matcha green tea is prized around the world for its unique flavor and texture. Although many know the importance of choosing the right matcha, matcha whisks are the real secret to perfecting your cup. Bamboo matcha whisks have been used since the first tea ceremonies to achieve the ideal matcha consistency. For a smooth and frothy cup, nothing works better than a high quality matcha whisk.
What is Matcha?
Matcha is a fine, powdered green tea that is at the heart of the Japanese Tea Ceremony. Starting in the 16th century, the tea ceremony became a popular way to enjoy artfully prepared matcha in small gatherings. Inspired by Zen Buddhism, these ceremonies were calm, refined, and focused on appreciating subtle beauty.
What Are Matcha Whisks?
Matcha whisks are a small tool used to mix matcha powder with hot water. Traditionally, they are handmade from a single piece of bamboo, and carefully divided into many small tines. The process of making whisks by hand is considered an art form and still practiced today. The famous Sabun Kubo had his matcha whisks displayed at the Louvre Museum in Paris. His family has been making matcha whisks for 24 generations! Today there are also commercially produced whisks for more affordable prices, while still retaining the traditional design.
Types of Matcha Whisks
There are over 60 types of matcha whisks, each with unique advantages for different styles of tea. Some details to look for are:
- Number of tines
- Size of the whisk
- Curled or straight tines
- Style of design
Some have up to 80-120 tines in a curled shape to make more froth, some have fewer tines that are straight for less froth. Some matcha whisks are small for making koicha, a very thick ceremonial version of matcha. Larger whisks are usually used for usucha, the more liquid version of matcha familiar to Western tea drinkers.
It is important to match the right whisk with the type of matcha it was designed for. A great whisk to start with is the Kazuho style. It makes a frothy cup and works best for usucha and matcha lattes. It’s a versatile design that can also be used for thicker matcha on occasion when you want to try koicha. For this style we recommend our Japanese Style Bamboo Matcha Whisk. It has 100 tines for making silky, smooth matcha.
How To Use Matcha Whisks
It is important to use the matcha whisk with the right techniques. Each step ensures a better cup of matcha. There are alternatives such as electric frothers, blenders, and metal whisks. However, nothing beats the flexibility and precision of a bamboo matcha whisk.
Preparing The Tea
- First soak the tines of the matcha whisk in warm water for 30 seconds.
- Add matcha powder to a small, wide bowl. It’s best to sift it through a mesh strainer first to break apart any clumps.
- Add in hot water. Don’t let the water fill more than the bottom third of the bowl to avoid splashing.
- Use the whisk to mix the tea with quick motions in an “M” shape. It is best to use your wrist for efficient whisking, rather than moving your whole arm. Avoid scraping the whisk on the bottom of the bowl.
- Keep whisking until there are no clumps and you get your desired amount of froth on the top.
Matcha Whisk Storage
After preparing your tea, give the matcha whisk a rinse in warm water. Don’t use soap or put it in the dishwasher! It could damage the bamboo over time. Once the whisk is rinsed clean, gently shake it dry and store on a matcha whisk stand. A stand is an essential investment for keeping matcha whisks dry and retaining their shape. Keep your matcha whisk in a cool, dry location and enjoy many years of use.