Choosing your chasen
We recommend the Sayuri whisk if you are getting started with your matcha journey and are honing your whisking skills. It is a great tool to get a feel of achasen, get familiar with the basics, and discover your preferences. When you are ready for the next step, the Takayama Chasen is going to elevate the whole experience. It will also allow you to discover and prepare a more traditional way of consuming matcha koicha.
Japanese bamboo whisks are durable and made to last. Accompanied with proper care, your chosen is going to stand the test of time (and daily whisking!).
Here are our top tips to care for your chasen:
1. Place the whisk under a gentle stream of warm water to get rid of the matcha residue.
2. Pour warm clean water into a matcha bowl (chawan) and whisk in the water for 60 sec until clean.
3. After cleaning your whisk, it should be dried thoroughly before storing it away. Using a whisk holder (kusenaoshi) will help retain its shape. If a whisk holder is not available, store the whisk with the strings facing up.
Note: Never use soap or dishwasher as this will damage the bamboo whisk. The curled tips of your SAYURI whisk will uncurl when in contact with warm water and will straighten a bit over time. This is nothing to worry about it's a natural part of chasen aging called 'blooming'.
Chasen vs alternatives
Whilst we embrace modernity (especially for café operations!), we truly believe a traditional bamboo whisk is unmatched and no modern alternative can replicate its results.
Chasen● Easily accessible
● The material choice of bamboo is not just rooted in tradition but also science. Since matcha is an acidic drink it reactsto metal once in contact with water, sharp, bitter taste as well as a change in colour.
● This is why bamboo whisks are still the best choice over metal and electric whisks!
● The number and compact arrangement of tines enable suspension of matcha in water. Since matcha does not dissolve, a tool that can really coax it evenly crucial.
● The curled tips of the chasen creates a smooth micro-foam, free from air bubbles and clumps.
Alternatives● Metal materials react negatively to matcha once in contact with water.
● Conventional kitchen whisks are not designed to prepare matcha as it is too big and the strings are too wide apart. The shape of this utensil only mixes the matcha but does not suspend the fine powder.
● While handheld electric mixers eat for making frothy milk, they cannot create an even, frothy layer of matcha. Remember, the key word is WHISK, not mix!
● Blender blades are far too small and impractical to whisk matcha. While great for breaking things down, it's not ideal in suspending fine powder into water.
The result? Floating matcha bits.
It takes proper preparation and whisking skills to release the full flavour profile and potential of matcha. It can only be achieved by the proper tool!