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80-tip chasen bamboo whisk sitting upright on end on white table beside beige ceramic tea mug of pastel green matcha latte

All About the Chasen - Matcha’s Most Important Tool

Written on November 30, 2021 (updated on March 02, 2023)

Throughout the long history of the tea ceremony in Japan, various tools were developed and improved over centuries, with the goal of producing a transcendent serving of matcha. The chasen, a special whisk made from bamboo, is perhaps the most recognizable matcha utensil.

Even in modern settings of casual tea at home or the office, the chasen is one of the keys to making aromatic and delicious portions of matcha.

Ippodo Tea Blog - All about the Chasen

Why use a chasen?

After testing a lot of alternatives from metal forks to blenders to modern tools designed for matcha, we concluded that the chasen is still the best tool for whisking matcha.

Bamboo is the key to the chasen’s effectiveness. Bamboo can be whittled down into thin prongs, which are able to combine fine matcha powder fully with water. Bamboo is sturdy enough that it won’t break easily, and it has springiness for quick agitation. At the same time, it is soft enough that it won’t damage your bowl.

A bamboo chasen easily churns matcha, aerating it, improving its texture, and drawing out its wonderful aroma.

Since the chasen is made from only bamboo, it whisks up an aromatic, thoroughly-mixed matcha in seconds.

Ippodo Tea Blog - All about the Chasen

Choose your chasen.

How to whisk with a chasen.

Ippodo Tea - All about the Chasen (matcha whisk)
Ippodo Tea - All about the Chasen (matcha whisk)
Watch Video

Mastering the motion.

Ippodo Tea - All about the Chasen (matcha whisk)

It takes a little time to get comfortable with this motion. We recommend starting with a slow motion at first. You can also practice with plain water in a bowl until it feels natural.

It’s not all about the foam.

Don’t be frustrated if you aren’t able to make a foamy matcha! It is a common misconception that matcha needs to have perfect photogenic foam.

Matcha without foam is actually a style that we also intentionally make, depending on our mood. Foam-less matcha made by whisking slowly has a clearer, purer taste.

Note: No matter how fast you whisk, we recommend finishing in 15 seconds, since whisking for longer will produce a more bitter taste.

How to care for your chasen.

Ippodo Tea - All about the Chasen (matcha whisk)
Ippodo Tea - All about the Chasen (matcha whisk)
Ippodo Tea - All about the Chasen (matcha whisk)
Ippodo Tea - All about the Chasen (matcha whisk)

Bonus tips.

Ippodo Tea - All about the Chasen (matcha whisk)

When to replace a chasen?

Since each chasen is made by hand from bamboo, it will not last forever. If your chasen has a lot of broken tips, and if you can’t whisk matcha as easily as you once could, it is probably time to replace it with a new one.

Chasen - an indispensable companion to matcha.

Just like getting the right dripper, gooseneck kettle, and grinder for making delicious pour-over coffee, getting the right set of matcha utensils, including a chasen, is key for making delicious servings of matcha.

Treat your chasen gently, and after a little use, you’ll find the chasen an indispensable companion to your everyday matcha routine.

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