At this point, it’s likely you’ve successfully mastered your morning coffee routine, perhaps with help from guides. But, if your regular coffee shop indulgence was matcha — which is now ubiquitous at a certain kind of hip coffee shop — you may still be missing out.
Brewing matcha requires a bit more work than brewing tea leaves that steep in water, and the brewing process calls for its own specific set of tools — chiefly a bowl and a whisk for fully emulsifying the powdered tea into the water. Making matcha without the right equipment will lead to clumps of powdery tea and disappointment but that’s what we are here for fools. Here are recommendations for the most essential matcha tools, along with a few extras to make your cup even better.
The matcha whisk, or chasen, maybe the most essential tool for making matcha. This whisk, made from a single cut of bamboo, incorporates the powdered tea into liquid so that there are no clumps and a light froth. Majid says there’s no one best Matcha whisk out there.
Bamboo matcha whisks are low maintenance — they’re naturally antiseptic and can be easily cleaned with warm water. But whisks may lose their shape over time, so we recommend drying and storing whisks on a ceramic whisk keeper. Whisk keepers are specifically designed to maintain matcha whisks’ curved shape, making them last longer.
A traditional matcha bowl is a simple, deep bowl around 5 inches in diameter and is used as both preparation and serving vessel. Etsy is a great source for more locally made options, including bowls that offer a twist on the traditional shape. This style may work best if you plan to pour the matcha into a cup or mug to make a latte or other specialty drink. There are several ceramic studios on Etsy that sell the style, called katakuchi, in a variety of finishes.
To get the smoothest matcha, a tea strainer comes in handy. You can use it to sift the matcha powder into the bowl before whisking. We prefer this tea strainer from Japanese tea company Ippodo that can also be used as a strainer for your loose-leaf tea.
These days, cold matcha might sound more appealing than the alternative, and frankly, the easiest way to brew iced matcha is with a tea infuser bottle.
Happy matcha making, fools!