A Guide to Traditional and Non-Traditional Matcha Accessories
If you are familiar with a traditional Japanese matcha ceremony, you likely know the various matcha tools typically present. Matcha accessories all serve a unique purpose; however, you don't necessarily need all of them to make a delicious cup of matcha at home.
Are you new to matcha? We've put together a simple guide to matcha accessories – traditional tools and modern alternatives – to help you understand and see what matcha tools you may need. So whether you plan to replace your coffee with matcha or add it to your cafe or business's repertoire of offerings -- we've got you covered.
Provided you have excellent quality matcha, these matcha traditional accessories and less traditional options will be more than enough to procure a delicious, emerald green cup of matcha. We also outline which modern tools you may want to consider if you prepare a lot of matcha in bulk.
Traditional matcha accessories & modern alternatives
Chasen – bamboo whisk
The quality of your matcha is significantly impacted by your whisking method, and matcha tea whisks have been used to make matcha for over 1,000 years to date. A chasen is a traditional Japanese bamboo whisk for preparing matcha that has three main components: the handle, the bloom, and the heart. Chasens are delicately carved out of a single piece of bamboo into fine strands or 'tines' and are used for whisking finely powdered matcha tea with hot water. When appropriately used, a chasen can help you mix your matcha and achieve a rich, lively froth. Often a chasen needs to be replaced every four weeks if you are drinking matcha daily, though once you get used to using the chasen, it can last three to six months before a replacement is needed. It truly depends on how many times per week you use it and how well you clean and store it.
Non-traditional alternative: Handheld electric frother (which we will spotlight right below!), stainless steel whisk, or blender.
Bamboo Frother – electric mixer
An essential step in preparing a cup of matcha is creating a frothy, foamy surface. This can be done using a chasen (traditional bamboo whisk) or an electric frother. Though it is not a traditional tool used to prepare matcha in tea ceremonies, electric frothers have become a popular favorite among people preparing matcha at home or in bulk at cafes as a barista.
Less-traditional alternatives: A mason jar. When all else fails, you can mix your matcha with your water, cap the top, and shake it up on the go.
Chawan – matcha tea bowl
Chawan translates from Japanese to mean "tea bowl," which is precisely what it is. Your chawan is what you prepare, serve, and enjoy your matcha in. Various chawan styles and sizes can be used in specific ways depending on your preference of time of year. For example, some opt for more shallow chawans when enjoying matcha in the summertime but prefer a more bottomless bowl when prepared in the winter months. When picking out your chawan, you want to find one that sparks joy and allows you to grasp both hands around the bowl comfortably. It is also important that you feel you have enough space in your chawan to whisk your matcha well.
Non-traditional alternative: A coffee mug, mason jar, soup, or cereal bowl
Chasen Kusenaoshi (Whisk Stand)
Your whisk holder, or kusenaoshi, helps your chasen retain its proper shape and helps protect the fine bamboo strands from splintering and breaking apart. Your whisk holder can be used to store your chasen and provide an appealing visual display. Often a good whisk stand is both sturdy and light. That way, you can easily remove your chasen without the standing moving.
Non-traditional alternative: We have yet to find one! Let us know yours if you have one.
Sieve - Sifter tin or matcha tea caddy
You can opt to store your matcha in a sieve or sifter tin, which sifts your matcha powder in advance of your next tea ceremony or cup of matcha. A matcha tea caddy is an excellent choice if you have a daily matcha practice, as it helps preserve the catechins and vitamins found in matcha. Its air-tight fit keeps oxygen from deteriorating your matcha's nutrient compounds. A sieve or caddy also saves you time by securely sifting your matcha all at once, so your daily matcha ceremony can be more efficient. If you have a sieve, we recommend that you dry them after cleaning to prevent any rusting.
Non-traditional alternative: vacuum-sealed air-tight plastic container
Chashaku – Bamboo scoop
The chasaku is a masterfully crafted piece of bamboo that makes it easy to portion matcha from your matcha caddy into your chawan or tea bowl. A chashaku bamboo scoop measures about 1 gram of matcha. When traditionally prepared, you often use two scoops of matcha, which is roughly equivalent to one teaspoon.
Non-traditional alternative: Teaspoon
Furui – Sifter
If you don't sift your matcha, no matter how much you whisk your matcha, it's likely not going to be as smooth or frothy as you'd like and may even taste grainy and thin. A furui is a sifter meant for matcha tea specifically. Sifting your matcha before whisking with your chasen can help create a smoother, more silky matcha consistency, as it prevents clumps and can also help create a better froth. So if you are trying to make a perfect bowl of matcha, you want to sift your matcha first using a furui. Our authentic matcha sifter is Japanese hand-made of 100% stainless steel and is incredibly durable. You likely won't need to replace your sifter for years and years!
Non-traditional alternative: Small kitchen strainer with fine mesh
Chaki – cloth
A chaki is a linen cloth traditionally used to wipe down your chawan after you warm it up with hot water before making your matcha. Your chaki is also used to dry and wipe your tea bowl once you finish your cup of matcha.
Non-traditional alternative: Any clean, soft cloth that is dry
Kyusu – teapot
To warm up water to prepare your matcha, you need a tea kettle. A kyusu is a traditional Japanese teapot made from mineral-rich clay of the highest quality from volcanic regions. Kyusus are often smaller than a western teapot, around 100-300 ml is a typical size, and are considered to make the perfect amount of matcha or loose leaf tea for a handful of guests. Kyusu teapot enthusiasts also believe that the more a kyusu is used, the tea gains in quality, as the kyusu takes on a patina over time.
Non-traditional alternative: Electric teapot. Because matcha is so sensitive to temperature — boiling water will spoil and ruin quality matcha – we recommend using a digital temp-controlled kettle, especially if you are making matcha in bulk. Plus, a digital read-out on an electric tea kettle is ideal for making a variety of teas besides matcha, such as Sencha or Hojicha.
The bottom line –
There are various matcha accessories you can have and use day to day, but at the end of the day, it really comes down to personal preference. So we recommend finding what works for you and going from there.
Do you have any other matcha accessories you like to use at home not mentioned in this post? Let us know! We'd love to hear about your go-to matcha tools.