Making matcha is actually easier than you think with the right set of tools. Without the right equipment you will end up with clumps of powdery tea and lots of disappointment. So here are our top picks for the most essential matcha tools, along with few tips to make your cup of matcha taste just like the one from the cafes.
1. Matcha Whisk
The matcha whisk (chasen) is the most essential tool for making matcha. The bamboo whisk is handcrafted from a single piece of bamboo. Preparing a perfect cup of matcha starts with this authentic, traditional tool. Simply whisk the matcha in a "W" motion until frothy, which usually takes only 10-20 seconds. While there are other electronic whisks and modern alternatives available, we find that the traditional bamboo whisk ensures a smooth matcha consistency with no powdery clumps and it gives a delicious frothy finish by trapping tiny bubbles into the whisk. It's also super easy to clean, just rinse under water to remove all the matcha powder residue.
2. Bowl or Mug
A traditional matcha bowl pictured below is a simple, deep bowl with a flat bottom and is used as both preparation and serving vessel. The best ones are made by hand and feature small imperfections. However, mugs are also ideal vessels for making matcha, especially oversize mugs that give you extra space for stirring, whisking and sipping.
Matcha latte is very easy to make in a bowl/mug, all you need to do is add steamed milk to the already made matcha tea. For the matcha tea, whisk 1 teaspoon of matcha with 2 to 3 oz of hot water. For the hot steamed milk, you could heat up the milk in the microwave or over the stove top. If you have an espresso machine with a steam wand, this would be ideal to use for making nice and frothy steamed milk.
3. Shaker or Thermos
If your to-go matcha beverage is an iced matcha latte, then the easiest way to brew iced matcha is with a shaker or thermos bottle. Just add the matcha and the water and shake it up. The vigorous shaking naturally breaks up the matcha powder. For this method, you don’t even need a whisk, and you can take it on the go anywhere.
NON-ESSENTIAL (BUT NICE TO HAVE)
1. Whisk Stand
The whisk stand is ideal for maintaining your whisk in good shape as well as preventing it from molding. As noted in "The Tool Every Matcha Lover Should Own" by Bon Appetit "placing the whisk tines-down on the stand after you wash it helps it to keep its shape. That hole in the stand’s center keeps the inner tines in line, while the open bottom allows the whisk to dry properly." The use of the stand is the best way to prolong the life of your whisk.
2. Tea Strainer
Fresh matcha stored under proper conditions (dry and dark space, in room temp) should not clump too much. However, to get the smoothest matcha, a tea strainer comes in handy for breaking up any clumps. You can use it to sift the matcha powder into the bowl before whisking.
Now that you have the right tools, next time instead of your morning cup of coffee, wake up with a matcha latte and set yourself up for a great start to your day!