Written by Sachi Kondo
3 things you need to enjoy matcha at home
Energizing and calming simultaneously, matcha (pronounce: “ma(t)-CHA” 抹茶) is a staple in any tea enthusiast’s household. It originated from an ancient Japanese tradition, now ubiquitous in modern food culture beyond Asia.
Preparing matcha can be a daunting procedure yet cathartic once you get the hang of it. Whilst there is no official way to make matcha at home, we like to channel our inner teishu (Japanese tea ceremony host) to do it the traditional way.
You can find a wide range of culinary matcha powders offered in retail stores, though you may want to be wary of the quality. Worry not, island imbibers can now purchase premium, ceremonial-grade matcha imported straight from the land of the rising sun here https://chontea.co/collections/japanese-tea
Now that you’ve got yourself a high-quality portion of matcha powder in Bali; here are the three tea utensils or chadōgu (茶道具) considered essential to matcha-making.
1) Chawan (Tea Bowl) 茶碗
In the comfort of your own home, you can experience matcha-making the way the Japanese enjoy it. Holding and sipping your emerald green drink from a chawan can be a true delight. It may come in different sizes. But the aesthetic beauty of a matcha bowl is thanks to its designs and colors. A beautiful chawan can make the presence of your tea table. It possesses different uses, too. Shallow bowls are used in the summer, as it allows the contents to cool quicker. Deeper bowls are opted during winter to keep the tea hot for a longer period.
2) Chasen (Tea Whisk) 茶筌
The whisk is an elemental tool for matcha-making. Traditionally crafted from a single piece of bamboo, a chasen is made up of springy tines carefully designed to whisk matcha into suspension. It assists in the proper blending of the powder, water, and air into a perfectly frothy beverage.
Matcha making requires oxygenation, meaning it’s not only about dissolving the powder in water like you would with coffee sachets. This is a key process, as it releases aromas and essences of the leaves. In the world of coffee, it’s synonymous with the froth on your espresso or cappuccino.
3) Chashaku (Tea Scoop) 茶杓
A traditional Japanese tea utensil, a chashaku resembles a slender scoop, typically carved from bamboo. It has been used in the culture for measuring out a serving of matcha powder. You can, of course, use your everyday teaspoon, but a chashaku is known to measure the correct amount of matcha more accurately.
Matcha powder is normally stored in canisters and small lacquered boxes. The tea scoop is designed specifically to fit into these containers and dispense the right amount. Bamboo chashaku comes in various styles. There really is no substitute for these scoopers— ask a real tea lover!
Challenge yourself and learn to make matcha the traditional ceremonial way. Bring home your newfound knowledge and apply it with the tools you have waiting in your kitchen cabinet!