How to Whisk a Bowl of Matcha
Traditionally, Matcha has been used in Japan in the Japanese tea ceremony (Chanoyu). But today, Matcha is also prepared and drunk in a more casual manner. And, iced matcha, a new favorite drink in Japan, is a refreshing and delicious treat when the weather is hot and sultry.
Hot or iced, the procedure for whisking a bowl of matcha is easy and essentially the same.
For iced Matcha, simply substitute the same amount of ice cold water for the hot water and chill the tea bowl in the refrigerator in advance.
|1. Invert the tines of your bamboo whisk (chasen) into a glass of water while you sift your matcha. This brief soak will soften the tines, allowing them to become flexible and supple.|
2. Measure the matcha powder into a matcha sifter (furui) (or a small, fine-mesh strainer) to break-up the fine clumps. This will ensure that you obtain a smooth and creamy cup of matcha tea.
|3. If you are making iced matcha, remove your tea bowl from the refrigerator.|
|4. Using a traditional, bent-bamboo scoop (chasaku), place two chasaku scoops of the sifted matcha powder into your tea bowl. No chasaku? One teaspoon-full of sifted matcha powder will do very nicely.|
|5. For a traditional bowl of matcha tea, allow freshly boiled water to cool to 170˚F then add 3 oz of water to the tea bowl. For iced matcha pour 3 oz of ice cold water into the tea bowl – NO HOT WATER!|
|6. Use your bamboo whisk (chasen) to vigorously whisk the matcha powder and water.|
|7. Move the whisk back and forth vigorously for 15 – 40 seconds to create a nice froth. Begin by running the whisk around the inside of the matcha bowl and then move the whisk quickly and energetically from side to side in a zig-zag, figure-eight type motion. Keep the slender bamboo tines of the whisk just under the surface of the tea – be careful to not press the tines into the bottom of the tea bowl.|
|8. When a nice froth develops on the surface of the tea the matcha is ready to drink.|
|9. Gently tap the excess tea from the bamboo whisk and now enjoy your matcha tea.|
|10. Remember to clean the tines of your bamboo whisk immediately by rinsing it in water. Stand the whisk upright on the flat end and allow it to air dry. Better yet, place it over a ceramic whisk keeper (kusenaoshi ) to dry if you have one. Alternately, you can rest its midrift on a stone or other object (as shown in our picture) but try to not rest your chasen lying on its side after use because it will dry ‘out-of-round’ and will not work as well.
Be sure that your whisk is completely dry before storing it.