Matcha is a green tea drink that has exploded into popularity in recent years. What used to be a drink enjoyed mainly in East Asia has now gone global, appearing everywhere from coffee shops to the average home kitchen. People are interested in using the ingredient everywhere, from fancy drinks to even fancier desserts.
The key to great matcha is the use of a specific matcha whisk (also known as a chasen matcha whisk). Many say these traditional whisks are necessary to get the most out of this powdered tea. If you want the best matcha experience possible, we highly recommend getting your hands on a matcha whisk.
That’s why we’re here to help! Let’s take a look at what a matcha whisk is, why they’re so special, and what you should keep in mind as you shop. We also have a list of our top picks for the best matcha whisk you can buy today.
What Is a Matcha Whisk?
A matcha whisk, also known as a chasen in Japanese, is a special type of whisk designed specifically for matcha powder. These whisks are always made of bamboo, with a small handle and a series of thin, delicate pieces of wood (aka teeth or strings) that flare out of the base, curving inward. This whisk will have two rings of these delicate bamboo “teeth” that flare out from the base, forming a circle. These whisks are carved out of a single piece of bamboo and need to be handled with care.
Why does matcha need a specific whisk? Well, because it’s so delicate. Matcha powder is incredibly fine and clumps up easily once mixed with liquids like water and milk. With its fine circles of teeth, the bamboo whisk is designed to slightly suspend and separate the matcha during mixing. This helps the powder to incorporate with liquid easier and not clump.
As matcha is a powder that doesn’t truly dissolve, it needs to be mixed thoroughly to get the smoothest experience possible. A matcha whisk makes a huge difference over a metal one in this regard. With its gentle but fine incorporation, your matcha powder will taste smooth and slightly sweet, avoiding the bitterness that comes with it being clumpy and not properly mixed.
Matcha Whisk Buying Guide
This is what you need to know about matcha whisks before you buy:
Matcha Set vs Matcha Whisk
When shopping for a matcha whisk, you’re more likely to come across entire sets than individual whisks. But what should you buy? While you can get away with using the whisk on its own, there are benefits to buying a traditional matcha set if you don’t already own one.
A traditional matcha set will come with the chasen (matcha whisk), a tea bowl, a teaspoon, a matcha whisk holder, and sometimes, a traditional tea towel. All of these tools are great for creating the perfect matcha.
You can scoop the powder with the spoon into the bowl, add water, and mix with the whisk. The towel will catch any excess powder and clean your utensils. You’ll also have the matcha holder, which is necessary for proper drying and storage.
However, it is possible to get away with just the whisk, mixing your matcha in a bowl you have at home and scooping it with your own spoons. If you’re looking for the bare minimum, all you truly need is the whisk itself to make sure the matcha powder dissolves properly.
When it comes to the set vs. the whisk alone, it’s ultimately up to the buyer and their preferences. We recommend the set, though, for all matcha lovers who want to have the best experience possible.
Ready to learn the best way to whisk matcha? Check out our article on How to Whisk Matcha for step-by-step instructions and tips.
The more strings (aka teeth) your matcha whisk has, the smoother your matcha will be when mixing. More teeth also means you can achieve a foamier consistency if needed. With fewer teeth, you can expect a matcha mixture that’s a little thicker.
Matcha whisks can come with anywhere between 16 and 120 teeth. We recommend aiming for the middle, finding a whisk with around 64 teeth.
Matcha Whisk Care + Storage
Storing your matcha whisk properly is hugely important if you want it to last. Bamboo is a delicate material, especially when it is as thin as it is on a matcha whisk’s teeth. You should consider buying a matcha whisk holder (aka a chasen holder or kusenaoshi) to help it dry properly and not lose its shape.
After using your matcha whisk, it’s important to clean it. Rinse gently with hot water, and place on the whisk holder to dry. Never wash your matcha whisk with soap or in a dishwasher, as it will damage it.
Top Recommended Product: BambooMN Brand – Matcha Bowl Set
Top Budget Product: BambooWorx Japanese Tea Set, Matcha Whisk (Chasen)
Top Premium Product: ELITEA Matcha Tea Set Large Matcha Bowl with Spout
Our Top Picks for the Best Matcha Whisk
These are our top picks for the best matcha whisk you can buy:
1. Top Recommended Product: BambooMN Brand – Matcha Bowl Set
Whether you’re buying your first-ever matcha set or are a matcha pro, you’ll be impressed by this set! This matcha whisk set includes a bamboo whisk, a whisk holder, a traditional tea bowl, and a traditional and modern spoon for scooping matcha. These tools all conveniently fit on a bamboo tray for easy use and clean-up.
This is a great whisk, and you’ll get the most out of it with all the added accessories. Even better, this set comes in a wide range of colors! You’ll find the perfect set for you and your home.
2. Best Budget Product: BambooWorx Japanese Tea Set, Matcha Whisk (Chasen)
If you’re looking for the basics, we suggest this whisk! Here you’re getting one bamboo matcha whisk, as well as a traditional matcha scoop and a teaspoon. All the products are made of 100% bamboo and are perfect for combining your matcha powder with liquid.
3. Best Premium Product: ELITEA Matcha Tea Set Large Matcha Bowl with Spout
You’re sure to be impressed with this matcha set from ELITEA. It has some high-quality offerings and a great look to stand out in your kitchen. This tea set includes a 100% bamboo matcha whisk crafted from a more durable purple bamboo. It also comes with a beautiful clay bowl with a handy spout for pouring your matcha after mixing.
There’s a purple bamboo container meant to store your matcha powder, as well as a matching matcha scoop. There is also a beautiful ceramic matcha whisk holder for proper drying and storage.
These products can be displayed on the included bamboo tea mat, meant to be used during mixing and when you display these products. Any matcha lover would be impressed with this amazing set.
4. Best Gift Product: Artcome Japanese Matcha Tea Set, Matcha Whisk
A matcha set is a unique, standout gift that any tea drinker would love! If you want to give a matcha set as a gift, this one is a great choice. Here you’re getting everything you need to make great matcha: A bamboo matcha whisk, traditional scoop, ceramic whisk holder, and a tea bowl for mixing.
There’s also a steel strainer to strain matcha powder to get it extra fine and an adorable, duck-shaped rest for the traditional scoop spoon. All of these products can be used on top of the traditional tea mat included in the kit.
The packaging here is also artful and sure to impress whoever is receiving it as a gift. Best of all, this set has a 100% refund policy, so you can give it stress-free!
5. Best Electric Product: Charaku, Japanese Handheld Electric Matcha Whisk/Frother
Traditional chasen design meets the power of electricity with this whisk here. This whisk is super interesting, including a bamboo chasen and an electric handle it is attached to for mixing. This is perfect for anyone who may have trouble holding a traditional matcha whisk or someone who wants to get the job done fast.
This electric whisk is battery-powered. Since it can whisk fast, it’s perfect for anyone looking for a more foamy, frothy texture with their matcha. You can also purchase the bamboo attachment separately if you need to replace one after it is damaged.
Matcha Whisk FAQ
These are some of the questions people have when it comes to matcha whisks:
Why does matcha have a special whisk?
As matcha powder is incredibly fine, it needs a special whisk to properly incorporate it with liquid. A bamboo whisk with thin, delicate teeth is perfect for removing any clumps that form when you combine matcha with water.
Can you use any whisk for matcha?
While you can use other miniature whisks for matcha, they will not combine the powder and liquid and traditional methods. If you don’t have access to a matcha whisk, we recommend different methods, like shaking it with water in a jar or using a frother.
How long do I whisk matcha?
Typically, you only need to whisk matcha for less than a minute, somewhere around 30 seconds. You should stir until all lumps are gone, and you can swish the liquid around the mixing bowl without seeing large clumps and grains.
Can you steep matcha?
Matcha powder, unfortunately, is not like the kind of steeped tea found in the west. We do not recommend steeping matcha at all, as it can make the matcha not incorporate well and often leaves it tasting bitter. Matcha is served best when incorporated into liquid using a whisk.