Is A Matcha Whisk Really Necessary?

If you haven't already tried matcha, this traditional Japanese green tea has been growing more and more popular in the United States in recent years. Not only can you can find matcha drinks and food products in national chain stores, but places like Starbucks and Dunkin' now sell matcha lattes and even a matcha donut.

You can also make this rich and soothing tea drink at home — Costco has a great deal on matcha powder, which can often get expensive for pure leaf varieties. However, making matcha is a little more intensive than just putting a tea bag in a cup of hot water, and can involve some additional tools.

Just One Cookbook breaks down the step-by-step process of making matcha at home with a helpful video — the blog mentions that you'll need a tea bowl, tea scoop, and perhaps most important of all — a special whisk. According to Three Leaf Tea, a matcha whisk is called a chasen and is made with bamboo bristles in a greater quantity than the average metal whisk. This is key because, as Three Leaf Tea explains, matcha is made from stone-ground tea leaves and the fine powder can clump with the addition of hot water or milk. The powder actually never fully dissolves, but the uniquely designed chasen ensures that the matcha is separated more quickly and will be suspended in the mixture with a frothy-like texture. Plus, it won't scratch your mixing bowls!

Eater also affirms that the chasen "may be the most essential tool for making matcha," so if you make this special drink often, this tool is absolutely worth the investment.

What can you use if you don't have a matcha whisk?

Although a chasen will provide the best results for your matcha tea, it isn't the end of the world if you don't have this specialty whisk. There are a few alternatives you can use to froth up your drink and get the desired creaminess it's known for having. Three Leaf Tea recommends using a milk frother, but cautions that the powder will still form at the bottom of the bowl and won't be mixed in as well as if you were able to use a chasen. A blender is another option but if you want to have a hot drink, you'll still need to warm it up.

You can also try using a regular old metal whisk. Afternoon Tea Reads lists this staple kitchen tool as a suitable alternative as long as you keep on whisking your drink until it's foamy. The site also says you can shake your matcha in a mason jar to get a similar effect. Though a bamboo whisk is your best option, you're more likely to have regular whisks and mason jars around your kitchen and they can surely do the trick, too.

Now that you know what tools you need to make matcha, give it a try and see how a cup of matcha compares to a cup of coffee.