Wand, Whisk, or Something Else?

Let’s take a look at the many ways we can prepare a matcha shot. The traditional, perhaps best, is with a Chasen. That’s the handmade, 100-prong bamboo whisk we provide. It will require about 30 seconds of vigorous whisking. But to clarify, vigorous doesn’t mean you need to apply tons of force –– remember, it's just powder, water and tiny bamboo sticks at work. Everything about the process of Matcha ––  from growing, to harvesting and processing –– is delicate, deliberate, and requires time. Therefore it is no surprise that the same can be said for the traditional method of preparation. A traditional bamboo chasen creates the perfect layer of crema (or froth). 

However, many people elect for a bit more speed and choose an electric wand frother.  (We recommend our favorite Aerolatte frother).  It’s quick, easy, and sometimes, if you are not precise, can be a bit messy. Large bubbles appear first, later replaced by a thick froth that will sit on top of the beverage throughout consumption.  If a thick froth is what you are going for, an electric wand frother is a great option  Note: If you use one, you might find a long neck vessel more appropriate for preparation (versus a traditional matcha chawan), to avoid splashing.  And at the end of the frothing cycle, if there are still clumps of matcha powder around the glass, simply add a splash more of hot water and froth again. 

In regards to time, the 30 seconds of a Chasen is going to be about the same as a shot of espresso. Of course you can’t do other prep while you whisk, so if time is of the essence, perhaps the frother suits you best. If you are trying to add latte art at the end, either of these methods work great. If your aim is a simple and beautifully balanced texture (but no art), perhaps a to-go latte, then you might try adding matcha directly to milk before steaming it on your espresso machine. This produces the fastest, most consistent flavor profile. But honesty? Just play around with the options, it’s tough to go wrong.