Matcha has long been appreciated for its multiple health benefits, including promoting brain activity, weight loss, and improving alertness. Making the beverage can be difficult, though, when the powder is so fine and doesn't dissolve well in water. A matcha tea set with specially designed tools for making the perfect drink comes in handy here.
Maybe you're just looking to make your daily cup of green tea nice and smooth, or maybe you're curious about the Japanese Tea Ceremony - we've got you covered with all the information you need when choosing your set. Our top pick was the Matcha Whisk Set by BambooMN for its simplicity, reliability, and its attention to detail used to craft its tea ladle. Read on for more information about what else made the cut!
I am a Certified Tea Sommelier and blogger at teacachai.com with a business and fashion background. Besides drinking tea, I enjoy creating tea-infused recipes, cocktails/mocktails, teaching workshops and sharing all about tea. I got into tea at a young age and have always been super passionate about it!
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Table of Contents
Before going over our choices, we'd like to give you a little bit of background about matcha tea sets and the traditions surrounding it. Powdered green tea was first developed in China during the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907 A.D.) and was introduced to Japan through the Buddhist monk, Myoan Eisai in 1191.
Afterwards, new ways of growing green tea were created within the country and the resulting beverage was enjoyed by the religious and imperial elite. It wasn't until the 1500s where we began to see the beginnings of what would become today's traditional tea ceremony.
The modern-day Japanese Tea Ceremony, known by multiple names – Sado, Chado, or Chanoyu, was developed in the Muromachi period of Japanese history, spanning from 1336 to 1573. Sen-no-Rikyu, arguably the most famous figure associated with the tradition, identified four principles that remain the backbone of the tea ceremony today.
The 4 principles of the tea ceremony are:
Wa – Harmony
Kei – Respect
Sei – Purity
Jaku - Tranquility
However, the most important concept of the Japanese tea ceremony is to remember ichigo-ichie – that the present moment is fleeting and can only be enjoyed once.
The tea ceremony is about performance, elegant and precise movements, and the enjoyment of the seasons. In the past, it was used as a way to form political ties. In modern-day, it is a tradition and art form enjoyed by many to strengthen the bonds between people and achieve inner peace.
In Japanese schools, you will often find clubs dedicated to the craft, practicing frequently, and often holding performances in the spring. While on vacation, you can even find places to experience or learn how to perform the tea ceremony at traditional Buddhist temples or specialized schools.
The most famous schools, led by tea masters with a history spanning from the 16th century, are located in Kyoto and include Omotosenke, Urasenke, Mushanokojisenke. If you've got a Japan trip on your itinerary, see if you can participate in a ceremony!
With a matcha kit, you can enjoy learning and performing this special tradition in the confines of your own home. On lazy days, simply using the best tools for the job is also a benefit of purchasing one of these specialized sets.
As for how to practice tea ceremony the traditional way: we can't possibly summarize that here. Consider looking up some literature, enrolling in a class yourself, or consulting YouTube!
There are a couple of factors to consider when choosing a matcha tea set. Usually, it boils down to what's included, but you should also consider the quality of the make and how you take your drink. Take a look at our handy buying guide below!
First up is the matcha whisk, or chasen. Unlike the whisk you use for baking, this one is traditionally made of bamboo and has more than 100 strings (also sometimes referred to as "tines" or "prongs") to finely froth your drink.
The tea ladle, or chashaku, is also made of bamboo and is used as a measuring spoon for the matcha powder. Next is the tea bowl, or chawan, which is your mixing vessel and drinking cup. It is usually made of ceramic and designed to emphasize how each piece is unique and imperfect. They are usually switched out depending on the season and event.
These three items are commonly included in matcha tea sets. There are also sets that don’t include a tea bowl, so if you already own one or would like a different one, you can look for a set with just the ladle and whisk.
The single most important tool to make matcha is the chasen. It is really important to whisk matcha well because not only it dissolves the lumps, but it also adds air to create that beautiful froth and helps release aromas.
Another tool that I always use is a strainer. I use it to strain the powder into my bowl to make sure there will be absolutely no lumps in my matcha.
The first bamboo whisk created for the tea ceremony was also produced in the Muromachi period in a small town called Takayama, located in what is now Nara Prefecture. This intricately designed tool was specifically made to froth your drink while keeping the matcha bowl scratch-free.
Since the matcha whisk is nearly impossible to find a replacement for, you’ll want to find a good quality one that can last you a long time. To make sure it is of the utmost quality, pick one made of bamboo.
Traditionally, only one bamboo branch is used to carve a matcha whisk, and one bamboo tree can only produce three to four of them. Bamboo is a flexible and durable material that softens when wet, preventing it from scratching your mixing bowl.
They can be designed with strings ranging from 68 to 120. Since matcha powder is too fine to dissolve into hot water, these ultra-thin tines effectively aerate and separate the matcha particles to create a light, frothy texture. Some are as fine as 0.1 millimeters!
A great tip for caring for your chasen is to soak it in hot water to soften it before doing all that vigorous whisking. Even though they don't not last forever, it is important to take good care of them to avoid prongs cutting loose (and thus losing their whisking capabilities).
It is important to know that there are different qualities of chasen based on materials and number of prongs; the more prongs it has, the easier it will be to froth and the better foam you'll get.
There are two types of matcha styles you can prepare with a bamboo whisk: usucha (mild tea) or koicha (strong tea). Usucha, which is more common, is prepared with a higher hot water-to-matcha ratio. Depending on your particular tastes, the amount of hot water added can range from 2.4 ounces to 4 ounces or more, but the amount of powder remains around 2 to 3 matcha spoon scoops.
Koicha, strong tea, is made with more tea powder than water, producing a thick, syrup-like beverage. The ratio for water-to-tea is about 3 to 1.
Since mild tea is made with more water, whisks with strings ranging from 68 to 120 are good for mixing the matcha powder. For strong tea, a 16- to 48-string whisk is enough to get rid of clumping. If you want to use a bamboo whisk for both types of tea, a 64-string whisk is the perfect middle ground.
For most casual matcha drinkers - who will likely drink usucha - I recommend getting a whisk that has 64 prongs and up, which is good to make a frothy foam. It can also be used to make the eventual koicha (thicker, stronger matcha).
A whisk holder, or chasen kusenaoshi, is designed to hold your matcha whisk after each use. This little item is highly recommended. Even if you correctly store your whisk tines up, it can still mold because the water residue will puddle within the handle! The holder keeps the shape of the whisk for longer and facilitates draining – meaning you can use your whisk for longer.
We highly recommend looking for a kit with a whisk holder. The matcha whisk doesn’t last forever and will eventually wear down with each use. Storing it the right way is the best way to make it last for years to come.
A kusenaoshi is the best way to store a chasen to ensure long-term use because it will help retain its shape. If there's not one available, never store your whisk with the prongs facing down.
Instead, store it with the prongs facing up, but consider that it will lose its shape over time and might need to be replaced faster than if using a kusenaoshi.
Sometimes, a set may include some bonus items that are commonly used when making matcha but are not essential to the overall experience. The hand sifter, or chakoshi/furui, helps get rid of large clumps in the tea powder before you start whisking. A tea towel, or chakin, is used to wipe the chawan when preparing the tea.
Some sets also include trays or even packets of matcha powder so you don’t have to shop elsewhere! Be sure to check out our matcha powders article to make sure you’re getting the good stuff, though.
I find there's a huge difference when matcha is prepared with and without using a strainer. Using one visibly helps reduce the lumps that may form in the bottom of the bowl and create an unwanted texture that can ruin the experience.
But keep in mind that it will be a combination between straining the powder and whisking vigorously that will ultimately eliminate the lumps.
Click to purchase
Matcha Whisk Set
Adjust Your Matcha Level Perfectly With This Set
Jade Leaf Matcha
Traditional Matcha Starter Set
Learn How to Make the Perfect Matcha With This Set
Ceramic Matcha Bowls with Bamboo Whisk Set
An Extra-Wide Bowl for Easy Whisking
Japanese Tea Set
A Simple and Basic Starter Set
Matcha Tea Whisk for Tea Preparation
Display and Store Your Whisk With This Set
Matcha Green Tea Whisk Set
Different-Colored Whisk Holders Included for Longevity
Matcha Bowl Set
A Matcha Tea Set That's Easy to Carry
Bamboo Matcha Tea Whisk Set
A Uniquely Brown-Hued Matcha Set Made With Quality Materials
Matcha Ceremony Starter Kit
A Charming and Natural-Looking Tea Set
Matcha Ceremony Kit
Everything You Could Need in One Package
This set comes with three different spoon sizes, so you can adjust how much powder you use in each bowlful of matcha. Each bamboo piece is inspected by the manufacturer for quality control and each tine on the whisk is hand-curled.
One reviewer didn't like how the set did not come with instructions on how to use the product. Some also felt that the teaspoon that was included was unnecessary. However, more felt that this set was easy to wash and durable.
A reviewer noted that the tea ladle had a curved handle rather than a straight one, making it easier to grip than other similar ladles.
Jade Leaf Matcha wants to keep you informed with this handy tea set. It comes with a 30-page handbook on the history of green tea, health benefits of the beverage, and step-by-step instructions on the preparation of matcha.
You'll have to prepare the matcha bowl on your own, but you'll know exactly what to do and be prepared with these three important tools for the process!
Some reviewers lamented that this kit didn't come with matcha powder. One also felt the sifter didn't sift fine enough. Though the handbook did not include information on how to clean or store the matcha tools, it was printed in full color and easy to read. One reviewer really liked the recipes written in it.
This tea set comes with all the essential items and a choice of blue or white bowls and whisk holders to suit your mood! The bowl is extra wide, holding 380 milliliters of liquid, and has a unique and refreshing, smooth design. Make sure to keep your whisk in perfect condition with the included holder!
A couple of reviewers were disappointed that this set took a long time to ship from China. Most reviewers, however, were very happy with how beautifully packaged and high-quality their sets were.
Bambooworx's whisk, ladle, and spoon are made up of 100% natural bamboo. You can use the ladle to scoop matcha powder, whisk to froth your matcha to the perfect consistency, and use the teaspoon to stir the drink lightly if the powder settles when you are enjoying it. Each ladle-full is about half a teaspoon.
Some reviewers felt the product was on the fragile side. A couple found that the wooden spoon would chip or the whisk would drop bamboo pieces. However, many more reviewers liked the scoop size, felt the whisk worked really well to de-clump matcha powder, and how the box came with instructions on how to prepare matcha.
This simple matcha tea set comes with just the essentials - the bamboo whisk and bamboo tea ladle. The whisk comes in a clear tube that you can use to store and display. The manufacturer suggests first softening the bristles of the whisk in warm water, then using it to mix matcha.
A few reviewers complained of the whisk's handle getting moldy. Make sure to take proper care of your matcha whisk and lightly wipe it dry after washing! Other reviewers felt the product was true to use and that the company provided fast service and a sturdy case for the product.
The Matcha Green Tea Whisk Set comes with a whisk holder so you can prolong the use of your bamboo whisk! With a hole on the top and bottom, it drains your whisk and keeps the shape of the product intact.
Also included in the package are a tea ladle and teaspoon. The plus point about this particular set is that the holder is available in a few different colors.
A reviewer thought that the color displayed in the picture was not true to the color that came in the box. However, most reviewers really liked the whisk holder and felt it helped their whisks keep in shape.
This Matcha Bowl Set comes with 6 pieces, including a tray for you to carry your matcha drink from your kitchen counter to your tea table. Each matcha bowl is handmade, making them all unique pieces that embody the beauty of imperfection that is a part of the tea ceremony tradition.
One reviewer didn't like how the bamboo whisk had the company's logo engraved on it. Another user felt the ceramicware was of better quality than the bamboo items.
Other reviewers noted that the product seemed very sturdy and liked that each piece felt like it had some weight to it. A couple of buyers liked the included tray, which was convenient to use for storing and organizing the product.
LTLR's Bamboo Matcha Tea Whisk Set comes with a beautiful gift box and uniquely colored whisk, which is attributed to the purple bamboo used in its crafting. The ladle is made with Takayama bamboo - the town where the matcha whisk originated from. A tea towel, sifter, whisk holder, bowl, and ladle rest are also included.
A few reviewers commented that some of the ceramic pieces had arrived broken. They were able to contact the seller and replace the ceramicware. Reviewers liked the extra character the two-toned whisk gave, plus the little duck tea ladle rest that could also be used for chopsticks.
This visually-pleasing piece focuses on the natural hues of bamboo. Cracks in the bowl are naturally-occurring and embody the simple philosophy of the tea ceremony. The included teaspoon is created in a unique shape for someone who wants a little quirk with their matcha tools.
Reviewers found that the uneven shape of the bowl was inconvenient and would sometimes cause the matcha to splash out. Other reviewers liked the wabi-sabi (acceptance of imperfection) look of the set and felt the tools were made decently.
Artcome thought of everything when preparing this set! It comes with a total of 9 items, including a holder for your matcha powder, tea towel, and tea ladle. Just bring your own matcha powder, boil water, and soon you'll be off practicing how to perform the Japanese Tea Ceremony on your own!
One reviewer felt the tea cloth was of low quality but was not essential to their enjoyment of the set. Many more reviewers felt that this set was great value for what was included. Since it is an all-inclusive set, one of the reviewers felt it was also perfect for gifting.
The world of tea is a vast one. From matcha to white tea to teas for when you’re feeling down - we’ve got you covered!
No. 1: BambooMN | Matcha Whisk Set
No. 2: Jade Leaf Matcha | Traditional Matcha Starter Set
No. 3: Tangpin | Ceramic Matcha Bowls with Bamboo Whisk Set
No. 4: Bambooworx | Japanese Tea Set
No. 5: MatchaDNA | Matcha Tea Whisk for Tea Preparation
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