Matcha itself isn't water-soluble, meaning you can't steep it like other forms of tea. As the small ground-up tea leaf particles won't dissolve no matter how long you leave them, you instead need to suspend them in the liquid of your choice.
Using a matcha whisk - traditionally known as a chasen - helps form froth and bubbles on the surface, keeping the matcha powder in suspension. Frothing this way enables the powder to disperse evenly within the drink rather than settle at the bottom. When matcha settles at the bottom of the drink, it can create an uneven taste and a worse matcha drinking experience.
A Chasen is traditionally made from bamboo and has significantly more tines (prongs) than a standard metal whisk you may use when baking, for example. The increase in the number of tines helps create more froth and hence suspend the matcha particles more effectively.
Other Ways to Make Matcha
While whisking matcha with a chasen is the traditional and preferred method, we do not all have a bamboo whisk at home (you can, however, purchase a chasen on our website as part of our starter pack). If you do not have a chasen and have instead tried to whisk matcha with a spoon or fork, you know how difficult it can be. Your matcha usually ends up clumpy and chalky.
Instead, try the below methods if you cannot get your hands on a traditional matcha whisk.
Handheld Whisk/Frother and Blender Bottles
A handheld whisk or milk frother can be an excellent alternative to the traditional chasen. Handheld milk frothers, in particular, do a great job at frothing the matcha.
But if you are travelling or looking to take your matcha to-go, blender bottles are a decent option. Our gym junkies will know all about these! While we don't recommend using the same bottle you use for your protein shake, we do vouch for using a blender bottle/protein shaker if you have nothing else on hand.
If all else fails and there's no bottle or tool on hand, then you can rely on humanity's greatest instrument - our mind and muscles.
Grab a container that you can put your matcha drink into, tighten the lid and shake it. Keep doing so until the drink forms a nice frothy layer on the top, which shouldn't take more than a minute or two.
While it won't be as great as using a chasen, it will be effective enough to provide your daily fix of matcha when there are no other options.