Matcha is definitely having a moment right now. From matcha muffins to matcha cocktails, this traditional green tea powder is appearing in all sorts of culinary creations. That said, one of the best ways to enjoy matcha is as a hot drink. You've probably seen matcha lattes at your local coffee shop or a trendy matcha cafe, but you can just as easily prepare matcha drinks at home. All you need is matcha powder (available in ceremonial and culinary grades) and something to whisk it with. Before you reach for that metal whisk you probably already have in your kitchen, read on, as there's a good reason why you should use a bamboo whisk instead.
Made from a single piece of bamboo, the bamboo whisk, or chasen, features numerous (typically 60 to 100) thin prongs or tines. It's also the perfect tool for preparing matcha drinks, which has to do with the nature of matcha itself. Made from ground-up green tea leaves, matcha doesn't ever fully dissolve when mixed with liquids like water or milk; instead, matcha needs to be whisked into a suspension. A chasen, with so many more tines than a metal whisk, just works better.
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The Wonders Of Chasen Whisking
When liquid is added to matcha powder, it tends to form clumps, which is hardly an enjoyable texture for a beverage. A chasen, with its many thin and springy tines, helps separate the matcha powder, creates an even suspension of the powder in liquid, and adds proper aeration, which results in the smooth and frothy texture you want in a good matcha drink.
While you can try using a metal whisk, you just won't get the same results. The metal whisk has far fewer tines and so doesn't properly aerate your matcha. You will need to use a lot more effort and still not get the same frothy results. Metal can also affect the taste of matcha. Moreover, a metal whisk will more likely scratch up the bottom or sides of your cup or bowl.
A better alternative would be to use a milk frother, though it won't be able to froth up any matcha that remains at the bottom of the bowl or cup. You can also try shaking the matcha liquid mix in a container with a tight lid. For the best results though, use the traditional bamboo whisk. Just remember to soak your matcha whisk before using it — not only will that strengthen the whisk but it will also soften and increase the flexibility of the tines, which will lead to the best frothing results.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.