This week I thought it’d be best we go over the various accessories associated with Matcha. The thought of creating an educational piece on simply the accessories and how to use them never crossed my mind until the other day I saw someone take a picture usually a whisk holder wrong (which I didn’t know was possible). Thinking back on it there are times when I find people asking what the purpose of certain accessories are and I guess I just assumed it was common knowledge or simple to figure out their purpose.
The Matcha accessories include; bamboo scoop, whisk, whisk holder, hand strainer, natsume, strainer can, and Matcha bowls.
The bamboo scoop is a simple accessory as is used to pick up or scoop the Matcha from its container into you bowl or vessel. Typically speaking one scoop is equivalent to about one gram of Matcha. When drinking Matcha in the Ceremonial way (usu-cha) you would you two bamboo scoops.
The whisk is made of bamboo and can come in a variety of sizes like 80 prongs, 100 prongs, or 120 prongs. The whisk is used to whisk or aerate the tea to create a microfoam layer on the surface of the tea similar to that of a latte. When you first get a whisk you will notice the center prongs are intertwined and the outer prongs curled. The first thing you want to do is take hot or boiling water and soak the prongs of the whisk for a few minutes. This does two things; it helps rid of any strong bamboo aroma, and it helps the prongs of the whisk unravel.
The whisk holder is pretty self-explanatory of its purpose, it holds and props up your whisk. This allows your whisk to dry better to reduce mold and evenly dry. The whisk holder also helps maintain the shape of the whisk.
A hand strainer is a small strainer used to sift Matcha when making a bowl to ensure that the Macha does not clump and is instead smooth and evenly mixed when whisked. When using a strainer you typically have to sift the Matcha each time you make a bowl.
A natsume is basically a tea caddy that is used to hold Matcha after it has been sifted. This accessory is typically used in the traditional Japanese tea ceremony.
A strainer can combines both a hand sifter and natsume together. The top portion of the can contains the sifter where Matcha is sifted into the can and can be stored. We recommend when using a strainer can that you sift about a weeks worth of Matcha into the can and store it in your fridge while keeping the rest of your Matcha stored in the freezer.
Matcha bowls are used to drink Matcha tea from and come in a variety of shapes that are intended to be used during different seasons. There are three basic shapes for Matcha bowls. One is a shallow bowl with a wide mouth. These bowls are considered summer bowls as they allow Matcha to cool more quickly when enjoying Matcha during a hot day. Next is a deep bowl with a narrow mouth. These bowls are considered winter bowls as they help retain the heat of Matcha by having a smaller surface space allowing less heat to escape. The last type of bowl contains a normal shape and is considered just a general bowl that can be used all year round.
Remember all these accessories are not necessary to enjoy Matcha, but rather they are tools to help you have a more pleasurable experience with Matcha.