Whisking matcha brings a sense of tranquility to the mind. Bristles brushing back and forth, frothing up the water and matcha in your tea bowl (chawan), proportion of which you have duly decided to be just right. Yet, there are just times when your concoction ends up with large bubbles or the froth disappears once you stopped whisking. Was it the method, or the whisk?
‘Chasen’ is the Japanese word for tea whisk, mostly crafted from a single tube of bamboo, bristle by bristle it was cut, and then tightened to create its signature form. The more bristles there are, the easier it is to achieve superfine froth that provides a smooth, creamy mouthfeel. The less bristles there are, in turn, strength and durability is gained.
This 120 bristle tea whisk (
百二十本立) has the finest bristles and is the easiest to create froth, yet it is also the easiest to break. Classically reserved for nobilities, it easily froths up thin tea (usucha) where the amount of matcha should not be too much. Using a chasen with a higher number of bristle is a sign of humility, with implication of one's lack of skill.
Diameter: 5.5 x 2.2 x 11 cm / 2.2 x 0.9 x 4.3 in
The bamboo whisk is susceptible to dry conditions.
Includes plastic case
Note: Colour may not be exactly as photographed.
Wet the tip of the bamboo bristles with water before each use, prior to whisking. It prevents breakage during whisking because water makes the bamboo bristles more flexible and strong.
The handle can also develop a thin hairline crack due to dry conditions. It is not uncommon for bamboo to crack in dry conditions; this is simply a natural characteristic of bamboo. Even if the handle develops a thin hairline crack, it should not affect the usability. We recommend you continue to use the whisk as long as it is usable.
Bamboo bristle tips are strongly curled before use. The tips will usually uncurl after the first or second use; this is quite normal and expected.
Tips for whisking
When you prepare Matcha, first, whisk slowly over the entire bottom inside of the Matcha Bowl, so that the Chasen bamboo bristle tips touch the bottom inside of the Matcha Bowl. Then quickly whisk the upper half of the Matcha brew, moving the bamboo Chasen quickly like writing the letter "W." This method creates a nice frothy lather and helps to improve the shelf life of the bamboo Chasen.
The "Number" represents the approximate number of prongs. The more prongs, the more froth or foam it produces. This, however is not an indication of better quality as some Japanese schools of tea ceremony frown upon froth. Urasenke, the biggest school of tea ceremony, teaches that an even level of froth is desirable. This has become standard among non-practitioners.
Shape: The shape of this whisk is made according to Urasenke standards with the tips of the prongs curled inward.
||常穂 Tsuneho / 並穂 Namiho
||数穂 Kazuho / 繁穂 Binho
||八十本立 (means "80-prong")
||百本立 (means "100-prong")
||百二十本立 (means "120-prong")