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The Art of Chasen

Chasen, also called bamboo whisk, is an essential tool used for making matcha in Japanese ceremonial style. In this blog, we will talk about the material used, how-it's-made, varieties and how to care for chasen. 

1. Different Types of Bamboo

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There're 3 major types of bamboo used for making chasen: Yellow bamboo (Hachiku), Gold bamboo (Susudake), and black bamboo (Kurodake). Yellow bamboo is the most common and economic material for making mass-produced matcha bamboo whisk; it's smooth and soft in texture and  it's easy to carve, but meanwhile it has low durability and breaks easily. Golden bamboo is known for it's added durability, and aged golden bamboo makes more durable chasen but the supply is very limited. Black bamboo is the most heavy-duty material for making a matcha whisk, but it's high in density making it extra difficult to carve. Black bamboo chasen can last 3 times longer than regular yellow bamboo chasen.

There's also SMOKED golden bamboo, which is not to be confused with black bamboo. Smoked golden bamboo is extremely fragile and commonly for display and aesthetic purpose only.

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2. How chasen is made

Making chasen is a traditional art handed down for the past hundred years and made with the spirit of crafting without compromising. Most of hand-crafted chasen is made in Takayama, located in Ikoma City, Nara Prefecture. Only top quality bamboo can be made into chasen. Bamboo is harvested in the winter and will need to be boiled before the sun-dry process. The photo below show the development of chasen making in process.

chasen making process

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Step 1: Raw materials are usually soaked in warm water for easy carving.

Step 2: Peeled side of bamboo is cut vertically and divided into 16 individual pieces.

Step 3: The inner part of each piece removed leaving only the hard outer layer.

Step 4: Each of the 16 pieces tip is further sliced into 4 similar wide individual pieces summing up to 64 pieces of tips at this stage.

Step 5: Each 64th tip is further separated into two, creating a total of 128 tips with less than 1mm width each.

Step 6: The wider tips are pulled outward while the thinner ones pushed inwards to create two layers of tips: The outer layer and inner core.

Step 7: Each sharp corner of the wider tips are shredded and polished with knife for whisking matcha tea more smoothly at the Tea Ceremony.

Step 8: Each outer tips is further shredded until extremely thin to maximize flexibility.

Last step: Threads will be weaved onto each bristle to tighten them all together.

3. Chasen Artisan

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It takes about 2-3 years to learn how to make chasen, and 10 years to become a Chasen master.

Depending on how complicated the design is and pondate counts, one chasen takes about 2 - 5 hours to complete.4. Use of Chasen

There're different kinds of Chasen for different uses. The more tips (prongs) it has, the better froth you will get. Typically Chasen with more prongs is meant for Usucha - thin tea, and the one with less prongs is meant for Koicha - thick tea.

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 The ones with chubbier and shorter handle are for traditional matcha bowl, and the ones with slimmer and longer handle are fit for coffee mugs or glasses.

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If you still have any questions about your bamboo whisk, please email us: info@whiskmatcha.ca

 

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Embrace Your Greens Throughout 2017!

It's fairly well-known that United States-based Pantone Inc.,(the world's foremost authority on pretty much every variant of colour) determines the hue that will set the stage and shade - as it were, for the year ahead.

This year, they've anointed the honour to none other than one of our obvious favourites at Whisk Matcha: green! 

Known as a life-affirming colour, shades of green are closely tied to vitality and the pursuit of personal passions, a reconnection with nature and with each other amidst such a complex social and political landscape.

Now that's something we're all for within our Whisk Matcha community!  

When properly prepared, the vibrant green shade of our premium organic matcha contains so many wonderful benefits to help you get connected and stay positive such as:

  • removal of toxins from your body
  • sharpened memory and focus
  • helps lower cholesterol and improve heart health
  • improves immune system
  • promotes healthy skin
  • boost metabolism

So this year, embrace all-things emerald, sage, avocado and matcha in colour and live for green! 

courtesy of PANTONE.

Be sure to learn more about PANTONE "Greenery 15-0343 tcx" shades for 2017 by clicking here and read more about the benefits of Whisk Matcha products here

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#TGIF Whisk Matcha Martini

It's been a long week!  Whether you're the work-hard, play-hard type or simply want to treat yourself to a relaxing start to the weekend - one thing is certain: nothings quite like mixing up a great tasting cocktail to wind things down. 

That's why we crafted the perfect recipe for our very own refreshing matcha martini! It strikes a fine balance between tangy, smooth and sweet - you're taste buds will love it.  With our premium Whisk Matcha added, you're body will love it too!

Ingredients

1/2 tsp Whisk Organic Matcha Everyday Grade

1 tsp Simple Syrup

1 oz vodka (we used Grey Goose for this recipe)

1/2 cup water

a few drops of fresh lemon juice

Method

Rim a martini glass with sugar and set aside.  In a shaker, build all ingredients on ice.  Shake vigorously, strain and pour. Garnish with a lemon twist and enjoy!

Let us know how you enjoyed this #WhiskRecipe and share a photo of your smoothie with us on Instagram and find even more cocktail recipes here!

 

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Beat #BlueMonday With A Vibrant Cup Of Green (Matcha!)

Around the world, today officially marks Blue Monday, the third Monday of January when weather is often at its peak of bleak, the post holiday hype has cooled off and those dreaded bills begin to roll in wreaking havoc on new found (New Year) optimism. 

  

This year, beat the #MondayBlues with these simple tips and savour the day with a cup of vibrant green matcha instead!

1. Try and focus on the positive (little) things in your life instead of letting yourself get overwhelmed.  Break things down into smaller lists and map out a plan of action. 

2. Use Blue Monday as a day to make changes rather than let it be a hinderance to moving forward with goals. If you've delayed getting back into a bit of an exercise routine, squeeze something in for yourself, make an attempt to quit a bad habit, write a thoughtful card to a loved one or friend, read a few pages from a book. 

3. Eat healthy and nutritious food.  If you're doing your weekly shop - make a concerted effort to by whole (non processed) foods and plan a few meals for the week ahead to help get you in a positive mindset. Head to sites like Pinterest for some culinary inspiration or peruse some of our matcha-based recipes here

4. Work up a sweat! Getting your heart rate pumping is a great way to feel positive energy thanks to all those endorphins created.  Though the days may be colder, more dull and shorter - you can still enjoy a brisk 15-20 minute walk or run outside or on a treadmill. 

5. Drink matcha tea! Aside from the fact that matcha tea is widely known to benefit cholesterol levels and metabolism, it also contains thiamine: a type of amino acid and powerful mood-booster.  Thiamine helps increase levels of dopamine, serotonin, and other important chemicals related to maintaining a healthy mood and abating stress and anxiety. Learn more about how matcha can help here

So beat #BlueMonday and see green by making it a #WhiskMonday! Join our  matcha community online and find us on Instagram

 

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#TheSweatLife: How Matcha Can Help Boost Your Workout

Boost your next workout and incorporate the benefits of matcha into your fitness routine. 

Known for its multitude of health inducing benefits, this vibrant green powder (made with authentic Japanese tea leaves) is loaded with about 130 times more catechin EGCG than green tea and assists in weight loss, decreased anxiety and as well as boosts metabolism: something we’re sure every gym-goer can embrace.

Whether your goal is to loose weight, increase overall energy or maintain a consistent level physical activity, matcha can help (and it’s a lot easier to blend into your fitness mix too). Unlike other caffeinated beverages (coffee, cola) which give you a shorter term boost, our Whisk Matcha offers up an increase in energy that actually lasts – and doesn’t translate to a mid workout crash.

Ideally, try drinking a few cups of matcha on a daily basis and about 30 minutes before your next workout to truly reap the rewards of this healthy drink. Add it to your favorite protein powder, blend it into a smoothie, or simply drink it chilled (like we do!) for additional body-building benefits.

Our Whisk Matcha Organic Everyday Grade is a great option if you’re on the hunt for a perfect unsweetened matcha powder that will truly help you boost your next workout.  Enjoy it on-the-go in our convenient BPA Free 24oz bottle: perfect for the yoga studio, cardio class or next time you hit the gym. 

Speaking of working up a sweat... Enter for a chance to win goodies from Pure Barre and Whisk Matcha valued at over $250!  We'll be selecting another lucky winner on Instagram.  Find more details there and good luck! 

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