Essential guide to choosing the perfect Japanese Tea Set

When it comes to choosing the perfect Japanese tea set, there are a few things you’ll want to consider. First, it comes down to the type of tea you are trying to prepare. Different japanese teas require different tools to prepare, and in this article we are going to discuss how you can build the perfect japanese teapot set or matcha set for each type of tea. Without further ado, let’s get started.


Essential guide to choosing the perfect Japanese Tea Set Video


Japanese Tea Set for Matcha

When it comes to matcha green tea powder, you may matcha tea set matcha whisk matcha bowl and chashakuneed a bit more tools than with other green teas. While these tools like the matcha whisk and matcha bowl may seem intimidating at first, once you get used to them you will find it easy to prepare a bowl of matcha tea at home. With these tools, you can recreate the japanese tea ceremony yourself. Let’s briefly discuss the tools you may want to consider getting for your matcha tea set.

Matcha Whisk

The bamboo matcha whisk is perhaps the most important and hardest to replace tool in the matcha tea set. This is something you may be familiar with because of its use in the japanese tea ceremony. This matcha whisk is made out of a single piece of bamboo, and it is carefully carved to become the ultimate matcha making tool. If you invest in one tool for matcha preparation, it should be the chasen or matcha whisk. You will notice a huge improvement in the taste and texture of your matcha tea after using this for even a few matcha tea sessions. Maintaining this matcha whisk is easy, just make sure you soak it for a few seconds before using it and rinse it after you're done. This will keep it clean and prevent it from breaking.

Matcha Bowl

The matcha bowl is another important utensil to have in your matcha tea sets. This is also something you will see if you ever take part in a japanese tea ceremony. This may look like an ordinary bowl, but it has a few key design features that make it easier to prepare matcha tea. The bowl tends to be more cylindrical, with steeper sides that allow you to whisk the matcha tea in rapid zigzag motions without spilling. The matcha bowl or chawan is also made out of thick heavy clay. This helps to convey a sense of importance, but also serves a practical purpose as well. The clay matcha bowl retains a lot of heat, so as long as it is preheated before preparing the matcha tea it will keep the drink warm for a long time. It can even warm your hands on a cold day.

Chashaku

This is the bamboo spoon used to scoop the matcha powder. While this tool isn’t necessary to have, it can make a nice addition to matcha tea sets and it also comes for free in a lot of the matcha tea bundles, so it should be easy to get one. If you don’t have this bamboo matcha spoon, you can use a regular spoon but it may be slightly harder to scoop the matcha powder. The benefit of the chashaku is that it has a more vertical shape so it works well for scooping out of deeper containers like matcha tins. It also works surprisingly well as a measurement tool, and in the Japanese tea ceremony the tea master will simply use 2 large scoops of the chashaku for each bowl of matcha, which comes out to approximately 2 grams of matcha green tea powder.


Matcha Sifter

This is another optional addition to the matcha set, but one that can make all the difference when it comes to the taste and consistency of your matcha tea. Because matcha green tea powder is ground super fine, it begins to form clumps as soon as it is exposed to the humidity in the air. This may seem like not such a big deal, but the clumps of matcha powder really do not mix well into the water. The best way to fix this is to just run the matcha green tea powder through a sifter beforehand. This will ensure that the matcha powder mixes evenly into the water and a nice foam is created.

How to prepare Matcha Green Tea?

 

Japanese Tea set for Sencha

When it comes to preparing sencha, there are far less tools required. Originally, matcha tea was the most popular type of tea in Japan. Sencha eventually overtook matcha, in part due to its convenience. The leaves are simply brewed in water and then filtered out to create a translucent infusion. Even though this tea is simple to prepare, there are a few tools you may want to consider getting in order to improve your sencha brewing experience.


Kyusu Teapot

kyusu teapot

The kyusu teapot is the best tool for brewing Japanese green tea. Japanese tea has a very specific set of brewing parameters, and the Japanese teapots are designed to unlock the full potential of the leaves.

There are a couple of different benefits to using a teapot. The first is that it allows the leaves enough space to expand and fully release their flavors into the water. Teapots are designed to have a wider base to make sure that they don’t cramp the leaves at the bottom while they are brewing. The clay itself can have an impact on the flavor as well. Serious tea drinkers report having an improved umami flavor when they prepare Japanese green tea with unglazed clay. Because the clay is porous, you can also “season” a teapot over a period of time so that the flavor is enhanced when preparing the same type of tea.

You can use other types of teapots, such as those used for Chinese green teas, but there may be a few drawbacks. One example is the filter. Chinese teas tend to be made from larger leaves, so the holes in the clay filter tend to be larger than those of a Japanese teapot. This will allow some of the smaller leaves to pass through the filter and into your cup.

Tea cups

Japanese green teas are typically drunk out of small clay tea cups called “yunomi”. These are perfect for sharing tea with friends, but when it comes to daily drinking, we like to recommend drinking japanese green tea out of double walled glasses. This not only provides insulation for the tea, but it also adds an additional aspect to the drinking experience. You can clearly see the color of the tea infusion through the clear glass. Overtime, you can learn to associate the appearance of the infusion with the flavor of the tea, and get to know it as you brew it. Sometimes the tea will become a bit darker in color and be more bitter. Other times you will notice that the infusion is cloudy and sweet. These different cues are important to pick up on when it comes to mastering each different type of Japanese green tea.

Tea Storage

After the kyusu teapot and the tea cups, the only other thing you may want to add to your japanese teapot set is a container for tea storage. While loose leaf teas like sencha can be pretty stable for weeks or even months, if you are planning on having a pack of tea open for more than a few months, you may want to make sure you are storing it the proper way. Just keep the tea leaves sealed in an airtight container, away from light, heat and humidity. If you like to have a lot of different types of teas opened at a time, it may be worth investing in a few of these double sealed metal tins for your tea storage.

japanese cast iron teapot set

Many people search for a japanese cast iron teapot set but this is actually something we do not recommend. While the cast iron teapot is something you often see being used in pictures, it’s actually not a good tool for preparing tea. First of all, it is very heavy and makes the tea brewing process a hassle. Also the teapots tend to be too large and Japanese green tea is meant to be prepared with a small amount of water to concentrate the flavor. When it comes to the japanese cast iron teapot set, it’s better off just avoiding it and sticking to the classic kyusu teapot.

Japanese Tea set for Gyokuro

Gyokuro is similar to sencha in many ways and as a result the tools can be used interchangeably. The only difference is that in high end tea shops, you may see a different japanese teapot set being used to prepare this premium leaf tea. The two other types of teapot sets we will cover are the Shibooridashi and the Houhin

Shibooridashi

This is considered the ultimate japanese teapot set for Gyokuro. The design of this teapot is extremely flat, and on first glance it may look more like a saucer than a teapot. This design makes it easy to use a lot of leaves and very little water. When you are preparing Gyokuro tea for daily drinking, the ratio of 5 grams of leaves and 150ml of water works great, but if you are preparing Gyokuro for special occasions, you may want to use a bit less water. At high end tea shops, you may see the tea master use as much as 10 grams of leaves and 50ml of water. The leaves are laid down at the base of the shibooridashi and the water is drizzled over it. The result is an extremely concentrated shot of Gyokuro tea.

Houhin

This is another good japanese teapot set for Gyokuro. The Houhin is designed to accommodate more leaves and less water just like the Shibooridashi. Unlike the side-handled kyusu teapot, the houhin does not have an additional handle, just a spout and a top. When tea masters use this teapot, they have three points of contact with the porcelain. Two fingers on the side of teapot and one on top of the lid. This keeps the hand from getting too hot when pouring the tea.


Why should You use a Kyusu Teapot?

There are many benefits to using a kyusu in your japanese teapot set. The reason we recommend using the side handled kyusu teapot over the other teapots mentioned earlier is because the handle makes preparation much easier. The clay side handle is hollow, so it stays cool even when there is hot water inside. This makes it much easier and more comfortable to pour the tea. The side handle is also designed to make the tea preparation more graceful. This side handle allows for more refined movements. Instead of using your entire arm to pour the tea, you can pour out the infusion with just a simple turn of the wrist. This is very important to the aesthetics of Japanese green tea.

You can use a japanese cast iron teapot set or a tea strainer to prepare tea, but these tools tend to produce weaker or more watered down teas. If you really want to concentrate the rich flavor profiles that Japanese green teas are known for, its best to go for the clay kyusu teapot.

Why should You use a Matcha Whisk?

We have tried preparing matcha tea with many different tools, and none seems to work better than the bamboo matcha whisk. Not only is the movement quieter and more refined, but it also produces more foam when compared to a metal whisk. This foam not only makes the matcha look nice, but it also gives it a creamier texture and taste.

Where to buy a Matcha Set

matcha tea set matcha whisk matcha bowl and chashaku

If you would like to try a bunch of different kinds of matcha tea and get all the teaware you need to prepare them, you should try this bundle here. This bundle includes 21 different types of matcha tea from all over Japan, as well as a matcha whisk, matcha bowl and matcha spoon. With this set, you get everything you need to start exploring the world of matcha tea!