A good Japanese matcha set can really make a difference when it comes to preparing a bowl of matcha tea.
This set usually consists of 5 items, but you can also have more or less as you see fit. In this article, we’re going to discuss the pieces that make up the perfect ceremonial matcha set, and talk about the benefits of each utensil. Without further ado, let’s get started.
Watch the Video on Matcha Sets
What Utensils Make up the Matcha Set
When it comes to finding a matcha set from Japan, all you really need are 5 separate utensils to create a delicious bowl of matcha tea.
In fact, depending on how you use them, you may even be able to get away with a matcha set composed of just 3 different utensils.
With a lot of our bundles, you will see some matcha tea, along with a matcha whisk, matcha bowl and matcha spoon.
If you want to get really fancy, you can also add in a matcha sifter and a natsume as well.
The natsume will keep your matcha powder safe from light, heat and humidity and the matcha sifter will help keep the clumps out of your matcha.
Let’s break down each of these utensils one by one.
Step #1: Finding a Japanese matcha whisk set
The famous matcha whisk is not only the most iconic utensil of the japanese matcha set, it’s also the most important. This tool is used to whisk matcha tea and create that beautiful foam on top, and there is no real replacement for it.
This whisk is made out of a single piece of bamboo and the 100 small bristles move through the water quickly to aerate the tea. This tool has been a part of the Japanese tea ceremony for hundreds of years, and it still is the best tool to use in a ceremonial matcha set.
Alternatives to the Japanese matcha whisk set
Some people try and get around the matcha whisk by using a metal whisk instead, but this does not produce nearly as much foam. The foam on top of a matcha is important because it gives the matcha a creamier taste and consistency.
This foam makes the tea taste almost like a latte but without milk or sugar. The chasen matcha whisk is definitely a tool every tea lover should have in their japanese matcha set.
Step #2: Finding the best Matcha Bowl
The matcha bowl is the largest utensil of the matcha set. You will find this in both the ceremonial matcha set as well as the matcha set to use at home. If you compare it to a regular bowl, a few things will stand out to you.
First, the best matcha bowl will have a very cylindrical shape to it. This makes it easier to whisk up the matcha tea without spilling it. If you were to have a normal bowl design that tapers off towards the bottom, you may not have enough space at the base of the bowl for full whisking motions. This design maximizes the whisking space of the matcha bowl.
The best matcha bowl will also be much heavier compared to a regular bowl. This heavy clay retains a lot of heat so as long as the matcha bowl is preheated before using it, it can keep the matcha warm for long periods of time.
The Matcha Bowl in Action
If you take part in a Japanese tea ceremony, you will notice the tea master pouring hot water into the bowl before preparing the tea. If this step is skipped, the heavy clay will immediately absorb the heat from the matcha tea, and it will become cold much more quickly. A properly heated matcha bowl will also keep your hands warm while you are drinking the matcha tea.
Finally, the best matcha bowl is beautifully decorated. You may see more complex patterns with animals or flowers as well as simple patterns with just a few brush strokes. This design actually plays a small role in the Japanese tea ceremony, and it is something you will find when you order a matcha set made in Japan
During the tea ceremony, the guests will turn the bowl so that the pattern faces the other guests. This is done out of a sign of respect, so the other guests can view the most beautiful side of the matcha bowl as they drink the tea.
Step #3: Finding a Matcha Spoon
Now that you have found the best matcha bowl and whisk it's time to add a spoon to your Japanese matcha set. This spoon, also called the chashaku, is something you will see in both the ceremonial matcha set and the home matcha set. It has a very simple design, made from a small strip of bamboo.
It has more of a vertical design, compared to the horizontal design of a typical table spoon. This helps it scoop powder out of a deeper container like a matcha tin. You can use a normal spoon for this, but the chashaku makes things slightly easier.
Other features of the Matcha Spoon
The bamboo spoon also works surprisingly well as a measurement device. During the Japanese tea ceremony, you will see the tea master use two large scoops of the chashaku to measure the powder into the matcha bowl, which comes out to around 2 grams.
If you order a matcha set from japan, it will usually come with this bamboo tea spoon included, and it can make a fun addition to your Japanese matcha set.
Step #4: Finding a Sifter for your Japanese matcha whisk set
The matcha sifter is one of the more overlooked elements of the matcha set. You will not find this in a ceremonial matcha set, but that is because the matcha comes pre-sifted. The reason the sifting is so important is because of the small clumps that form in a matcha.
As soon as matcha powder is exposed to the humidity in the air, it will begin to form clumps, just as you would see in something like flour. These clumps don’t mean that the matcha has gone bad, but they will interfere with the drinking experience of your matcha.
Why you want to avoid clumps in your matcha
The clumps prevent the matcha from mixing evenly into the water, so rather than a smooth consistent flavor, some sips of the matcha tea will be rough and bitter.
The solution to this problem is simply to get a metal sifter for your matcha set and sift the powder through it before adding it to the matcha bowl. This method only takes a few seconds and you will be surprised how much of a difference it makes.
Step #5: Finding a Natsume
Your Japanese matcha set is almost complete, you just need a place to keep your matcha tea. The natsume is really something you will only find in a ceremonial matcha set, but the idea is actually very practical.
The name means “tea caddy” and it essentially is a way to transport the tea from one place to another. The matcha tin essentially serves as a natsume in this case, allowing you to keep the tea well sealed before you use it, and also prevent you from spilling the tea.
Can you do without the natsume?
The natsume is something you may want in a travel matcha set, but likely something you can do without if you are just using the matcha set at home. If you are going to get a natsume for your matcha set, make sure it is one you can tightly seal.
Matcha powder is incredibly sensitive to light, heat and humidity so it’s best to keep it in a cool, dry and dark place. If matcha powder is not properly sealed and left to be exposed to the elements, it will deteriorate in quality overtime. The vibrant green color of premium matca will soon turn into a dull yellowish brown and even the flavor will start to approach that of a low quality matcha.
When you order a matcha set from Japan it will likely not inlcude a natsume by default because the matcha will come in a tin, which works in a similar way to protect the matcha powder from light and humidity.
Building a Travel Matcha Set
When it comes to building a travel matcha set, there are a few things that you should keep in mind. First, some of the utensils can be quite fragile, particularly the matcha whisk.
The matcha whisks that we sell come in a protective case that you can use when traveling so you have a layer of protection between the fragile bamboo and everything else you are traveling with.
Traveling light with a Japanese matcha set
The second thing to consider when building a travel matcha set is the weight. This particularly becomes a problem when it comes to the matcha bowl, which can easily outweigh everything else put together.
When you travel, it’s best just to leave the bowl at home and use whatever bowl you can find where you’re staying. It may not be quite as easy to whisk the matcha tea in a cereal bowl, but it is worth it to avoid the extra weight in your carryon.
This will just be a Japanese matcha whisk set and not a full set, but it will get the job done when you are traveling.
Where to buy the best matcha set
When it comes to finding the best matcha set, you can find quite a few options on our website, nioteas.com.
For beginners, we recommend the bundle that includes the matcha sampler, the best matcha bowl and whisk as well as the matcha spoon. With this matcha set, not only do you get everything you need to begin your journey into matcha, you also get to try 21 different kinds of matcha tea sourced from all over Japan.
These are some of the best teas grown without the use of pesticides, and we found them by meeting with dozens of small farmers all around Japan. When you purchase a product, you are not only supporting us, but also the incredible work done by dozens of farmers all across Japan.
Finding a Matcha Set Near Me
If you are searching for a matcha set near me, we can save you some time and just ship you some matcha utensils wherever you are in the world. We offer free shipping on all products, and we can ship just about everywhere in the world.
If you are looking for just a Japanese matcha whisk set, you can find them in our whisks section.
If you are looking for the best matcha bowl, we have a few different types to choose from in our matcha bowls section
If you are looking for the best matcha bowl and whisk together, you can get a full Japanese matcha set, which will also come with a chashaku.
Japanese matcha set made in Japan
If you search matcha set amazon, it will be difficult to find a matcha set made in Japan. Our matcha bowls on the other hand are made from a Japanese clayworking shop and they are very high quality.
It really makes a difference when you hold them in your hand and feel the weight and craftsmanship of the clay bowl.
These bowls make it easy to whisk the matcha tea and they also help to retain the heat of the matcha for longer periods of time. If you want a Japanese matcha set made in Japan, we'd love to share our teaware with you!