The Chasen (Matcha Whisk) Buying Guide

Search, “matcha whisk” online and you’ll find hundreds of different chasen listings. How do you know which are best for making a bowl of matcha? In this article I’ll share what to look for and where to buy a high quality Japanese chasen.

Why a Quality Whisk is Important

Without a quality whisk, is nearly impossible to achieve a fine micro-foam. The micro-foam, while aesthetic, isn’t just for the looks. A foam adds to the mouthfeel of matcha, introducing a pleasant airiness.

You may also notice fewer clumps in your matcha and a smoother experience overall. Nice chasens are handmade and have thinner tines allowing for a better mixing experience.

Avoid “Chinese Bamboo”

Before we discuss what to look for in a chasen, let’s cover what to avoid. On Amazon, you’ll see a lot of listings like this one. In the matcha world we call this “Chinese Bamboo”. These whisks are mass produced in China and can be identified by their thick handle and clear plastic packaging. While these whisks can be economical, the whisking results are very poor.

These chasens often have tines that are too thick and stiff making it hard to mix the matcha well. My first chasen was one like this, and the matcha would always clump up in the tines.

Chinese bamboo chasens also break down faster turning what seems like an economical choice into a more costly one in the long run.

Where to Buy Quality Matcha Whisks

The highest quality matcha whisks are made in Japan in the town of Takayama or Nara. Crafted from locally grown bamboo, these chasens are all handmade, often by multigenerational “chasen masters”. I recommend buying a chasen with at least 60 tines. Fewer than 60 tines, and it will be difficult to produce a good foam. Below are some of my favorite places to buy chasens online.

1. Tezumi Tea

Tezumi carries Takayama chasens made by Yasaburo Tanimura, a 25th generation chasen master. They also have chasen options with multicolored threads to add some excitement to your matcha routine! These ship from the United States.

Use code MYMATCHAADDICTION2023 for 10% off

2. Johnny Matcha

Johnny Matcha also carries Takayama chasens made by Yasaburo Tanimura. The threading at the moment is a fun combination of green, orange, and white to match Johnny Matcha’s brand colors. These ship from the United States.

3. Kettl Tea

I recommend one of the “Shin” chasens from Kettl. These chasens are hand made in the town of Nara by Keizou Kube. These ship from the United States.

4. Sazen Tea

Sazen Tea carries a huge number of chasens. I recommend the “Shin” variants. The color of the bamboo (white vs black) serves no functional difference, so feel free to choose the kind you like the look of best! These ship from Japan and shipping to the United States can be around $20.

5. Amazon

The only time I recommend purchasing a whisk from Amazon is if it’s plastic, like the one I’ve linked here. Plastic whisks don’t have enough tines to produce a good micro-foam but are easier to clean. I use a plastic chasen anytime I’m whisking matcha with something other than water (for example mixing matcha directly into oat milk).

Found the perfect new matcha whisk? Check out my Matcha Bowl Buying Guide to find a matching chawan!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *