The Chawan (Matcha Bowl) Buying Guide

So you want to get a new matcha bowl, but don’t know where to start? In this guide will share some tips on what to look for in a chawan and the best places to buy them.

Size Matters

You may be tempted to get a chawan with a small footprint, but I would think again. While a narrow chawan may seem like a good idea, they are incredibly hard to whisk in. A wide opening will allow for greater range of motion when whisking and make getting a great micro-foam much easier. I suggest chawans with a minimum opening of 4.5-5 inches. I personally thing 5 inches is the sweet spot between size and functionality.

A typical bowl of matcha for one person will use 50-70ml of water. For a single serving, chawans 300ml or less work great. Chawans 400ml and larger are best suited for multiple servings.

Pay Attention to the Shape

Matcha bowls can come in many shapes. Some chawans have straight sides, other are rounded, and some are tapered. When buying a chawan, think about how the shape will hold water and how it affects the ease of whisking. I find that bowls with straight sides require more water than tapered bowls to achieve the same whisk water coverage. Tapered bowls may also be easier to whisk in.

Shallow chawans with aggressively tapered sides are called “summer chawans”. This is because they expose a larger surface area of the liquid allowing for faster cooling.

On the other hand, chawans with tall straight sides are known as “winter chawans”. Their narrower mouth helps retain heat which is ideal for chilly winter days.

Where to Buy Japanese Matcha Bowls

You can find a lot of great handmade matcha bowl on Esty and eBay, but if you’re looking for an authentic Japanese chawan, below are some of my favorite places to shop.

1. Sazen Tea

Sazen sells a wide variety of chawans at a wide range of price points. All bowls are brand new and made in Japan. Sazen frequently adds new teaware, so be sure to check back from time to time for new designs! These chawans ship from Japan and shipping to the United States can run you about $20.

2. Tezumi Tea

Like Sazen, Tezumi also has a wide variety of chawans, however Tezumi’s tend to be more affordable. Most of Tezumi’s tea bowls are vintage (previously used) and one of a kind. That means if you come across a chawan you like, scoop it up because once it sells, it’s gone forever! Most of Tezumi’s chawans ship from the United States.

Use code MYMATCHAADDICTION2023 for 10% off

I’m always on the hunt for new places to buy Japanese chawans. Let me know your favorite online store in the comments below!

Found a chawan you like? You’ll need some fresh new matcha to go with your new chawan! Check out my recommendations for The Best Matcha on a Budget.

5 thoughts on “The Chawan (Matcha Bowl) Buying Guide”

    1. I haven’t come across this website before, but it looks solid. The fact that many of the chawans call out the potter by name and have their signature stamped on the bottom is a good indication of quality and authenticity!

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