Holding a Matcha bowl (chawan) in your hands and raising it to your lips to sip a small portion of emerald green Matcha tea is a true delight. The bowl is large and the portion of tea is small, which follows the tradition of how one is served Whisk Matcha in Japan. Powdered tea drinking began in Japan in the 15th century and well-made tea bowls became valued objects of desire.
Today, the Japanese tea ceremony – keeps the tradition alive. As a new generation of tea enthusiasts discover the delicious nature of Matcha, tea bowls continue to appeal to avid tea drinkers.
The beauty of a Matcha bowl lies beyond its colors, patterning, and seasonal designs. In Japan, collectors of Matcha bowls and tea enthusiasts choose their tea bowls based on the shape of the bowl,
the straightness or slope of the sides of the bowl, the styling of the footing, the overall presence of the Matcha bowl on the tea table, and how the bowl relates to the other tea making objects in the grouping. All in all, the aesthetics of Matcha bowls vary from potter to potter, and for the user, the choice of which tea bowl to use for reflects a mood or seasonal occasion.
Please Note :
Potters fashion Matcha tea bowls from various clay in all the famous pottery-making areas of Japan. They are traditionally hand-built from local clay that has been fired in wood, electric or gas-fired kilns that do not reach a high internal temperature. As such, Matcha bowls are softer in density and clay structure than porcelain tea wares, which are fired at a very high temperature and whose glaze has bonded with the clay to create a hard, durable piece.
Matcha bowls are made for whisking and drinking powdered green tea and are durable for this use, but are not meant for drinking hotter-temperature types of tea such as black tea. Nor are they meant to be used as a teapot substitute for steeping loose-leaf tea.
In Japan and Korea, much attention is paid to the unique characteristics of handmade pottery, and this includes all of the variables that make a handmade piece unique.
A drippy glaze, a slightly lopsided lip, a finger mark in the glaze, etc, are examples of character that shows ‘the hand’ of the maker. Hand-built Matcha bowls have an appealing simplicity too, and often a humble nature expressed in rustic, uneven form and style.
Matcha bowls can develop glaze cracks depending on the type of clay and the type of glaze the bowl has been given. Cracks that appear only in the glaze with use do not leak or weaken the vessel.
Glaze cracks and are held in high regard by tea drinkers, tea wares collectors, and potters. It is the ‘voice of the clay’ speaking and is viewed as the pottery contributing some ‘self-patterning’ to the surface appearance. No two pieces of pottery will ever be exactly the same when the glaze develops a unique pattern of distinguishing glaze cracks from use.
Owning a Matcha bowl requires thoughtful handling and careful use.
Matcha bowls are not intended for use in a microwave or dishwasher. These tea bowls are meant to be simply rinsed and air-dried on a kitchen towel on the countertop after use. Using Matcha bowls for tea other than powdered green tea can result in introducing water to the bowl that is too hot – this will encourage more glaze cracking to develop than is desired.
Please be aware that some foot-rings on Matcha bowls are intentionally not glazed and that unglazed clay can be rough. While foot-rings such as these are considered desirable, one should take care to protect wooden table surfaces, countertops, and stainless-steel surfaces from being scratched.
All of our Matcha bowls are made in Japan.
How to Whisk a Bowl of Matcha
Traditionally, Matcha has been used in Japan in the Japanese tea ceremony. But today, Matcha is also prepared and drunk in a more casual manner. And, iced matcha, a new favorite drink in Japan, is a refreshing and delicious treat when the weather is hot and sultry.
Hot or iced, the procedure for whisking a bowl of matcha is easy and essentially the same.
For iced Matcha, simply substitute the same amount of ice cold water for the hot water and chill the tea bowl in the refrigerator in advance.
Ready?1. Invert the tines of your bamboo whisk into a glass of water while you sift your matcha. This brief soak will soften the times, allowing them to become flexible and supple.
2. Measure the matcha powder into a matcha sifter (or a small, fine-mesh strainer) to break-up the fine clumps. This will ensure that you obtain a smooth and creamy cup of matcha tea.
3. If you are making iced matcha, remove your tea bowl from the refrigerator.
4. Using a traditional, bent-bamboo scoop, place two chasaku scoops of the sifted matcha powder into your tea bowl. One teaspoons-full of sifted matcha powder will do very nicely.
5. For a traditional bowl of matcha tea, allow freshly boiled water to cool to 170˚F then add 3 oz of water to the tea bowl. For iced matcha pour 3 oz of ice cold water into the tea bowl – no hot water
6. Use your bamboo whisk to vigorously whisk the matcha powder and water.
7. Move the whisk back and forth vigorously for 15 – 40 seconds to create a nice froth. Begin by running the whisk around the inside of the matcha bowl and then move the whisk quickly and energetically from side to side in a zig-zag, figure-eight type motion. Keep the slender bamboo tines of the whisk just under the surface of the tea – be careful to not press the times into the bottom of the tea bowl.
8. When a nice froth develops on the surface of the tea the matcha is ready to drink.
9. Gently tap the excess tea from the bamboo whisk and now enjoy your matcha tea.
10. Remember to clean the tines of your bamboo whisk immediately by rinsing it in water. Stand the whisk upright on the flat end and allow it to air dry. Better yet, place it over a ceramic whisk keeper to dry if you have one. Be sure that your whisk is completely dry before storing it.