Matcha is more than a good ice cream flavor, it's an ancient tea preparation that relies on several deftly created tools. Aside from the tea itself (a cult subject I'll leave to real gourmands) the most crucial element is the chasen, or bamboo whisk, used to froth the matcha powder into a consistent liquid suspension.
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The design of western whisks is pretty ubiquitous, but chasen are an oddly beautiful version and most are still made by hand today. As you might expect of a Japanese handcraft dating back more than a few generations, the process of making a chasen is beautiful, meticulous, and a little surprising. Chasen design varies to match the type of tea it will prepare, and can have as few as 16 or as many as 120 bristles. They take over two years to cure and complete, yet some practitioners hold that a proper chasen should be used less than six times before being retired.
This quick overview of the delicate process should be enough to cast the fanciful seeming tools in a new light.
This longer feature on chasen shows each of the painstaking steps needed, including tool preparation (though unfortunately without subtitles). The steps for shaving the tips, separating the interior and exterior sections and curling the miniature tines are particularly satisfying.