Matcha tea is one of the most unique tea experiences that you can have. Traditionally found in East Asia, this bright green tea differs from other teas due to its complexity and preparation time. Preparation also includes choosing the Best Matcha Whisk. So stay tuned.
The Japanese tea ceremony or chadō/sadō (which means ‘The Way of Tea’) dates back to the 9th century and although the process has changed over the years, matcha tea still requires skill, patience, and respect to make right.
Traditionally, matcha is made by first sifting the tea to get rid of lumps and create a fine powder-like consistency, adding water and whisking bit by bit until the matcha is fully dissolved and there is a nice foam on top.
Sometimes milk and sweeteners are added but this is optional. It’s a more complicated process than other tea, and as you can tell the whisking section is the most vital and difficult part to get right.
So you want to start making matcha tea, but how do you know which whisk is the best to get?
One search online gives you a list of options, from traditional whisks with prongs, to new electric versions that promise a more optimal, modern alternative. It can be difficult to work out what the best whisk for you would be.
If you find yourself overwhelmed – don’t panic! We’ve created the ultimate guide for matcha whisks, from electric to bamboo.
We’ve also included a useful buyer’s guide at the end of the article which will break down important things to look out for when making your decision, as well as an FAQ to answer your questions.
So without further ado, let’s explore the world of matcha whisks and get our zen on!
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What Makes A Good Matcha Whisk?
The most important thing to consider when searching for the perfect matcha whisk is how difficult you want to make the process.
Are you looking to take part in a traditional ceremony? If so, you probably don’t want to ruin the ambiance and reflection with a buzzing electric whisk.
Similarly, if you’re looking to make perfectly optimized matcha tea, traditional bamboo whisks require more work and understanding to use.
So before you decide, work out what it is you want! This will make sure that you get exactly the right whisk for your matcha needs. If you’re not sure – this article is here to help!
We’ll break down each different kind of matcha whisk with pros and cons at the end to break things down in a simple way.
Best Matcha Whisk
Simplest: Unami Matcha Whisk
The Unami Matcha Whisk is one of the most simplistic and best-made matcha whisks we could find. It’s made of 100% bamboo, and wouldn’t look out of place at a traditional tea ceremony, but it’s also as simple as a matcha whisk can be.
It has 100 prongs and has been handcrafted from a single piece of bamboo to ensure your matcha tea becomes frothy and smooth.
Its 100 prongs mean you’re more likely to make Usucha tea (thin tea) so if you’re looking to make thick tea it might not be the product for you.
It also comes with a blue matcha whisk holder. It’s ceramic and allows you to place your whisk on top after washing to spread out its prongs as it dries. This will let it air-dry easily without any risk of mold.
This whisk would make a great little gift if there is someone in your life who is interested in making great matcha, without having to invest too much into a gigantic set or electric product!
- Traditional Bamboo – looks great for traditional ceremonies.
- 100 Prongs – for a frothy and lump-less tea.
- Ceramic Holder – for easier drying.
- Basic – as simplistic as you can get, if you’re looking for a more specialized whisk, this is not the one for you.
Best Set: BambooMN Matcha Whisk Set
We didn’t think this list would be complete without a full set. If you’re looking to purchase something that gives you a complete experience, the BambooMN Matcha Whisk Set might be the thing for you.
It not only comes with a small and sturdy bamboo whisk but also with a traditional tea scoop and three wooden matcha tools.
Each part of this set is made of 100% bamboo, carved from choice selections of bamboo rods that are quality assessed to ensure there are no blemishes.
This set includes all the unique pieces of equipment you’d need for a traditional ceremony, missing only a bowl and teacup. It all fits nicely into the travel case so you’ll be able to carry it around with you without much hassle.
This whisk in particular is hand-curled using traditional Japanese techniques, so you’re not missing out on the quality you might find in other, singular whisks, even if it doesn’t look as good as some of the other whisks on this list.
We found the whisk to work well, but not as impressive to use as others we tested. We were also unable to find out which number of prongs it has, but we think it might be 100 which is the standard for matcha whisks.
- Full set – additional items allow for a more complete gift (for yourself, or others!)
- Spoons – Deep spoon if you’re looking to make large batches of matcha!
- Traditional style – for an authentic experience.
- Quality – not the most specialized whisk.
- Look – although bamboo, not the prettiest either.
Best Electric: Electric Matcha Whisk By PureChimp
This one is the other end of the spectrum. PureChimp is a company dedicated to the modern science of matcha, and they make products to streamline the experience.
This little whisk is more powerful than it looks by its size, and has been created to create perfect matcha tea without the hassle of intense, traditional whisking.
There are many benefits to an electric whisk. Electric whisks move evenly without any technique needed which means no lumps without much effort.
This small whisk by PureChimp is made specifically to fit straight into your mug, so you don’t also have to buy a tea bowl to mix your matcha in.
While testing this product we found it easy to use and after sifting our tea we could whisk directly into our cup without fear of ruining our matcha.
If ease is your thing, then this is the product to go for. It also goes well with other PureChimp matcha products, so you can go to them for help and products that cover the entire matcha experience.
- Lightweight – a tiny electric whisk that streamlines the matcha process.
- Versatility – useable on other drinks to add foam.
- Ethical sourcing – PureChimp ensure 5% of all profits go to charity.
- Non-traditional – not suitable for traditional ceremonies or learning to authentically make matcha.
- Electric – requires batteries.
Best Traditional: Haru Matcha Traditional Handcarved Whisk
The Haru Matcha Golden Bamboo Matcha Whisk is a gorgeous, handcrafted matcha whisk that feels more at home in 16th-century Japan than in your kitchen or living room.
It is unprocessed and crafted from a single bamboo from the Kansai region of Japan. Haru Matcha makes sure to outline in its product description that this is non-chemical or pesticide-treated bamboo.
It has 100 prongs and a gorgeous bamboo handle, this whisk has been created to make Usucha, which means thin tea. It ensures a smooth and light matcha tea once the process is done.
It’s hard to get more authentic than this one, and it would be a perfect gift for someone who is already really into matcha tea and/or ceremonies, or for someone who wants to make matcha the traditional way.
Whisks with 100 prongs allow more versatility than those that have more or less. 100 prongs are good for making both Usucha (thin tea) as well as Koicha (thick tea).
We decided to choose Haru Matcha over other whisks not only because of its style but also because it gives you a good middle ground to make different styles of tea with.
- Authentic – hand-carved in Japan with bamboo from the Kansai region.
- 100 prongs – for a smooth, non-lumpy matcha tea.
- Money-back guarantee – for if you’re not sure.
- Usucha – this whisk is made for Usucha (thin tea), to make Koicha (thicker tea) you might need to choose a different product.
- Maintenance – runs the risk of hairline fractures if not properly cleaned and dried.
Best Gift: Teapigs Electric Matcha Whisk
Maybe you’re looking for the perfect, small gift for somebody who’s into matcha tea? Maybe you have a friend who is using a traditional matcha whisk and struggling with it?
Perhaps you could show them the light of new electric whisks and introduce them to this bamboo-style whisk from Teapigs.
Although it’s electric, this whisk also keeps it traditional with its bamboo handle and rustic coloring. It’s an aerolatte whisk, which has previously been used in frosting milk for coffee and other hot beverages. It has a nylon whisk head which is sturdy.
Whilst it’s a nice gift for someone new to matcha, we wouldn’t recommend it for somebody who wants something more robust, or for someone who is going to be making tea multiple times a day, as we found it a little less sturdy than other electric whisks. This is mostly because of its material.
- Bamboo handle – looks great, perfect for a gift.
- Case – comes with a tiny case making it very portable
- Electric – makes matcha easy.
- Durability – flimsier than other electric whisks
- Simplistic – not as optimized as other electric whisks.
Electric VS Traditional
The question of whether to go for an electric or traditional whisk is one that you must consider before making a purchase.
Are you looking for something that you can use for a long time, are you drinking matcha tea every day? Perhaps after a long day at work when you need to relax and unwind?
Or maybe you’re looking to host traditional ceremonies, or just want to make matcha as it has been for centuries. Consider your intentions before making a purchase, so that it will be easier to find the right whisk for you.
In terms of quality, there are subtle differences between electric and traditional whisks. Depending on their prongs and size, traditional whisks can give you a variety of different consistencies within your cup of matcha.
In the wider matcha community, there has long been debate over the correct consistency of tea, so it’s hard to say what is the right way to make it.
That said, the size and amount of prongs on a traditional whisk is something that makes a difference, so it’s worth thinking about. We’ll go over what kind of whisks create thicker or thinner teas in our Usucha vs Koicha tea section below.
Electric whisks are new and we’ve only really seen them pop up within the last twenty years or so. Electric whisks specifically for matcha are a growing industry, and there are companies all trying to make the best and most impressive piece.
Electric gives you a sense of ease and precision that you can’t get with traditional whisks unless you’re very used to using them.
Matcha whisks vary most commonly in their amount of prongs. The amount of prongs depends on the kind of tea you want to make.
Typically the rule is this – the more prongs the thinner the tea. If you buy a traditional whisk with 120 prongs then you’re going to be making thin tea, but if you go for something with 60 your matcha will be much thicker.
We’ve found the overall standard for prongs on a matcha whisk tends to fall somewhere between 80-100. This amount of prongs is a good place to start if you’ve never had matcha tea and you’re not sure what you like – because it is capable of making both styles of tea.
Working out the kind of tea you want once your whisk is bought and you’re experimenting with matcha is of vital importance. It is all about the end result, after all!
Usucha VS Koicha tea
So what are the different styles of tea? Traditionally there are two kinds of matcha tea that have been classified throughout the centuries.
Firstly there is Usucha which is foamy but also watery and thin. It is whisked quickly to create this effect and takes far less time to make.
There are many different techniques to make Usucha and we could write about them all day – but the most important thing to note is that Usucha matcha is usually made with thin prongs.
Koicha means thick tea. It often has less foam and is creamier in texture. Koicha is made with thicker pronged whisks and takes a lot longer to make.
Similar to Usucha, Koicha tea can be made in many different ways, but generally, it takes longer and is served at a higher temperature.
If this all seems overwhelming to you – don’t worry! This is the kind of thing you think about once you’re really down the rabbit hole of matcha tea.
If you’re not sure what you like it’s best to pick one or the other and try them out. We recommend buying a medium-pronged whisk with 80-100 prongs so that you can experiment and try making both styles.
What To Look For With Electric Whisks
The most important thing when it comes to electric whisks is to remember to look for durability and design.
Traditional whisks have been used for hundreds of years so there are tried and tested crafting methods and designs, but with electric whisks being such a new tool it’s sometimes hard to know what the quality of your tea will end up as.
Generally, electric matcha whisks don’t give you the same customizable quality as traditional whisks, so it’s most important to find something that is reliable and that fits the other equipment you have.
Also, we’ve found that bigger electric whisks can be a pain to store and use, so try to get something compact!
Frequently Asked Questions
Unlike other teas, matcha powder won’t dissolve in water, so it’s important to whisk it. Over the centuries people have worked out that a whisk like the ones listed above is the best way to ensure you don’t get lumps. A spoon won’t be fine enough to mix the powder, leaving you with a matcha tea you wouldn’t want to drink!
Technically you can, though it is going to give you a vastly inferior end result with your tea. Bamboo or electric matcha whisks are made specifically to create smooth and frothy tea, so it’s best to use one of them if you can!
Matcha tea has a calming effect, but it has also been linked to a variety of different health benefits such as combating type 2 diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.
Matcha tea is often high in caffeine, far more than regular green tea. However, you’re unlikely to be drinking as much matcha tea at one time. Generally, we recommend smaller cups.