If you are a kitchen minimalist and aren't a fan of buying single-use equipment, there are several ways you can still make a perfect cup of matcha latte, without using a traditional Japanese matcha whisk. This guide to the best matcha whisks for lattes and tea will help you decide whether a standard metal whisk or a natural bamboo whisk is truly the best option for you.
- Are there advantages to investing in a traditional bamboo matcha whisk?
- Besides a matcha whisk, are there other accessories needed for making matcha tea?
- Are there hacks for mixing and frothing without using a matcha whisk?
- Can I use ordinary kitchen equipment instead of a matcha whisk for mixing and frothing?
- Method 1: Using a balloon whisk
- Method 2: Using a bar whisk
- Method 3: Using a dinner fork
- What technique should I use to mix and froth?
- Other considerations
Are there advantages to investing in a traditional bamboo matcha whisk?
If you haven't heard of the term "chasen", it is referring to a traditional Japanese whisk made from a single piece of bamboo, split into 80-120 tines. It is specifically designed to evenly mix matcha tea powder with hot water.
A bamboo matcha whisk does have some advantages over modern utensils:
- It does not add any bitter taste to the tea, while some say metal utensils can have this effect.
- It effortlessly creates a smooth consistency when mixing up matcha powder with water.
- It froths (a.k.a. foams) liquid well, which brings out the aroma of the matcha tea.
While it's often recommended to use a traditional bamboo whisk, it's not the most practical method for a few reasons:
- It needs to be soaked in warm water for a few minutes to soften it before use.
- It cannot be cleaned in the dishwasher as it must be hand-washed for proper care.
- It needs to be stored using a special whisk stand to maintain its form, requiring yet another specialized accessory.
- Its shorter handle does not work well in a deeper container.
- A traditional matcha whisk will not likely last as long as a modern metal kitchen tool.
Besides a matcha whisk, are there other accessories needed for making matcha tea?
Even if you are a regular matcha drinker, you don't have to purchase a specialized matcha tea set to make a tea or latte on your own. At a minimum, a set typically consists of a bamboo whisk and a bamboo scoop. It may also include a matcha whisk holder (not shown), a bamboo spoon for stirring, and a tea bowl (also known as a chawan).
Are there hacks for mixing and frothing without using a matcha whisk?
One easy hack is to warm up the milk, pour it into a mason jar, seal the jar with a leak-proof lid, and shake it. The disadvantage is you have to transfer the milk from the pot into a jar, just to froth it.
Next, you have to pour it into the mug of matcha tea to finish the job. This leaves you with more equipment to wash afterward than you may prefer. Plus, transferring the milk to a jar isn't the best way to keep the milk warm enough to enjoy.
Alternatively, if you aren't trying to be artful in making a latte, where the white milk froth contrasts with the green tea, then you could simply shake up the warmed milk along with all of the other ingredients and drink it straight from the jar.
Can I use ordinary kitchen equipment instead of a matcha whisk for mixing and frothing?
I have tested 3 different kitchen tools that work very well for making a matcha latte at home. As it turns out, the perfect matcha whisk is likely something you already have as an essential tool for other uses. Simply choose whichever tool is already available to you.
Method 1: Using a balloon whisk
A balloon whisk is just a regular whisk that many households use for whipping up scrambled eggs, mixing batters, and combining sauces. These work great for frothing milk quickly. The disadvantage is even the smallest size may be too big to use in a latte mug or small saucepan.
Method 2: Using a bar whisk
A bar whisk is an excellent tool for mixing and frothing in a small container. You can use it to mix up the matcha powder and hot water directly in a mug. Its triangular shape is particularly effective for breaking up any clumps of powder that might get stuck to the bottom edge.
This whisk also works really well for frothing milk in a small saucepan. Its long handle makes it usable for shallow or deeper containers. All in all, I find this to be the best matcha whisk.
If you don't own one already, you can easily find a good quality bar whisk for under $10. You will likely discover many other uses for it, such as mixing a cup of hot chocolate, whisking up a small batch of dressing, and mixing your favorite cocktails.
Method 3: Using a dinner fork
It may surprise you to learn that a standard dinner fork is another great way to mix up some matcha tea and froth milk. Give this a try before considering other options, especially if you don't already own any whisks.
What technique should I use to mix and froth?
Regardless of whether you choose a whisk or fork, be sure to use a quick back-and-forth motion instead of a circular motion for mixing and frothing.
Unless you are a tea master conducting traditional tea ceremonies or simply someone who appreciates the aesthetics and experience of making matcha the traditional way, there is no need to seek out special equipment to enjoy the taste and health benefits of drinking matcha.
Now that you've learned about the different tools that can be used, there are other important things to consider when making the perfect cup of matcha. Check out my articles on the best dairy-free milk alternatives for making matcha lattes and the differences between ceremonial and culinary grade matcha.
When you're ready to give matcha a try, here's a simple vanilla matcha latte recipe. Maximize your experience by choosing a high-quality matcha tea powder for a full-bodied taste!
A blender would certainly work, but it may be more trouble than it's worth.
You may have wondered whether it's best to use an electric frother for the milk or perhaps an espresso machine, but these methods are overkill if you don't own them already.
An electric whisk does not give you as much control for frothing. It is important to whisk in a back-and-forth motion to create foam for your latte.
Flat-coil whisks are effective at mixing but they are not the best tool for frothing.
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these: