Ultimate Guide on How to Care for a Matcha Whisk (Chasen)


To make your matcha delicate and silky, it needs to be whisked vigorously. It is not enough to just buy a high-quality Japanese bamboo whisk, also known as chasen. You also need to properly care for it and clean it after each use. We have prepared an ultimate guide on how to properly care for a matcha whisk for it to last longer.

How do you care for a matcha whisk? Follow these matcha whisk care rules:

  • Soak the whisk for 30 mins before each use
  • Don’t push the whisk against the matcha bowl too hard
  • Wash the whisk with hot water right after each use to prevent mold from moisture
  • Never add soap or put it in the dishwasher
  • Store the whisk on the whisk folder

Not sure whether hot or cold matcha better? Head over to Hot vs. Cold Matcha: Ultimate Guide on Matcha Temperature

The bamboo whisk, known in Japanese tea culture as chasen, is made by hand from a single bamboo cut. It differs in length and the number of bristles. The main task of the whisk is to mix the matcha tea into a single consistency. Matcha powder tends to stick together when in contact with water, so the whisk breaks the powder into a homogeneous lump-free texture so you can enjoy every sip without unpleasant lumps. Since chasen is an inalienable part of the matcha drinking ceremony, it is important to store and maintain it properly. So, what should you do after you bought a new bamboo whisk for matcha?

What do you do with the new matcha whisk? After you bought a new matcha whisk, take it out of the original package, run it under hot running water to remove dirt, and leave it on a whisk holder for it to dry and to keep it in shape. To keep your matcha whisk as good as new, do not use soap and do not keep it in a kitchen drawer. 

Without a matcha whisk, matcha will also not get a layer of foam on top, which makes the drink silky and delicate. Head over to 7 Reasons Why Your Matcha Does Not Foam to see how to make your matcha perfect!

High-quality bamboo whisks last for 1-2 years with proper care, so here are the basic matcha whisk maintenance rules you should follow:

How do you maintain a chasen? To maintain a matcha chasen:

  • Store it on a whisk holder
  • Do not use soap or put it in the dishwasher
  • Soak for 30 mins before each use to make bristles more elastic
  • Do not push a chasen against the bowl too hard
  • If you see mold, soak the chasen in boiling water for 1 hour

Do matcha whisks get moldy? Matcha whisks get moldy if exposed to excessive moisture. To prevent matcha whisks from getting moldy, wash the whisk right after each use under hot running water and let it dry on a whisk holder.  The main maintenance rule is to keep the matcha whisk dry to prevent it from getting moldy. If you see mold on the prongs, you can soak the whisk in boiling water for an hour, but it is better to purchase a new chasen.

See also: Why Is Matcha So Popular? The Real Truth

Soaking & Cleaning A Bamboo Whisk

Soaking your bamboo whisk is important to make it last longer. If you start whisking matcha powder without pre-soaking chasen, its bristles can prematurely break, and you will need to purchase a new one. If you bought a premium-quality whisk, but you still cannot dissolve the powder fully, check out Why Is My Matcha Not Mixing? See The Most Common Mistakes!

How long should I soak my matcha whisk? Soak a matcha whisk for 30 minutes before each use to make the bristles more elastic and less prone to breaking. Soak a matcha whisk for 30 seconds after each use to clean the powder easier and run it under hot water. 

Wondering why your matcha is bitter? See this Why Is My Matcha Bitter? How to Reduce Matcha Bitterness guide.

If you do not have time to soak your whisk before making matcha, hold it under hot running water for 30-60 seconds to make the bristles more elastic and flexible. To prevent the whisk from breaking, do not push it too hard against the matcha bowl. After making the drink, soak the whisk in clean hot water for 1-2 minutes to remove the powder residue and wash the chasen under hot running water.

How do you clean matcha whisk? After using matcha whisk, clean it by pouring hot water into the matcha bowl and whisking the chasen for 30 seconds, then pour the water out and clean the whisk under hot running water for another 30 seconds. Leave the whisk on a whisk holder and let it dry.

Did you know you can make matcha with milk instead of water? See our review of What Milk Goes Best with Matcha?

Why Is My Matcha Whisk Breaking?

As premium-quality Japanese whisks are far from cheap, the last thing you want them to do is to break after a few uses. To keep your whisk as good as new, you need to follow the advice in this article. If you are not sure why your whisk is in bad condition, here are the possible reasons:

Why is my matcha whisk breaking? Your matcha whisk may break because:

  • You do not soak it in warm water for 30 mins before use
  • The whisk is of poor quality from China
  • You push the whisk too hard against the matcha bowl
  • You do not store the whisk on the whisk holder
  • You do not dry the whisk, and it gets moldy

See also: Ultimate Guide on Picking the Best Quality Matcha (Useful Tips)

To make your whisk last longer, you need to prepare it for every use. While it does not sound like fun, it can save your money and mood. Prevention is better than cure, so follow our little tips, and your bamboo whisk will last for years even with frequent use.

How do you prepare matcha whisk? Before making matcha, prepare your whisk by soaking it in hot water for 30 minutes to let bamboo get moist and more elastic. After using the whisk, run it under hot water and put on a whisk holder to let it dry. Preparing the whisk is easy, and it significantly expands its lifespan. 

To see how to store matcha powder to retain its vegetal taste and nutty aroma, check out How to Store Matcha? Practical, Detailed Guide

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