(backlogging)

I finally found a chawan that I liked, so I pulled out the chawan, chasen (whisk) and chashaku (scoop) and fixed a bowl. It’s supposed to froth, isn’t it? I didn’t get any frothing.

Erm. Wow. Drinking green tea as matcha really emphasizes a lot of the things I don’t like about green tea. This one felt like drinking a bowl of grass.

I’m going to leave off the rating for a bit until I’ve tried a couple different varieties and see how they compare. I’m not sure if I don’t like it because I don’t like matcha or because of the tea itself.

(Don’t worry about the tools and such going to waste – the husband loves matcha, so now he can prepare it properly).

Cofftea

Awesome your hubby loves matcha!=D He should be on steepster if he isn’t already.;)

Cofftea

Oh, and I haven’t gotten frothing down either. The ones I’ve had that do froth do so right away upon my adding the water so I don’t think it’s anything I’m doing.

denisend

What I bought:

Chashaku: http://bit.ly/diHxwW Standard

Chasen: http://bit.ly/c55ePD – They have 2 options, a 75 and 120 strand whisk. More strands means (theoretically) that it’ll be easier to froth (more stuff getting pushed around with the same amount of effort).

Chawan: http://bit.ly/b9m64E – this is where I was being picky.
1. Color – must not clash with green matcha in it (some color combinations were weird to think about).
2. Size – Large enough to comfortably whisk, but not a bowl. Something too large and the tea would cool before I drank it (I drink green tea slow – I practically bolt fruit tisanes). The 20oz options are just TOO BIG.
3. Not lumpy. I just don’t like the look of the lumpy ones, I prefer slip cast or wheel pottery to completely hand made (hand finished is okay, too, just not free form).
4. More upright in shape than outward (not explaining this one well). Essentially, want a smaller surface of tea for cooling, because, again, I drink green tea slow. I know that technically different shaped chawans are for different types of preparation, but I don’t plan to build that much of a collection (the husband can spend HIS allowance if he wants to!).
5. Needed a “foot” (or pedestal). Something to help hold onto, and also I like the look of them better.

Think that was it…

mpierce87

I’m interested in trying matcha as I do like green tea, and I love the green tea latte made with matcha that Starbucks carries. I hesitate to buy the gear for the same reason, what if I don’t like it?

Cofftea

Wow! And I thought I put thought into researching my set. I, too, based my set on the chawan- just after price. I was so focused on what the chawan looked like, I never thought of factoring the color of the matcha into it. I had no matcha when I placed my order so I figured buying each item individually from UTI would be expensive, although I definitely want to try their matcha at some point.

Cofftea

@mrawlins2, my only suggestions would be to find a company that has a good return policy and to post the matcha in the “Take it away!” thread.

denisend

Cofftea – I really wanted to buy the chawan from Etsy, but just couldn’t find one that I liked for a price I was willing to pay. While price wasn’t a big factor in my purchase, the only one I that “spoke” to me was this one: http://bit.ly/9LQG0u It’s a bit much.

My husband will never get on Steepster. When I ask him about new teas, he’s like “it’s good” or “eh… I dunno”. He doesn’t want to read about new teas either because he’d want to try them and we have “enough” tea in the house. LOL.

Mrawlins2 – I wouldn’t worry about purchasing a bunch of tools if you want to try matcha, the only thing you really need is a whisk (and it doesn’t have to be a specialized bamboo whisk, an Aerolatte ( http://bit.ly/buDWw9 ) will work just fine (especially if in the future you want to do lattes). We also use ours for hot chocolate. YUM.

S

mrawlins2, you could just buy a whisk (and a spoon, optional) and make the matcha in a normal bowl. If you like it, you could get a nice bowl afterward. The whisk is only around 11 dollars on Amazon.com

S

Cool stuff denisend! The only thing I would suggest is play around with the amount of matcha you use…too much might be too bitter, and too little might be too weak. And make sure the water is cool enough….that was the mistake I made the first time I tried matcha. Oh, and sometimes how much you make can affect how you like it…I usually only use 3-4 ounces of water, because I know that it’s too strong for me to drink a full 8 ounces of at once (plus it cools down too much for me…I only like it when it’s hot!)

Cofftea

Shanti has a good point, too much matcha can upset my stomach. One thing I could never understand about chawans is why is it so big if you’re supposed to use a small amount of water?

S

I think part of it is that the bowl needs to be weighty enough to withstand being passed from person to person without breaking. It has to be deep enough that it won’t spill as it’s passed from hand to hand. It is also a piece of art, so that could affect the size. The other thing I’ve read is that sometimes the tea is shared communally, so that might account for the need for a large bowl. Also, the bowl has to be large enough to facilitate whisking…a shallower, smaller bowl would both be harder to move around in and might splash and spill.

S

I forgot to add, the size of the bowl will affect how slowly the tea cools down…a more shallow bowl will cool quickly than a deep one.

denisend

Cofftea – he seems to do good work; I wouldn’t mind paying that much if it was something that would be used regularly. In my house, though, a chawan is going to just be an occasional use item.

I’m also commissioning a mug from this potter: http://bit.ly/alWYhE
I love those swirls.

Shanti – A lot of the points that you brought up are the reasons why I was looking for a smaller chawan (rather than the 20 oz monsters I was finding at some sites!). Even accounting for the extra space, I’m not going to be preparing a lot!

Let me look for some of the resources I found on the shapes (I apparently didn’t bookmark them). I seem to remember that shallower bowls are generally used for thin matcha, but I can’t remember why.

Cofftea

Mine is 16oz and even if I prepare a half bowl, I can (albeit very slowly and carefully) get it to the living room.

S

denisend, I checked wikipedia and it says they use shallower bowls for thin matcha because thin is served in the summer (thick in the winter) and the shallow bowl lets the tea cool faster :)

Cofftea

Huh, I didn’t realize it was seasonal. Makes sense- I have used the term “blanket for my tongue” to describe it:)

S

Cofftea, I thought you don’t usually make thick? Did you write a tasting note for koicha style? I’d love to read it :D I’m too scared to try it that way hehe

Cofftea

Thick is relative. It’s not thick by the definition you have. I recieved 2 different set of steeping instructions. One said 1 scoop per 8oz water and the other said 1 scoop per 3oz. The closest to the authentic definition of thick will actually be my powdered sencha tomorrow moring. 1.5g/3oz water. I’d prepare it thicker in a heart beat, I just don’t have the funds to buy matcha any more often than I am now. Heck, I really shouldn’t buy it as much as I do. Unless of course you want to share, you matcha hoarder hehe;)

S

Oooh good luck tomorrow morning!
I know, I’m evil and should be on that show Hoarders :D
(BTW I’m going by “thick” via what Haruka (steepster member), my Japanese teacher, and wiki says, so I think it’s the “authentic” way, but I am not 100% sure)

But to each her own! Heck, right now, I’m going to mix some into my cocoa. I still want to try it with drinking chocolate like you make it someday, but my arteries are like “noooo! don’t kill us!” cry

Cofftea

Haha! You could always use unsweetened cocoa power instead of official drinking chocolate mix (and fat free milk of course). I’m not sure if the amounts would be equal though. What is a shame is that you have 3 pouches and your rating is so low. I hope you find a way to get that up:) And share it w/ friends:)

S

I know, I need to up my rating…I do like it more now that I’m recognizing it for what it is. Like Ricky said, comparing it to regular matcha is like comparing apples and, well, oranges :D

Cofftea

Oh yes. I totally agree.

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Cofftea

Awesome your hubby loves matcha!=D He should be on steepster if he isn’t already.;)

Cofftea

Oh, and I haven’t gotten frothing down either. The ones I’ve had that do froth do so right away upon my adding the water so I don’t think it’s anything I’m doing.

denisend

What I bought:

Chashaku: http://bit.ly/diHxwW Standard

Chasen: http://bit.ly/c55ePD – They have 2 options, a 75 and 120 strand whisk. More strands means (theoretically) that it’ll be easier to froth (more stuff getting pushed around with the same amount of effort).

Chawan: http://bit.ly/b9m64E – this is where I was being picky.
1. Color – must not clash with green matcha in it (some color combinations were weird to think about).
2. Size – Large enough to comfortably whisk, but not a bowl. Something too large and the tea would cool before I drank it (I drink green tea slow – I practically bolt fruit tisanes). The 20oz options are just TOO BIG.
3. Not lumpy. I just don’t like the look of the lumpy ones, I prefer slip cast or wheel pottery to completely hand made (hand finished is okay, too, just not free form).
4. More upright in shape than outward (not explaining this one well). Essentially, want a smaller surface of tea for cooling, because, again, I drink green tea slow. I know that technically different shaped chawans are for different types of preparation, but I don’t plan to build that much of a collection (the husband can spend HIS allowance if he wants to!).
5. Needed a “foot” (or pedestal). Something to help hold onto, and also I like the look of them better.

Think that was it…

mpierce87

I’m interested in trying matcha as I do like green tea, and I love the green tea latte made with matcha that Starbucks carries. I hesitate to buy the gear for the same reason, what if I don’t like it?

Cofftea

Wow! And I thought I put thought into researching my set. I, too, based my set on the chawan- just after price. I was so focused on what the chawan looked like, I never thought of factoring the color of the matcha into it. I had no matcha when I placed my order so I figured buying each item individually from UTI would be expensive, although I definitely want to try their matcha at some point.

Cofftea

@mrawlins2, my only suggestions would be to find a company that has a good return policy and to post the matcha in the “Take it away!” thread.

denisend

Cofftea – I really wanted to buy the chawan from Etsy, but just couldn’t find one that I liked for a price I was willing to pay. While price wasn’t a big factor in my purchase, the only one I that “spoke” to me was this one: http://bit.ly/9LQG0u It’s a bit much.

My husband will never get on Steepster. When I ask him about new teas, he’s like “it’s good” or “eh… I dunno”. He doesn’t want to read about new teas either because he’d want to try them and we have “enough” tea in the house. LOL.

Mrawlins2 – I wouldn’t worry about purchasing a bunch of tools if you want to try matcha, the only thing you really need is a whisk (and it doesn’t have to be a specialized bamboo whisk, an Aerolatte ( http://bit.ly/buDWw9 ) will work just fine (especially if in the future you want to do lattes). We also use ours for hot chocolate. YUM.

S

mrawlins2, you could just buy a whisk (and a spoon, optional) and make the matcha in a normal bowl. If you like it, you could get a nice bowl afterward. The whisk is only around 11 dollars on Amazon.com

S

Cool stuff denisend! The only thing I would suggest is play around with the amount of matcha you use…too much might be too bitter, and too little might be too weak. And make sure the water is cool enough….that was the mistake I made the first time I tried matcha. Oh, and sometimes how much you make can affect how you like it…I usually only use 3-4 ounces of water, because I know that it’s too strong for me to drink a full 8 ounces of at once (plus it cools down too much for me…I only like it when it’s hot!)

Cofftea

Shanti has a good point, too much matcha can upset my stomach. One thing I could never understand about chawans is why is it so big if you’re supposed to use a small amount of water?

S

I think part of it is that the bowl needs to be weighty enough to withstand being passed from person to person without breaking. It has to be deep enough that it won’t spill as it’s passed from hand to hand. It is also a piece of art, so that could affect the size. The other thing I’ve read is that sometimes the tea is shared communally, so that might account for the need for a large bowl. Also, the bowl has to be large enough to facilitate whisking…a shallower, smaller bowl would both be harder to move around in and might splash and spill.

S

I forgot to add, the size of the bowl will affect how slowly the tea cools down…a more shallow bowl will cool quickly than a deep one.

denisend

Cofftea – he seems to do good work; I wouldn’t mind paying that much if it was something that would be used regularly. In my house, though, a chawan is going to just be an occasional use item.

I’m also commissioning a mug from this potter: http://bit.ly/alWYhE
I love those swirls.

Shanti – A lot of the points that you brought up are the reasons why I was looking for a smaller chawan (rather than the 20 oz monsters I was finding at some sites!). Even accounting for the extra space, I’m not going to be preparing a lot!

Let me look for some of the resources I found on the shapes (I apparently didn’t bookmark them). I seem to remember that shallower bowls are generally used for thin matcha, but I can’t remember why.

Cofftea

Mine is 16oz and even if I prepare a half bowl, I can (albeit very slowly and carefully) get it to the living room.

S

denisend, I checked wikipedia and it says they use shallower bowls for thin matcha because thin is served in the summer (thick in the winter) and the shallow bowl lets the tea cool faster :)

Cofftea

Huh, I didn’t realize it was seasonal. Makes sense- I have used the term “blanket for my tongue” to describe it:)

S

Cofftea, I thought you don’t usually make thick? Did you write a tasting note for koicha style? I’d love to read it :D I’m too scared to try it that way hehe

Cofftea

Thick is relative. It’s not thick by the definition you have. I recieved 2 different set of steeping instructions. One said 1 scoop per 8oz water and the other said 1 scoop per 3oz. The closest to the authentic definition of thick will actually be my powdered sencha tomorrow moring. 1.5g/3oz water. I’d prepare it thicker in a heart beat, I just don’t have the funds to buy matcha any more often than I am now. Heck, I really shouldn’t buy it as much as I do. Unless of course you want to share, you matcha hoarder hehe;)

S

Oooh good luck tomorrow morning!
I know, I’m evil and should be on that show Hoarders :D
(BTW I’m going by “thick” via what Haruka (steepster member), my Japanese teacher, and wiki says, so I think it’s the “authentic” way, but I am not 100% sure)

But to each her own! Heck, right now, I’m going to mix some into my cocoa. I still want to try it with drinking chocolate like you make it someday, but my arteries are like “noooo! don’t kill us!” cry

Cofftea

Haha! You could always use unsweetened cocoa power instead of official drinking chocolate mix (and fat free milk of course). I’m not sure if the amounts would be equal though. What is a shame is that you have 3 pouches and your rating is so low. I hope you find a way to get that up:) And share it w/ friends:)

S

I know, I need to up my rating…I do like it more now that I’m recognizing it for what it is. Like Ricky said, comparing it to regular matcha is like comparing apples and, well, oranges :D

Cofftea

Oh yes. I totally agree.

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Engineer. Lives with her cats and husband. Likes fruity tisanes most of all, but willing to try anything.

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southern Maryland

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