The types and variations of tea ceremony utensils are limitless, but we hope to build a decent catalog here beginning with the basics. In addition, other utensils for enjoying tea in general are gathered here with the exception of tea pots, cups and bowls.
About Chasen - Whisks
One of the most essential tools for enjoying matcha is the chasen, a whisk made of bamboo that helps you to separate any clumps of powder. Making a thick koicha, a paste like consistency enjoyed with the highest grades of matcha, becomes easier with a chasen. The whisk allows you to create the froth of thin usucha (what is most commonly promoted as a matcha drink).
Notes: Most chasen are actually made in China now, with only a handful of craftsmen in Japan making only very high quality chasen. The higher the prong number, the easier it is to make froth but anything written "80" and higher is not actually an exact number. Use a lower numbered chasen to show off your whisking skill.
The "Number" represents the approximate but not exact number of prongs, and the more prongs, the more froth or foam it produces. However, this is not an indication of better quality as some schools of tea ceremony frown upon froth. The biggest school of tea ceremony, Urasenke, teaches that an even level of froth is desirable, and so this has become standard among non-practitioners.
Shape: The shape of this whisk is made according to Urasenke standards with the tips of the prongs curled inward.