Matcha advice needed.


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Re: Matcha advice needed.

Postby Chip » May 8th, '11, 11:43

I use a ceramic chasen holder. I always place it on one to dry and have never had a mold problem.
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Re: Matcha advice needed.

Postby entropyembrace » May 8th, '11, 17:10

I just place mine on my desk, resting on it´s handle (tines up)
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Re: Matcha advice needed.

Postby Chip » May 8th, '11, 17:12

... tines down ... :mrgreen:
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Re: Matcha advice needed.

Postby odarwin » May 8th, '11, 22:56

no more container to protect it from dust and sorts?...
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Re: Matcha advice needed.

Postby Chip » May 8th, '11, 23:29

odarwin wrote:no more container to protect it from dust and sorts?...

Just on a shelf. You should give it a (warm) water rinse anyway before using.
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Re: Matcha advice needed.

Postby odarwin » May 9th, '11, 00:20

thanks very much for the replies!

ive got my first matcha powder in singapore. im not really convinced that its how matcha is supposed to taste... cause it tasted flat and barley like. its only a couple of months to go before the written best before date. and it doesnt taste fresh anymore. anyway, its the first try and i got it because of convenience since it was right there in front of me. i hope to order some from japanese on line vendors soon
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Re: Matcha advice needed.

Postby Seeker » May 10th, '11, 11:29

Chip wrote:OCD about matcha or any tea storage I am. :mrgreen:

Heh, I keep it in the bag in the tin, two layers of protection are better than one. I also roll the end up, releasing as much air as possible and seal the bag with a small clamp closure.

Emptying the bag into the tin means the matcha will be exposed to a lot of air, even after closing. IMHO.


Skadoosh!
:mrgreen:
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Re: Matcha advice needed.

Postby Seeker » May 10th, '11, 11:40

I would add - always warm the tines of your chasen before whisking - I typically add hot water to the chawan with the chasen in the chawan so both are warmed and the tines are moistened and softened. This helps prevent broken bits of tine getting into the digestive system - a most unpleasant affair.
Also - I disagree with an earlier poster - I avoid scraping the bottom of the chawan with the chasen (again - I don't think sipping and swallowing tines is any fun). With proper whisking technique it is not necessary and all the matcha will be held suspended in the water and additionally there will be a good foam. I was taught to touch the bottom of the chawan with the tines of the chasen and then lift slightly just before commencing whisking in order to gauge where the bottom is and then during whisking be close to the bottom but don't scrape.
Most folks find their own way of whisking that best suits them, I find mostly wrist action to be best for me, and I know someone who incorporates mostly forearm movement. I encourage you to do what you discover works best for you.
Finally - most folks I know who decide to attempt to store their chasen in the plastic tube end up with moldy and/or mildewy chasen very quickly.
Either store on handle with tines up - or I recommend getting a chasen holder, I find they are inexpensive.
Cheers.
BTW - the tines are meant to unfurl and they don't return to their initial furled state again and aren't meant to.
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Re: Matcha advice needed.

Postby AdamMY » May 10th, '11, 14:33

Seeker wrote:Also - I disagree with an earlier poster - I avoid scraping the bottom of the chawan with the chasen


Again I am not entirely sure what the earlier post was referring to I did not go back and read. But at the start of whisking I always gently rub the tines across the bottom of the chawan a few times in a few different directions just to try and ensure there are no large clumps stuck to the bottom. But then I always raise the whisk up and commence whisking then not touching the bottom.
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Re: Matcha advice needed.

Postby tjkoko » May 11th, '11, 12:53

Chip wrote:
odarwin wrote:no more container to protect it from dust and sorts?...

Just on a shelf. You should give it a (warm) water rinse anyway before using.


With the whisk placed in the chawan, hot water is poured almost to the rim and both will soak for half an hour prior to using for matcha.
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Re: Matcha advice needed.

Postby tjkoko » May 11th, '11, 12:58

odarwin wrote:how about the matcha whisk? how do you guys store yours?

my whisk came with a clear plastic tube. but after the first use, it seems as thou the tines were no longer "curly" as it was when it was still new and unused. it turned out that i can no longer close the lid of the plastic tube container with out forcing the tines down for about 1/4 to 1/2 inch.



With the matcha session finished and the chasen rinsed, I allow it to set tines-up on the shelf for several days before storing it in its original tube. And to date I've never had a problem with mold forming on the chasen.
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Re: Matcha advice needed.

Postby Chip » May 11th, '11, 13:03

tjkoko wrote:
Chip wrote:
odarwin wrote:no more container to protect it from dust and sorts?...

Just on a shelf. You should give it a (warm) water rinse anyway before using.


With the whisk placed in the chawan, hot water is poured almost to the rim and both will soak for half an hour prior to using for matcha.

I am sure that could not hurt, I just dip into hotter water a few times. I have yet to break a single tine. Similarly with the chawan, I just pour hot water in, let it sit very briefly, pour away and dry.

The possible down side to a long soak, then it will take that much longer for the chasen to dry out which could be problematic, such as premature rotting, splitting, mold. But I am certainly not an expert on such matters.

Formation of mold is also due to environmental issues and obviously presence of mold spores. So someone may never have mold no matter what they do, while someone else has to be very careful as their environment is very prone to the formation of molds.
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Re: Matcha advice needed.

Postby tjkoko » May 11th, '11, 16:02

@Chip: good consideration. Will shorten the post-soak time by much.
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Re: Matcha advice needed.

Postby David R. » Sep 27th, '11, 05:01

So, I was wondering... Maybe it is a silly question but still...

Different temperatures with sencha brings out different flavors. What about matcha :?:
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Re: Matcha advice needed.

Postby Chajin » Sep 28th, '11, 02:16

You can store unopened matcha in the fridge or freezer for ages.

odarwin wrote:how about the matcha whisk? how do you guys store yours?

my whisk came with a clear plastic tube. but after the first use, it seems as thou the tines were no longer "curly" as it was when it was still new and unused. it turned out that i can no longer close the lid of the plastic tube container with out forcing the tines down for about 1/4 to 1/2 inch.


There are a couple of options for storage. However you store your whisk, you should wash it well by whisking it in clean water, shake off the excess moisture, and smooth the loose portion of the thread after use. Traditionally, chasen are stored in the preparation area adjacent to the tea room (the mizuya). They are either kept on bamboo pegs (short sticks of bamboo which protrude from the wall above the sink of the mizuya) or simply upright on a slatted shelf above the sink; both allow water to fall away from the whisk and encourage drying. You can also store your whisk on a whisk-reshaper (called a chasen kusenaoshi in Japanese), which are usually either a celadon-coloured ceramic or unfinished pine, and have a rounded cone shape with a flared base. They maintain the shape of the chasen, but not the tightly curled tips of the tines, which will relax from the first use. I would only keep a completely dry whisk in the original plastic box--and keep the little packet of dessicant too. It's perfectly fine to carefully force the tines down with the lid, and this helps to maintain their shape, but be careful not to trap any between the body and lid of the box.

A chasen should always be softened in hot water before use, and should be checked before and after use for broken tines. Just break off any damaged tips: a chasen can be used for whisking tea until it's pretty decrepit (but for a formal tea ceremony one should really use a new one). Really damaged chasen can be repurposed for other things, like beating eggs or, in tea ceremony, for sprinkling water on chabana flower arrangements.

Fun fact: in Japan, you can take your old chasen to be ritually burned at a kind of "thank you" ceremony at temples once per year (they do something similar for sewing needles too).
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