Proper Chasen Handling


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Proper Chasen Handling

Postby dgm » Jul 8th, '13, 22:48

Any tips on caring for these delicate bamboo implements? I'm trying to be gentle, but I've already broken a couple tines. :-(

Here are the two techniques I've used:

1) Avoid clumps by stirring matcha into a splash of cold water to create a paste. This requires brushing the whisk against the bottom of the bowl, and has been responsible for my broken tines.

2) Avoid clumps by pressing matcha through a sieve, and whisking tea without touching whisk to bowl. This obviously spares any wear and tear on the chasen, but I find that my tea is still a bit clumpy, and not as smooth as method #1.
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Re: Proper Chasen Handling

Postby AdamMY » Jul 8th, '13, 22:52

Have you tried presoaking the Chasen before use? I've found either sitting it in some water for a minute or two before use, or running it under water for a minute or two before whisking helps soften up the tines enough that they are less brittle.

It may also depend on your Chawan, a smoother interior is always preferred over heavily textured, as there is not really anything for the tines to "catch" on and break, so they are a bit more forgiving in terms of whisking.
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Re: Proper Chasen Handling

Postby dgm » Jul 9th, '13, 10:12

Yeah, I presoak, and I use smooth bowls. I think it's basically just the whisking technique. I'm finding that a linear back-and-forth generally works better than circular.
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Re: Proper Chasen Handling

Postby AdamMY » Jul 9th, '13, 17:55

dgm wrote:Yeah, I presoak, and I use smooth bowls. I think it's basically just the whisking technique. I'm finding that a linear back-and-forth generally works better than circular.



Ohhh... Ohhh... no, not circular! You should whisk in a W or M shape depending on your inclination. So back and forth but work from side to side as you whisk. Remember this is whisking not stirring!
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Re: Proper Chasen Handling

Postby TIM » Jul 9th, '13, 18:00

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=79lQrl3o ... re=mh_lolz

You might learn one or two things from the National Treasure of Japan.
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Proper Chasen Handling

Postby robbie_olive » Jul 9th, '13, 18:21

It all depends on what school of tea you learn to whisk the tea, the type of chasen, and the chawan etc. A smooth chawan will be kinder to you chasen than a rougher one. I agree that you should soak your chasen in water really well to soften up the times.

However, if you use the chasen regularly, it's going to wear out eventually, but as long as you look after it properly, it should keep well. I have quite a few chasen, a couple of which have a few tines broken, but thats all part of the charm, plus you just take off the broken bits.

In my tea school (Ueda Soko Ryu of Hiroshima), if you're making thin tea, you whisk back and forth at 1 o'clock to 7 o'clock about 30 times, whereas making thick tea, you use a semi-circular motion 50 times for every amount of tea you're making. Other schools like Urasenke will whisk much longer in a W shape, while Mushanokōjisenke will whisk back and forth in an M shape.

Hope that helps. Happy whisking!
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Re: Proper Chasen Handling

Postby dgm » Jul 11th, '13, 01:02

Thanks for the advice, folks. =)

TIM wrote:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=79lQrl3o6e8&list=LL21OQPS5iddnZc9SRF1NQAg&feature=mh_lolz

You might learn one or two things from the National Treasure of Japan.


Aha! Yes, I believe I did learn a thing or two from watching that man whisk matcha!
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Re: Proper Chasen Handling

Postby Senchamatcha » Jul 11th, '13, 10:38

How are you storing your chasen?
I keep mine on a Chasen Naoshi (Whisk holder) to keep it safe. After the first time I used it the chasen tines uncurled a bit and now it wont fit back in the original container, which is why I keep it on the Naoshi.
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Re: Proper Chasen Handling

Postby Chip » Jul 11th, '13, 10:44

I think uncurling is going to occur regardless ... every one that I have ever purchased uncurled after a few uses despite using the Naoshiki/holder.
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Re: Proper Chasen Handling

Postby JBaymore » Aug 23rd, '13, 11:57

Chasen are slowly "expenndible commodities" .... they have a limited life expectancy. It is part of the nature of the beast.

best,

..................john
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Re: Proper Chasen Handling

Postby JD » Aug 23rd, '13, 16:11

Not to steal this topic but I'm curious about something.

I own 2 chasen, one wide, one skinny, and the inner tines have opened and lost that original shape they were in when they were new. Is this okay for this to happen or should I buy new chasen? Should I try using thread to tie the inner tines back together?
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Re: Proper Chasen Handling

Postby Buzz fledderjoh... » Aug 23rd, '13, 18:29

JD wrote:Not to steal this topic but I'm curious about something.

I own 2 chasen, one wide, one skinny, and the inner tines have opened and lost that original shape they were in when they were new. Is this okay for this to happen or should I buy new chasen? Should I try using thread to tie the inner tines back together?



Nope, nothing to be afraid of. It's all part of the chasen life cycle. Perfectly normal.
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Re: Proper Chasen Handling

Postby Evan Draper » Aug 24th, '13, 17:27

Buzz Fledderjohn wrote:Nope, nothing to be afraid of. It's all part of the chasen life cycle. Perfectly normal.

Great phrasing. "Sometimes my chasen cracks while I'm talking, and it's growing hairs in strange places!"
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Re: Proper Chasen Handling

Postby JD » Aug 24th, '13, 18:22

Tried using my two chasen to make a bowl of matcha. The older chasen can't seem to make foam anymore while the newer one makes it very easily. Upon inspection the older chasen's tines have all uncurled and gone straight. So that's one chasen that won't make tea anymore. :/

Maybe I can use it for some other kind of whisking purpose.

Whipped cream maybe? :D
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