Chado [The Utensils]Jul.06.2015
The Chado ceremony, from 9th century to modern day, is a ritual carried forward by its principles. Kei, one of these philosophies, stands for a Respect that extends not only to individuals, but also to inanimate objects. Through our Chado series, learn the philosophy behind this ancient practice and create the perfect bowl of Matcha.
Below outlines the utensils that are indispensable to both the art of Chado and your own ritual.
· CHAWAN – MATCHA BOWL ·
Chado requires a chawan (matcha bowl), rather than a cup, due to the process of matcha tea preparation. Matcha, green tea stone-ground into a delicate powder, must be whisked vigorously with hot water to form the distinctively fine foam of matcha.
Quality of a chawan speaks through multiple characteristics. The bowl will be light in weight for a comfortable hold, with a gentle lip construction for ease of drinking. The interior of the bowl will have a smooth glaze, allowing fine matcha powder to gather perfectly at the center, instead of remaining scattered throughout.
· CHASHAKU – MATCHA SCOOP ·
The graceful line of the chashaku (matcha scoop) must be carefully crafted to scoop and to measure matcha. Elegant work by the craftsman can be noted through the utensil — the greater the curve, the higher the required skill level of the craftsman.
A chashaku is initially a mere slip of bamboo before being heated, bent, and carved. The last step is the naming of the utensil by its maker, with the chashaku taking on an identity inseparable from its carver.
· CHASEN – MATCHA WHISK & CHASEN NAOSHI – WHISK HOLDER ·
Without chasen (matcha whisk), it is nearly impossible to make the bowl of smooth, aerated infusion associated with matcha. Hand-carved from a single piece of bamboo, the fine hosaki (prongs) of chasen is crafted specifically for breaking matcha powder into a smooth and creamy creation.
A range of materials can be used for chasen. Golden bamboo is selected for more common purposes, while smoked aged bamboo is prized for its exquisite quality. This rare bamboo creates a stronger, more flexible chasen that inherits a light, smoky aroma.
While not a traditional utensil, the chasen naoshi (matcha whisk holder) was developed to maintain shape and extend lifespan of the delicate chasen, for many bowls of matcha to come.