Caring for your chasen (whisk)
Receiving a new chasen is a joy no matter if you are a pro and always have one in your matcha kit or have never even used one. Designed to be disposable in the early days of tea ceremony, chasen now are expected to give a certain amount of longevity. A new chasen will look much different to a used one because the delicately curled edges only last for the first two or three uses.
Follow these steps to give your chasen longevity!
1) ALWAYS relax the chasen tines in hot water in your bowl or whisking vessel. The water should be just off the boil.
2) NEVER run your chasen under a hot running faucet (tap) as this will weaken the tines, leading to breakage
3) NEVER stand your chasen on its delicate head or lay it on its side, as this puts pressure on the tines and could lead to breakage
4) ALWAYS clean your chasen immediately after use by whisking in a bowl of clean water or gently running under a cold tap
5) NEVER hit your chasen on the side of the preparation bowl or chawan as this will weaken the tines, leading to breakage
6) ALWAYS prolong the life of your chasen by rinsing it in water to clean it, then storing it on a ceramic chasen tate or stand.
7) ALWAYS when using the tate, give the chasen a slight tap on the handle to push the tines just below the low curved edge of the tate. The tines should hang off the edge, retaining the shape of the chasen.