Monday, February 16, 2009

Step 4: Pursuit of Tea

For the past couple weeks I have been wanting to try Matcha on it's own. Perhaps it's been longer than that though, since it is one of the main things that i think of when i think about Japan. Regardless of the time frame however, i've been searching for Matcha Starter Kit. Why do you need a kit, you might ponder. Matcha is different from other loose leaf teas.

Matcha is actually a very finely ground powdered leaf. To prepare it you whisk the powdered tea with water. So you need a few specialty items in order to properly enjoy matcha.

1.- You must have the Tea.
2.- A chasen, or bamboo whisk
3.- A bowl, preferably a Chawan, or Tea-Bowl
4.- A Tea Scoop or Chasaku

Many places offer such packages, and so that others may avoid the amount of searching that i went through i shall recount the places as well as the items that they offer and their price before shipping.

Matcha Source---Basic Kit $54---With bowl $75
30g of Organic Matcha, 100 prong whisk, a chasaku, and a tea sifter-- if you choose to get a bowl you have a choice of two
----Seems a bit expensive and i'm not really into organic...

In Pursuit of Tea---Basic Kit $56--Deluxe Kit $95
20g of Thin Grade Matcha, a small whisk, a ceramic bowl--The deluxe kit includes a nicer bowl, better whisk, a whisk stand (to protect the tines) and a Chasaku.
----Still expensive

The Tea Smith
---Basic Kit $54.95
"premium grade" Matcha, 'Authentic' whisk, 'handmade' bowl and 'delicate' chasaku.
----Not enough detail in the description to make me want to even consider this as an option.

---Basic Kit $30
100 prong whisk, choice between 4 different bowls, and choice between two different chasaku. There is also a travel kit for the same price that gives you a transportable whisk and chasaku as well as a choice between two travel bowls. all of it comes in a nice little bag.
----Getting to choose my own tea would be nice.

---Basic Kit $41.50~abt (3,800 Yen)
20g of their matcha, Whisk, Chasaku, bowl, and teacloth.
----They are known for their green tea, but shipping would increase the price.

---Build a Kit $53.84-$175--You choose the items that you want and get 10% off
30g of tea (5 to choose from), whisk (2 to choose from), a Chasaku, a tea-bowl (8 to choose from), you can also choose an accesory (such as a whisk stand) and extra matcha and get 10% off on those items as well.
----I like being able to choose the bowl and tea, they are also known for their green tea, but still pricey

Hibiki-an--- Basic Kit $105-- Soheki Kit $174
40g of their superior grade matcha, whisk, chasaku, their most basic bowl, a whisk stand. The Soheki kit includes a nicer bowl, a higer grade matcha, and a matcha sifter
----expensive like whoa. But nice kit. Known for their green teas.

Koyama-en---Eco-set $63 (5,775 Yen)
20g of Yugen Matcha, Bowl, whisk, chasaku, towel.
----Pricey, and harder to order...

Maiko--- Matcha for Two $105 (9,450 Yen)
40g of Matcha, 2 bowls, whisk, chasaku.
----Known for their wide selection of green teas, but i don't need two bowls

Den's Tea---$50-$73
The Travel kit is the cheapest, it comes with small whisk and collapsible Chasaku, as well as a crystalline clear bowl and 20 g of matcha. all of it in a travel bag. the other sets include the same items only with different bowls, a full sized whisk, and full sized chasaku.
----I've ordered with them before, they're known for green teas, and shipping would be free.

From looking at these places i've narrowed the choices down to Yuuki-cha, Den's tea, Ippodo, and O-cha. I'm still weighing the options but i'll let ya'll know what i end up with :3

1 comment:

  1. Nice idea for comparison shopping. Any idea how many "steps" it will take to do I don't know what in your blog? Happy President's Day, historychick :D


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