Consisting of 65-72 prongs, this whisk is handmade in Nara, Japan and should not to be confused with imports from China that you will commonly encounter from most tea shops. There are over 120 different types of Nara tea whisks that vary according to the type of material used, shape and number of splines which will vary according to the school of tea, the kind of matcha (thick or regular thin type) which will be served, and various other factors. We chose this particular chasen for general purpose matcha drinking.
About our bamboo tea whisk suppler (view detailed images) - Sabun Kubo Born 1940 and started making tea whisks in 1964. He is an artisan very keen on protecting traditional crafts.
Differences between Japanese and Chinese tea whisks... The vast majority of tea whisks encountered on the market are copies made in China, not Japan. There is almost no market for matcha whisks within China itself, nearly all are exported abroad and surprisingly, even to Japan. Japanese craftsmen start the whisk making process using a sharp knife to chip the end of the bamboo, giving it a clean sharp break, whereas in China it tends to be done with a file. Because of this, the tip of the whisk prongs of Japanese whisks are known to last longer. The bamboo used in Japanese whisks is superior and is dried for well over a year before use, no fungacides are used when producing Nara tea whisks. A real Japanese whisk will cost 2 or 3 times more than a Chinese whisk, naturally. It certainly is possible to make matcha with a Chinese made whisk but for long term reliability, we recommend that you invest in the real deal.