Matcha bowls - centuries-old tradition from Japan

Matcha bowls are a indispensable component in the preparation of Matcha tea and really bring out the fine taste of the tea. Matcha bowls have a long tradition in Japan and have been made from ceramic in an elaborate firing process there for many centuries. The often uneven and slightly wavy edge of the Matcha bowl is one of its special features and is reminiscent of the mountainous landscape of Japan. The unusual shapes and color gradients of the Matcha bowls also reflect the beauty of the natural imperfection, which is called Wabi Sabi in Japan.

The Matcha tea bowl (Japanese: Chawan)

The Matcha tea bowl (Japanese: Chawan) is next to the Matcha broom (Japanese: Chasen) and of course the Matcha tea itself, the central component of the traditional Japanese tea ceremony. Because of its special aesthetics, long tradition and artful processing, the Matcha tea bowl is the most expensive tea utensil next to the tea tins (Japanese: Natsume). Matcha tea bowls from well-known Japanese master potters therefore often achieve prices of several in Japan Thousand euro!

Japanese tea bowls, lovingly handcrafted

In our range you will find a large number of Japanese tea bowls, which differ in their shape, their design and of course in their color. A large number of our Japanese tea bowls are loving handwork, in which the bowls are hand-molded and hand-glazed, making each bowl an individual work of art and a one-of-a-kind piece.

Compared to other tea cups, matcha bowls are slightly thicker-walled, which means that the tea does not cool down as quickly and the temperature of the matcha tea is kept constant for longer. In addition, Matcha bowls have a flat bowl bottom, which means that the Matcha powder can be whipped optimally with a Matcha broom.

Matcha Bowls from Japan - The Beauty of Natural Imperfection

They are part of the traditional preparation of Matcha tea like a delicate porcelain cup is part of British tea: Matcha tea should taste even better from a stylish Matcha bowl than from a conventional tea cup. At first glance, they seem inconspicuous, but on closer inspection they seem to be made for enjoying the drink. So what makes a matcha bowl so special?

Matcha bowls are used for preparation in the traditional way

According to tradition, they provide the central utensil at the tea ceremony, i.e. the traditional way of preparing Matcha tea Matcha powderAccording to tradition, the guest should inquire about the origin of the bowl while admiring or at least inquiring about the tea ceremony. To this day, the matcha bowl is usually the most expensive utensil in the traditional Japanese tea ceremony. Depending on the production and decoration, its price can be up to several thousand euros.

Matcha bowls are still differentiated according to their style. Tea bowls are particularly valuable in the Raku style. This style dates back to the late 16th century and was developed in collaboration between a roofing tile master and a tea master. According to tradition, the first specimens in this style were not molded on a potter's wheel, but made entirely by hand. The result was a very irregular and unique vessel that always looked different. The Matcha bowl of this type was fired at a temperature of around a thousand degrees.

Immediately after it was burned, it was taken out of the oven and sealed with other combustible materials. These substances, such as hay or leaves, drew oxygen from the air, causing chemical reactions. They were for that unique appearance of every single matcha bowl responsible. A raku style chawan is thicker than most other bowls. The look is almost rustic and always individual. The technique of shaping and firing make each chawan uniqueas there is no other.

Matcha bowls are different from other tea bowls or cups

Of course, the shape is particularly striking. Of the The bottom of the bowl is usually formed from a straight surface, the opening at the top is noticeably large. This makes the tea easier to prepare. The matcha powder is much easier to whip with a bamboo whisk in a large matcha bowl than in a conventional tea bowl. The Matcha powder is distributed optimally in the water, which leads to a full development of the aroma.

The traditional Matcha bowl is a reflection of the Wabi Sabi. This is a Japanese term referring to the natural imperfection and the resulting beauty relates. The edge of the tea bowl is slightly irregular in shape.

With these waves one wants to remind of the mountainous landscape in Japan and thus of the origin of the tea. A traditional distillation process is used to make this tea bowl. This burning process is quite complex, but then contributes to the robust quality. The thick wall is also an important differentiator compared to conventional tea bowls.

They prevent the tea from cooling down too quickly and the temperature of the tea remains constant for longer, which enables Matcha tea to be enjoyed for a long time.

According to belief, handmade originals have at least one prominent or very noticeable place under the matcha bowls. This page is called that "Face" of the tea bowl designated. The face can consist of a conspicuous gradient of colors, a visible bump or a certain pattern of clay. According to tradition, the Matcha bowl should be turned during preparation so that the face is facing the person. If you want to hand over the tea bowl to the guest, your face should point to the guest. If you drink from the tea bowl, you should turn your face away from you.

Look forward to a special variety of shapes

Order your matcha bowl at Matcha Magic, a special one awaits you Diversity of shapes and designs. Most of our bowls were first formed by hand and then glazed by hand as well. This creates very different patterns and color gradients. They look different for each bowl and thus lead to a multitude unmistakable unique items. Our handmade matcha bowls also impress with their variety of shapes:

  • Wan shape: The Matcha bowl is made of natural clay in the classic Wan shape on a potter's wheel, making it a special one bulbous shape As a result, the bowl embeds itself nicely in the palms of the hands while drinking. Our “Sakai” bowl is a beautiful example of this type and is available from us in many different colors.
  • Dojime form: Matcha bowls in the dojime shape impress with their asymmetrical shapes. The outer wall and the rim of the bowl are unevenly shaped (Wabi Sabi), which results in particularly beautiful unique pieces with this type of bowl. Our matcha bowls "Aichi", "Yokkaichi" and "Kashiwa" are beautiful examples of the Dojime shape.
  • Ido shape: In contrast to the above bowl shapes, bowls in the “Ido shape” become more and more expansive towards the top. In addition, bowls in the "Ido shape" have a slightly smaller bowl bottom, which makes them particularly eye-catching Trapezoidal shape Do you like this unusual shape? Then we recommend our bowls “Nara” and “Mitu” to you.

Matcha bowls and their traditional colors

Traditional Matcha bowls come in many colors. Some potters have found their very own style and have developed new color combinations. Over time, new effects and shades of color emerged from their glazes, which led to unmistakable unique items.

Red, green, blue and white are typical colors for a Matcha bowl. The inside can be kept in white, for example, which should bring out the color of the tea particularly well. If the production takes place in a wood-burning stove, the colors are particularly varied. For example, a combination of dark brown on the outside and bright red on the inside or a green-blue tone on the outside, which should be reminiscent of the sea, is common. If a Chawan has been hardened in a wood-burning oven, the ashes can leave visible traces on the surface, creating an impressive grain. The wide opening and the thick cup wall are important for optimal enjoyment, while the look is primarily appealing to the eye.

Features of Japanese matcha bowls at a glance:

  • Flat bottom and a strikingly large opening
  • Special feel with soft, wavy and asymmetrical structures
  • Different shapes, patterns and color gradients depending on origin and style
  • Irregularly shaped bowl rim, which is supposed to remind of the mountainous landscape of Japan
  • Thick outer wall that prevents the tea from cooling down quickly

You can find more utensils for making Matcha tea here at Matcha accessories.