The humble Japanese Chashaku or tea scoop was not originally made from bamboo or even used for the tea ceremony. It was primarily a spoon to measure medicine rather than green tea powder and was made from metal, ivory or natural tortoiseshell.
Around the 17th century bamboo started being used in their construction and these new-style scoops were employed to transfer green tea powder from a container to the guest's tea bowl (Chawan) during the tea ceremony. They were often given poetic names (Mei) that would stimulate polite conversation. These names were based on historical events, seasons, the character of the owner or even a witty play on words.
The shape and dimensions of Chashaku vary depending on the tea ceremony school or the tea master's particular choice but they are roughly 20cm long and 1cm wide with the top rounded into a curve. Most are made from seasoned bamboo which has been left outside for a number of years to dry; the raw material for the scoops sourced from the white bamboo groves found in Takayama region of Nara prefecture.
We sell three types of scoop; a normal scoop type from a flat piece of bamboo, a ribbed scoop from the grain found naturally in some parts of the bamboo and also a Susdakw scoop. Susudake scoops are made from aged bamboo found in the roofs of ancient houses where the smoke from the hearth has discolored the bamboo an auburn brown over the years.