I learned this at a Japanese tea bar in NYC that was only open for about six months.
I watched the beautiful young Japanese man who looked like an anime character make this several times, and I adapted it for home. He had bleached blond hair that fell just so across his face, graceful hands, and a sultry look. Alas, I could not adapt that for home.
Whisk about a half teaspoon of matcha (green Japanese tea, ground very fine into a silky powder) in water way below boiling. I heat the water in a glass pot and use it when it just begins to steam and has a few tiny bubbles in the bottom. The mixing is traditionally done with a bamboo whisk, but I use a battery operated frother. In a separate cup, put milk, warmed or not, (this works well even with lowfat milk) and sweetener if you want some and froth it until it is very foamy. Pour the foamed milk into the matcha. It’s wonderful.
At Tafu, the Japanese tea bar, they used whole milk and put a dab of whipped cream on the top, which I do now and then. Instead of sugar, they used the smallest drizzle of brown sugar syrup. The contrast of the creamy milk and astringent matcha, the bitter tea and the shock of a bit of sweet, just delighted me. The brown sugar syrup was made like simple syrup and I have done that occasionally, too. written 2009