How to Make a London Fog (Earl Grey Tea Latte)
If I am not ordering a chai latte in a cafe, a London Fog is usually my next pick. I think this popular tea latte really shows the beauty of simplicity. While it may seem like a fancy drink, all you need to make an incredible cup is your favourite earl grey tea, milk and pure vanilla. It’s the perfect drink to brighten a gloomy day and also make you feel like a barista at home. Even though this cozy tea latte is very simple to make it is still packed with flavour! You get the burst of citrus from the bergamot oil and a light vanilla taste in every creamy sip. Spend 5 minutes making yourself a London Fog at home.
What is a London Fog?
It is a hot tea drink that is made with earl grey black tea and vanilla. It is topped with frothed milk which is where the “fog” name comes from. There are other fog-named drinks with slight variations to the recipe depending on the location. Despite the name, the original London Fog recipe is said to have originated in Vancouver, British Columbia. Go Canada!
Earl Grey Latte vs. London Fog
An Earl Grey Latte is like other tea lattes — it consists of the tea, frothed/steamed milk and sweetener if desired. That’s all.
A London Fog consists of earl grey tea, frothed/steamed milk, vanilla and sweetener if desired.
Therefore, the difference between the two comes down to the vanilla. It is a slight difference, yes. But, that vanilla addition adds a lot to this tea latte!
What is the best earl grey tea to use for this latte?
A classic earl grey is a black tea with bergamot oil. Sometimes an earl grey also has blue cornflowers added the the blend, but that is purely for aesthetics. Use your absolute favourite earl grey tea so you’ll be sure to love this latte. You can use loose leaf or tea bags. If you need some help finding a great earl grey, check out these recommendations. Make sure the earl grey tea is blended with real/natural bergamot oil and nothing artificial.
What form of vanilla is the best to use for this latte?
When it’s time to add the star ingredient to this latte — vanilla — use whatever form you have on hand. What I use most often and in this recipe is pure vanilla extract. It offers a true, rich flavour. You can also use vanilla powder, vanilla beans or even vanilla simple syrup. In cafes, vanilla syrup is often used for a London Fog. However, if you use vanilla simple syrup in yours at home, you may want to omit any additional sweetener in the recipe as that form of vanilla flavouring is already filled with sugar. Since the recipe below is using pure vanilla extract, it calls for sweetener, too.
Don’t have any vanilla at home? You can use any milk for this recipe! So, if you have a vanilla flavoured almond milk, oat milk, etc. use that in its place! The vanilla will be more subtle, but this option is better than nothing.
London Fog Recipe
This recipe makes 1 mug serving or 2 if you serve it up in vintage teacups!Double the amount of tea is used to create a stronger earl grey flavour before adding the milk.
1. Steep earl grey tea in boiling water for 5 minutes, covered. Covering your tea while steeping will retain heat and, therefore, help extract all of the flavours.
2. While the tea is steeping, simmer milk in a small saucepan on the stove. Using a handheld frother, froth the warm milk until it is fluffy and cloud like (about 30 seconds).*
3. When the tea is done steeping, strain the tea leaves or remove the tea bags. Add sugar and vanilla. Stir until dissolved.
4. Top the cup of tea with the frothed milk and serve immediately. Enjoy!
*If you have an electric milk frother/steamer, you can use that instead. If you don’t have any of these devices, you can whisk the warm milk in the saucepan by hand until it gets frothy.