This post all started with a New York Times recipe for Earl Grey Orange Cookies that popped into my inbox earlier this week. I was intrigued by the idea of using tea in a sugar cookie and excited to give them a try. Well, long story….but I ended up trashing more than a dozen homemade cookies!
We both found they had a bitter after-taste — maybe it was too much tea or not enough sugar? I still think the recipe has potential and I’m not ready to give up on the idea — so stay tuned!
In the meantime, I was wondering what else I could make with the Earl Grey tea in my cupboard (other than the obvious) and “google” told me I could make a London Fog drink — which is a type of tea latte. Who knew? Have you guys have been sipping Starbucks ‘ London Fogs for years without bothering to tell me?
What is a London Fog Drink?
In case you’re in the dark like I was, a London Fog is an Earl Grey tea latte, usually made with foamy milk and a hint of vanilla. There are many variations on this (some using heavy cream), but I started with a simple baseline recipe from thehealthymaven.com and tweaked her proportions to suit my taste. Feel free to do the same with my version below — it’s more of a suggestion than a recipe!
Gather Your Ingredients
Here are the basics you’ll need for a London Fog tea latte:
- A good quality Earl Grey tea; I used teabags, but you could opt for loose leaf tea or a tea sachet.
- Hot, foamy milk — Use your milk of choice; I used unsweetened almond milk; Just be aware that almond milk in general doesn’t have much fat and won’t froth as well as cow’s milk or oat milk.
- Vanilla — Starbucks has that fancy pump with vanilla flavoring, but vanilla extract will do;
- Sweetener — I added some raw honey to mine, but you can use your preferred sweetener or skip it all together.
FAQs on London Fogs
What’s in Earl Grey Tea?
Earl Grey is a black tea that has been flavored with oil from bergamot oranges. Bergamot is a fragrant citrus fruit native to Italy. It’s yellow-green in color, depending on the ripeness. The oil is known for being floral and distinctly tart. The British popularized Earl Grey tea, but it’s believed to have originated in China.
Do I need a frother to make this?
No, you don’t. It’s more fun if you have a frother, but you can simply heat the milk gently on the stove and get the same taste — without the foam, of course. I’m not a kitchen gadget person, but someone gifted me a frother years ago as a hostess gift — so I finally got to use it…yah!
Does a London Fog have caffeine?
Yes, your tea latte will be caffeinated unless you opt to buy decaf Earl Grey tea. Black tea, however, has far less caffeine than regular coffee. For comparison, a typical 8 oz. cup of coffee has between 90-100 mg. of caffeine, while the same size serving of black tea has about 45 mg.
According to TheWhistlingKettle.com, black tea also contains an amino acid called I-theanine, which lessens your chances for the jitters and a caffeine crash.
I’m pretty sensitive to caffeine, but have no issues sipping this drink as a nice afternoon pick-me-up. There’s something about wrapping your hands around a nice warm mug of an aromatic drink in the middle of the day. Aaah!
Tips to Brew the Perfect Cup of Black Tea
If you’re anything like me, you don’t give much thought to tea-making. Heat water, steep the bag and done! Sometimes I steep it for two minutes and other times it might be ten minutes, if I get distracted. But wait…
There are a few ways to bring out the very best qualities of black tea and make it a more enjoyable experience. These tips come directly from Kristin, who blogs all about tea at sweetsteep.com. [Love her blog, check it out!]
1.) Preheat your cup or mug. Do this simply by pouring hot water into your cup while you’re preparing the rest of the drink. Doesn’t make much sense to pour hot tea into a cold mug.
2.) Use filtered water instead of tap water. We have a Brita water filter pitcher and can definitely taste the difference.
3.) Bring the water to a boil; then stop and cool for a few seconds before adding the tea.
4.) Get the right ratio of tea to water. Generally, it takes one bag of tea to 8 ounces of water. If you’re using loose-leaf tea, typically it would be 1 to 2 teaspoons per 8 ounces of water, but consult the tea box or tin, if there is one.
5.) Black tea that is over-brewed will taste bitter; So be sure to time it for no longer than five minutes; You can start with 3 1/2 minutes and see if it’s strong enough for you. Kristin says when “tea and hot water meet, aroma and flavor happen first. After a couple of minutes, caffeine is extracted.” Tannins are extracted last and that’s where the bitterness comes in. Don’t let this happen to you…because you might go away thinking you don’t like black tea, when really it’s all about proper brewing.
Interested in learning more? Read Kristin’s whole post on How to Make Black Tea Delicious Every Time.
London Fog tea latte is the epitome of sweather weather! It’s the perfect drink to sip as the leaves start to turn and we gather around our backyard fire pits.
Easy London Fog Tea LatteCourse: Beverages
Have you wondered how to make a London Fog drink? It’s the perfect cool weather tea latte with a hint of sweetness and boost of caffeine.
1-2 Earl Grey teabags, depending on desired strength
3/4 cup steaming hot water
1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk (or other milk of choice)
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. honey or sweetener of choice, optional
- Steep your teabag(s) in the hot water for 3-5 minutes. It helps to set a timer since brewing longer can result in a bitter taste.
- Gently heat milk on the stovetop, just until tiny bubbles start to form around the edges.
- Add vanilla extract to warm milk, stir and remove from heat.
- Froth the warm milk, if you have a frother — just to add foam.
- Stir sweetener into your hot tea and top it with the warm milk. Enjoy!
As Emeril Would Say — Kick It Up a Notch!
If you’re too young to know who Emeril is…just forget I even mentioned him 😊. Here are a few simple ways to boost the flavor of your London Fog drink:
- Add a teaspoon of freshly-squeezed orange juice
- Top it with just a pinch of cardamom
- Top it with a pinch of cinnamon
- Get fancy and melt a few chocolate chips in the milk
I am not a licensed nutritionist, medical professional or cosmetics expert. The information provided on Honest + Simple is for general informational purposes only. The statements on this website have not been evaluated by the Food + Drug Administration and are not intended to treat, prevent or cure any disease. Before making decisions about your health or other concerns, please consult a qualified professional and do not rely on this website for medical advice.