Creamy and warming, a London Fog is a hot tea latte drink that is perfect to brighten a gloomy day. Despite the name, the original London Fog recipe is said to have originated in Vancouver, British Columbia. It is believed the drink was invented by Mary Loria in 1997 as an alternative to replace her morning coffee order at her local cafe. After creating the drink, the trend spread as she began ordering the drink at other cafes and recommending it to others. While Loria doesn’t know who created the name of the drink, it wasn’t until Starbucks got its hands on the drink that the London Fog went international.
A London Fog drink is made with Earl Grey tea, frothed or steamed milk, and vanilla extract or syrup. The link between the name and the drink is presumably the use of the British Earl Grey tea blend and the fog-like appearance when the milk hits the dark, brewed liquid. Anything from a classic Earl Grey to an extra-strong blend, or even an Earl Grey Crème (vanilla-infused blend) can be used either in a tea bag or loose-leaf. Traditionally, Earl Grey is made with black tea. However, green, oolong, darjeeling, and a variety of other teas are sometimes used. Nut, soy, oat, rice, or coconut milk also make an excellent milk substitute. Of course, the type of milk you choose will have a bearing on the taste and overall mouthfeel of the drink.
The black tea used as a base for Earl Grey is a blend and often comes from China, India or Sri Lanka. The distinctive flavor of Earl Grey comes from bergamot, a Mediterranean citrus fruit. Bergamot brings dark, woodsy and citrus undertones to a London Fog that pairs well with the sweetness of the vanilla syrup. You get the burst of citrus from the bergamot oil and a light vanilla taste in every creamy sip. Lemon zest, lavender, and blue cornflower are sometimes added to complement the bergamot, while also looking pretty sprinkled on top.
This popular tea latte really shows the beauty of simplicity. With only milk, a hint of sweet vanilla, and the unmistakable flavors of Earl Grey tea, this cozy drink is perfect for sipping any time of day.