Easy London Fog Latte (Earl Grey Latte)
Homemade London Fog latte just like your favorite coffee shop! London Fog lattes are so easy to make at home and you just need a handful of simple ingredients.
London Fog lattes are my drink of choice at Starbucks when it’s chilly outside and I’m desperate to warm up with a hot cup of something that isn’t loaded with sugar like your typical Starbucks seasonal lattes.
They’re warm and cozy on a cold rainy afternoon too. My favorite way to enjoy a London Fog latte is with the fireplace on; a riveting book downloaded to my kindle that I can get lost in while the rain lashes against my windows and I’m tucked away under a warm blanket with cafe jazz playing softly in the background.
An hour of that, and I feel oh, so rested!
What is a London Fog Latte?
A bright citrusy latte made with earl grey tea, hints of lavender, vanilla, and sometimes, a stick of cinnamon. The tea is usually steeped and then warm, frothy milk is added to create a latte.
What ingredients do you need to make a London Fog latte?
- Hot water: I like to heat the water in my electric kettle and then pour it into a measuring cup or my glass kettle for two. I add the tea bags first, then pour the water over the top, and allow the tea to steep.
- Dried lavender: This is an optional ingredient. I’ve made my LF latte with lavender a couple of times and never quite enjoy it as much as the version with a different ingredient (mentioned below.) I love lavender essential oil for my diffuser, and I don’t mind a nice lavender scented candle. But personally, lavender doesn’t work for me in a latte.
- Cinnamon stick: I love adding a small cinnamon stick to my earl grey latte! It gives it such a warm and comforting flavor as opposed to the bright flavor of lavender. I read about adding cinnamon to a London Fog latte years ago in some food magazine, and I have been doing it ever since. Give it a try; you too might enjoy it more than the original version.
- Earl Grey Tea: You can use loose tea leaves or tea bags. Either works for this recipe. I’ve found that I really like this brand of earl grey as well as this brand.
- Steamed milk: there are quite a few different ways to steam milk for this latte recipe, and I’ll share all of them below. Essentially, steamed milk is created by heating milk until the fat breaks down and creates the tiny foamy bubbles you see at the top of your cappuccino or latte. Using a steam wand or another machine that breaks down the fat gives your foamy a delicious silky flavor and texture.
- Sugar: you can sweeten your tea latte with granulated sugar, brown sugar, agave, maple syrup, or honey! All of these options would work. How much you add is entirely up to you. If you prefer your latte sweet, you may want to add about 2-3 teaspoons per cup.
- Vanilla extract: Sometimes, I like to add the vanilla in while I’m steaming the milk. This gives the milk a wonderfully vanilla foamy flavor and scent. Other times, I like to add the vanilla directly into the cups before pouring in the steamed milk.
How to make a London Fog latte at home:
- Steep the tea. Place the water in an electric tea kettle (or in a stovetop kettle) and heat the water to boiling (or if you can set the temperature, heat it to 208-212ºF.) Once the water is boiling, turn off the kettle. Place the tea bags in a glass measuring cup along with the lavender or cinnamon stick if you’re using them. Pour the water over the top and let the tea steep. Sometimes I cover the measuring cup with a small plate to keep the water hot. You can brew the tea for less time if you prefer a weaker tea or longer for a stronger latte.
- Froth the milk while the tea steeps. Heat the milk in a frother. There are tons of ways to froth milk, and I list and explain all of them below. Once the milk is frothed, you can assemble the latte.
- Make a latte. Pour the steeped tea into two mugs. Add vanilla to each mug and sugar as desired. Pour the tea over these ingredients. Then, slowly pour the frothed milk into each cup. Be sure to use a spoon and hold back the foam; you don’t want to add that just quite yet. Stir the latte until the sugar dissolves. Then, spoon the froth on top, sprinkle with lavender or dried tea leaves to decorate, and serve!
4 ways to make steamed milk at home:
- Glass Jar: if you don’t make lattes too often, chances are you probably don’t want to invest in a milk frother. The easiest way to make frothed milk is to pour the warm milk into a large jar with a tight-fitting lid. Fill the jar with the milk (it should be well below the halfway point of the jar.) Then fit the cap on and shake the jar until the milk is frothy (about 45-60 good shakes.) Be careful as the jar may be hot! You can use a dish towel to wrap around the jar, so it keeps your hand from burning as you shake!
- Hand frother: I wouldn’t recommend something I haven’t tried myself. I bought this milk frother earlier this year to give it a try, and it works well. The major pro of this item is that it is under $20 and does the job. This item’s con is that you need a very tall jar because the whizzing motion does splatter the milk in all directions if you use a regular mug. I find this works best if you use a tall jar to fizz the milk.
- French press: Anees makes coffee in his French press every morning, so we had one around, and I decided to give this a try too. You warm up the milk, add it to the fresh press, and plug and pull on the plugger until the milk is frothy. Again, a pro is that it’s very economical and certainly does the job. The downside is that it takes a bit of manual labor, and like the handheld milk frother (above), I find the milk is almost always too cold for my liking by the time I sit down with my latte.
- My favorite milk frother: This item isn’t one that I suggest investing in unless you are a latte fanatic the way I am. But this by far makes the best foamy steamed milk for a latte. This milk frother makes far superior froth than that Nespresso milk frother. It has a setting where you can make the milk ‘extra hot’ (the only way I order a latte at a coffee shop.) You can also make hot chocolate in this milk carafe, and it comes with two attachments – the cappuccino frother and the latte accessory.
Other warm drinks you might enjoy:
- 12 ounces hot water
- ½ teaspoon dried lavender (optional)
- 1 cinnamon stick (optional)
- 4 teaspoon loose earl grey tea (2-3 tea bags depending on how strong you like your latte)
- 1 cup (8 ounces) steamed milk
- 2-6 teaspoons sugar (maple syrup/honey works too!)
- 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- STEEP: Place the water in a tea kettle and bring the water to a boil (208- 212ºF.) When boiling, turn the burner off, place tea bags, dried lavender (if using), or cinnamon (if using) inside, cover the tea kettle, and allow the tea to steep for 5-8 minutes. I usually prefer my tea pretty strong so I use 3 bags (between two cups) and brew for around 6 minutes.
- FROTH: While the tea is steeping, heat the milk in a milk frother. You can also warm the milk in a large glass measuring cup and use the hand frother (linked below) to whiz the milk and create foam. If you own a French press, you can add warmed milk to it and pump the plunger to introduce air into the milk until frothy.
- SERVE: Pour the tea into two mugs (use a sieve to hold back the lavender.) Add ¾ teaspoon of vanilla to each cup, along with 1-2 teaspoons of sugar (less if you don’t like your lattes too sweet) Slowly pour the frothy milk into each cup, holding back the foam with a spoon. Stir the latte until the sugar dissolves. Then, spoon the frothed foam onto each cup. Sprinkle with additional lavender or dried tea leaves before serving, if you’d like.