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Clearing up the “Fog” on Earl Grey Tea Lattes

If you’re like me, you take great comfort in enjoying the ritualistic pleasure of coffee first thing in the morning. The smell is so satisfying that it could probably wake the dead. So imagine my surprise when a friend introduced me to the decadence that is the latte: rich espresso and pillow-y clouds of foamed milk. What more could a coffee connoisseur want? 

Boy, was I in for a surprise. 

But let me take you back a second: my first love has and always will be tea. Yes, coffee is my superpower and gives me the energy I need to interact with fellow humans, but tea was the first thing outside of “regular” drinks like milk, juice or water that expanded my horizons. 

Like most children, I grew up playing with a ceramic tea set and threw tea parties with my toys. In a more “grown-up” setting, tea was enjoyed by the adults when company came over in the afternoon or post family dinner/functions, along with dessert. 

Tea was not just a beverage in my household — it was a social custom and tradition. My fellow English people can attest to this: there really is nothing a good cuppa tea cannot fix. Tired? Tea. Angry? Tea. Crying over the latest episode of This is Us? A heaping cuppa will fix ya right up. Tea heals the mind, body and soul. 

Well, my friend, it gets even better with tea lattes. Crazy concept right? 
The most common tea latte that you will see on any drink menu is a London Fog, sometimes known as an Earl Grey tea latte. A London Fog consists of Earl Grey tea, foamed milk and vanilla syrup. 

Earl Grey is a black tea infused with the dried rind of Bergamot oranges. Bergamot is grown in Italy and regions of France. Believed to be a hybrid fruit, a Bergamot has the appearance of lime and orange, with notes of grapefruit and lemon upon taste. The resulting tea possesses citrusy and malty notes. 

A popular English tea with its development occurring in China, the blog Cup & Leaf provides the following historical background information: “Earl Grey black tea didn't make its way to England until the early seventeenth century. The tea is reportedly named after Charles Grey — known as the second Earl Grey — who was the British Prime Minister from 1830 to 1834.” 

The history of the London Fog is a bit more muddled. Ironically, this drink does not originate from England. Many actually believe the drink was developed in Vancouver, Canada. Otherwise, its origins are pretty foggy

During the winter months, I suggest you give this latte a try. It’s a literal hug-in-a-mug and enhances a lazy afternoon bundled under blankets with a good book. If you still want to try this drink but don’t have the time, Second Cup has a great one. 

Classic London Fog 

Serves 1

You will need: 

  • 1 Earl Grey Tea Bag 
  • ¾ Cup Milk of Choice 
  • 1-2 Tablespoons of Vanilla Syrup 

Select your favourite mug and set it aside. Boil water. Once the water is boiled, add the tea bag and fill the cup ½ to ¾ full. I like my tea pretty strong, so I tend to add more water and less milk, but it’s up to you! Add the vanilla syrup to taste and stir.

In a microwavable dish or a small saucepan, heat the milk, stirring constantly. Remove from heat just before boiling. In order to make the foamed milk, there are a couple of ways you can approach this. 

I have a milk frother by Salton which makes this pretty easy. You could also look into purchasing a handheld milk whisk from Amazon. If purchasing another kitchen appliance isn’t your style, you can add the heated milk to a mason jar (be sure to wear oven mitts!) and shake for 1-3 minutes. The other alternative would be to add the milk to a blender for 20 seconds. 

Once the milk has been frothed, pour the liquid into the mug, while holding back the foam with a spoon. Spoon the foam on top of the tea. Sip and enjoy!

If you want a more immersive guide on how to make this cozy bevy, be sure to check out Tastemade Espanola

Grace Jansen in de Wal

Wilfrid Laurier '20

Grace is a twenty-something fourth-year majoring in History and Research Specialization. She drinks way too much coffee, has a passion for old books and movies, and wishes it was still the 1960's.
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