Simple ingredients and easy to make, this Vanilla Earl Grey Tea with Milk (Earl Grey Tea Latte \ London Fog Tea) is like a hug in a mug. Cozy, earthy flavors with a hint of vanilla and touch of honey or maple syrup is a delight to warm up to during the coldest of days. This recipe is vegetarian or vegan.
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Simple. Delicious. Earl Grey Tea.
Earl Grey tea is worth savoring. It’s a combination of black tea and bergamot orange. Depending on the brand of tea, it may include other ingredients like lavender. Earl Grey tea was my pathway to discovering bergamot.
Bergamot orange is a citrus fruit commonly grown in the Mediterranean (different from bergamot herbs, perennial plants native to North America sometimes grown as ornamentals to attract pollinators). Due to bergamot’s sour flavor, they’re not eaten fresh like you would eat an orange. Rather, it’s the essential oils extracted from the rind or the rind itself that’s used in Earl Grey tea. Bergamot orange gives Earl Grey tea its distinguishing citrusy flavor. (Farmers Almanac 2021).
Add a little vanilla and milk in Earl Grey tea to take this flavorful sipper to a whole other level. No wonder this classic has become so popular!
Similar Drink, Different Names
I discovered this sipper at a local coffee stand and was instantly smitten. They call it a London Fog Latte – I had to ask what that was before ordering (gah!). The barista shared with me how easy it is to make.
When researching how to properly name this classic milk tea sipper for the blog, I found it’s referred to by several different names (let me know in the comments if you know of others!):
- Earl Grey Latte
- Earl Grey Tea with Milk
- London Fog Latte
- London Fog Tea
- London Fog Drink
There are a few variations, from added lavender, to sweetener of choice like honey, maple syrup or vanilla syrup. But, they have three things in common: black tea, milk and vanilla. The difference comes down to how the milk is prepared, and if vanilla (always in a London Fog) and/or sweetener is involved.
Whether enjoyed simply with frothed, warmed or cold milk, Earl Grey with milk is soothing when a little comfort is needed. I would go as far to say it’s luxurious. Talk about self care!
Ingredients for Vanilla Earl Grey Tea with Milk
- Earl Grey Tea: You’ll need two tea bags of Earl Grey or 2 1/2 teaspoons of loose tea. I like Numi brand Earl Grey tea. It’s organic (flavorings free) and only contains two ingredients. They offer loose leaf tea leaves and tea bags.
- Vanilla: When ordering a London Fog Latte at the local coffee shops, vanilla syrup is typically used to sweeten and flavor the tea. However, when making Earl Gray tea with milk at home, use just a drizzle of pure vanilla extract and sweeten to taste.
- Milk of Choice: The sky is the limit here. Use your favorite plant milk like oat milk, cashew milk or almond milk. I use homemade unsweetened cashew milk because it’s thick and rich, and I always have it on hand. If using plant milk, you’ll notice a bit of separation of milk and tea after setting for a few minutes, but it’s easily swirled back together again. You can also use dairy milk of choice.
- Sweetener: Enjoy honey, maple syrup or sugar of choice. I’ve read brown sugar is quite lovely in an Earl Grey latte. My favorite is maple syrup.
Quick Guide: How to Make Earl Grey Tea With Milk
With just a few ingredients you can whip up the most delicious homemade Earl Grey tea with milk! In summary, here’s how to do it (see recipe card for details):
- First, add the loose tea or tea bags to just boiling water.
- Second, steep the tea for four to five minutes. Remove the tea bags or strain the tea if using loose tea.
- Next, add sweetener of choice to the milk and either froth the milk with a frothing wand or other frothing method (recommended) for a latte or simply warm the milk without frothing.
- Last, add a touch of vanilla extract to the tea, then pour in the milk and foam from the frothed milk if using.
This Earl Grey tea recipe is best enjoyed warm.
London Fog Tea (Earl Grey Tea Latte) FAQs
Does Earl Grey Tea Taste Good With Milk?
This is a matter of opinion. However, it is by far my favorite way to enjoy Earl Grey tea when it’s cold out. It tastes delicious with plant milk.
Does Earl Grey Tea Need Milk?
This depends on preference. Earl Grey tea doesn’t need milk to be enjoyed. Sipping Earl Grey tea straight offers a stronger more assertive black tea experience. Adding a bit of milk creates a creamy, more mellow tea.
What Does London Fog Tea Taste Like?
London Fog Tea tastes of rich black tea with notes of vanilla and citrus (that’s the bergamot). Depending on sweetener used, it also offers hints of floral notes. Earl Grey’s assertive flavor is mellowed by the addition of milk for a creamy, rich comforting finish.
How Long Should Earl Grey Steep?
Steep Earl Grey tea in 208 Fahrenheit (98 Celsius), almost boiling water for 4-5 minutes, until it’s dark and fragrant.
When is the Best Time to Enjoy Earl Grey?
Because Earl Grey tea is high in caffeine, it’s best enjoyed before early afternoon as this offers a bit of reassurance that going to sleep won’t be a problem later.
What is the Earl Grey With Milk Name?
You’ll see this popular drink as an Earl Grey Latte, London Fog, London Fog Latte, Earl Grey Tea Latte, London Fog Drink or London Fog Tea.
Variations on Earl Grey Tea with Milk
- Simply: After steeping the tea (strain if needed), add your sweetener of choice, then pour in warmed milk.
- Earl Grey Tea with Honey or Maple Syrup: The honey or maple should either be added to the hot tea or to the warmed or frothed milk so that it dissolves.
- Frothed Milk for an Earl Grey Latte or London Fog Latte: There are several ways to approach frothing. You can use a frothing wand on the steamer valve of an espresso machine (this is what I use), blender, jar shaker method or whisk, to name a few. For a tutorial on the many ways to froth milk, check out this video from Buttered Side Up.
- DIY Vanilla Syrup: So simple to make and convenient to have on hand. You can make this with honey, maple or sugar. In a small sauce pot combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water. Stir on low heat until the honey/maple/sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in two teaspoons of vanilla extract or scrape the beans from 1/2 a pod of vanilla bean. Cool in the fridge, then enjoy in the tea.
A Few Recipe Notes
- Regarding Tea: Look for high quality tea in the bulk bins for best value and to reduce waste. Or, look for high quality tea bags or loose leaf tea in packets. I recommend Numi Tea Aged Earl Grey.
- Milk: This recipe calls for half a cup of milk. Reduce to taste if a stronger tea is desired. Plant or dairy milk works well in this recipe. My favorite is homemade unsweetened cashew milk.
- Milk Frothing: There are many ways to accomplish homemade frothy milk. Buttered Side Up has a helpful DIY video to show us all the ways.
- Vanilla Extract: Look for high quality vanilla extract, not imitation. I like Frontier Co-op brand.
Did you make this recipe? If so, please leave a comment and rating below as it helps others considering making this recipe. If you’re on Instagram, be sure to take a picture and tag me @VanillaAndBean so I can see and share in my stories!
Vanilla Earl Grey Tea with Milk Recipe (London Fog Tea) Recipe
- Bring the water to just under boiling: 208 Fahrenheit (98 Celsius). Steep the tea in a 12 ounce (340 grams) tea cup or coffee mug until it's dark and fragrant, four to five minutes. Strain the tea or remove the tea bags.
- Meanwhile, prepare the milk: a. For a vanilla Earl Grey with milk, simply warm the milk just until steaming. b. For an Earl Grey Latte / London Fog Tea, add sweetener of choice to the milk, then use a milk steam wand on an espresso machine to froth the milk. Or, warm the milk in a small pan just until steaming. Froth the milk using a preferred method (electric milk frother, blender, whisk or other method). Buttered Side Up has a DIY video to show us all the ways.
- Pour the vanilla extract into the tea, then pour in the warmed/frothed/steamed milk into the mug. Top with frothed milk and foam.
- Enjoy right away, warm.