how to make a london fog

The other day I was waxing on about the awesomeness of lattes from my Breville. I still love them, but I have a new love - the London Fog. Well, truthfully my love of a London Fog is not new. It has been my premium hot drink of choice for a few years now. The new love I have kindled is for my very own homemade version of the London Fog. I feel very proud to have mastered it, so I'm pleased to share the instructions with you. When I started out on this adventure I knew the basic ingredients - Earl Grey tea, simple syrup, warm milk, vanilla - but I had no idea the proportion of these or how to put them together for the desired result. Here's my recipe:

1. vanilla simple syrup

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup water

1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract

In a small saucepan, heat sugar and water over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves. Do not boil. Stir in vanilla. Remove from heat, pour into creamer and store in refrigerator for up to a week.

2. Make Earl Grey tea according to your favourite method. How to make tea could be a blog post all on its own. I wouldn't dream of dictating one way. Tea drinkers have their ways. My Dad, for instance, insists on a precise 5 minute steeping time and pouring from at least 8 inches above the cup. He is militaristic in his execution of this method. I am more of a put-the-bag-in-the-cup-and-pour-boiling-water-over-it method (don't tell Dad).

3. Steam the milk. While my Breville does have a steaming arm that provides it's own satisfying results, I actually prefer my Krups Milk Frother for the gentler task of making steamed milk for my London Fog. The Breville let's off a high-pitched screech, which is satisfying when making a coffee drink - like revving a car before pulling onto the highway. The Krups machine is a dedicated milk foamer, frother and steamer. It's low purr and simple, push-button operation are more suited to making a London Fog. Slow, steady and quiet. Of course, you don't need the Krups machine to steam milk. But if you are doing so without a dedicated machine, I implore you to do so over low heat on the stove rather than nuking the milk. Microwaved milk never retains the heat long enough.

4. Compose your London Fog by filling a tall heat-proof glass 2/3 full with tea, add 1/3 steamed milk and vanilla simple syrup to taste -- 2 teaspoons per glass is perfection to my palate.

Full disclosure: the Krups Milk Frother was a press gift given to me when I was in my previous job. It languished under my desk for weeks. Funny how a gem like that can get lost in the shuffle of overflowing days and an inbox to match. This is what PR companies are up against. I rediscovered my little Krups friend just recently while unpacking my office belongings. I knew it would be just perfect for making a London Fog, and I was right. I'm using it so much lately that I don't even bother removing it from the counter in between uses. 

Enjoy your weekend. Stay warm. Have a nap.