A traditional London Fog is made with two thirds brewed Earl Grey tea and one third
steamed milk with a dash of vanilla syrup. Sound easy? You would be surprised how
shortcuts can shortchange this beautiful beverage. The comfort of warm milk and tea is
undeniable. However, it is necessary to pay attention to the details to create a carefully
crafted cup that you will enjoy.
A Good Foundation
The basis of a London Fog is the tea. Tea, like wine has different grades and this is
why you will pay for a three-buck-chuck or a two hundred dollar Stag's Leap Cabernet.
Start with the best Earl Grey tea you can find. Earl Grey tea is a blend of Chinese black
tea and oil of Bergamot. This is an essential oil derived from a type of orange rind that
grows in Southern Italy. The way tea is processed and combined with the oil makes all
the difference. Substandard black tea leaves and low quality oil can yield a brew that is
bitter with a cloying aroma. To compensate people add more vanilla syrup. At this point
the battle for a decent cup is lost.
The 3 T's
Tea: Buy a high quality tea and use the recommend dose. A rule of thumb is 1-
tablespoon of loose-leaf tea per 8 ounces of filtered water.
Time: If you would like a stronger cup of tea, up the dosage not the time. A longer
steep can result in a bitter cup. Use recommended brewing guidelines. In the case of Earl
Grey, about 4 minutes.
Temperature: Black tea is best brewed at 212F (right off the boil) but green teas
prefer a lower temperature. Look for suggested brew temperatures and directions. Water
that is too hot could lead to a bitter brew.
Pulling It All Together
The London Fog (and our local variation the Seattle Fog) is very popular in the
rainy Pacific Northwest. This does not mean all cafes here produce a nice cup. I
ordered a comparable drink called a Beautiful Stephanie from a renowned cafe in
Seattle. It consisted of a sad tea bag floating aimlessly amidst glaciated milk peaks and
tasted faintly of cardboard. With an understanding of tea brewing basics and step-bystep directions you can elevate this common cup to a mood-lifting beverage of epic
London Fog: The Recipe
8oz fresh brewed Earl Grey Tea
4oz steamed milk (for the Seattle Fog substitute a frothed combination of ½ soy milk
and ½ water)
1.5oz Vanilla Syrup (or local honey to taste)
Optional: If it has been a particularly rough day, add 1.5oz Saint Germain
Elderflower Liqueur in place of the vanilla syrup. We won't let on that your drink is
London Fog: The Steps
1. We filled a single serving tea bag with loose-leaf Earl Grey tea. Then we used a
Rocket Giotto Evoluzione espresso machine to provide instant hot water for the tea.
2. To steam milk, start with a cold stainless steel milk frothing pitcher and cold milk.
Do not steam the milk above 160F or the proteins break down and the creaminess will be
diminished. Submerge just the steam tip at first. Once the milk has expanded, bury the
wand to achieve your desired temperature.
3. By the time the Earl Grey tea finished steeping, our milk was steamed. Combine
brewed tea and syrup. Then add the steamed milk slowly. Without the help of an espresso
machine you can boil water and warm milk on the stove but it will take much longer and
not be as creamy.
The London Fog Tea Latte was completed from start to finish in four minutes. The
room smelled faintly of Fruit Loops cereal when we finished and die hard coffee-drinking
co-workers asked to sample it, such was the enticing aroma and flavor! Shown here
served in an insulated double wall glass mug that protects your hand from the heat but
allows you to see the beauty of your drink. Cheers!
+Samantha Joyce is a writer for Seattle Coffee Gear and enjoys sharing her knowledge of all things coffee (and tea!)
I promise not to make this blog all about diabetes, but you have to allow me a few posts to get it out of my system.
As I said before, I never EVER thought I would become diabetic. There is no diabetes in my family. Plenty of weight problems and other assorted issues. And we're all a little bit crazy, but there's not one diabetic in the bunch.
Hence, I barely noticed the research about coffee helping to prevent diabetes. Sadly, all the coffee I drink didn't help me. It's good news - hopefully others who love the java like I do will be heartened by it. But I'm on the other side of the percentages, the side that gets it anyway.
You now how it is when you have something on your mind and suddenly you see similar things everywhere? You're thinking of buying a new Honda and suddenly there are new Hondas all around you. Not really, but perception is funny that way.
Well all of a sudden information on diabetes seems to be everywhere. In my face.
I'll sure keep drinking lots of coffee, in hopes that it might help. But I'm also heartened by the research that shows tea is beneficial for diabetes. Yay! A good reason to keep drinking one of my favorite beverages!
Apparently tea, in addition to helping reduce the risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease and maintaining healthy blood pressure, can improve insulin sensitivity.
"Teas such as black tea, green tea and oolong tea contain polyphenols which researchers believe may increase insulin activity."Tea & Diabetes
It's a well-known fact that blueberry muffins increase your metabolism as well as endorphin levels, thereby counteracting any possible ill effect due to fat or sugar. When eaten with coffee on a pretty plate, the effect is increased by 3. Just so you know. :)
My nod to Chocolate Friday - low-fat sugar-free chocolate milk in my morning cuppa, and chocolate sprinkles on top! I couldn't find the precise sugar content of a chocolate sprinkle, but sugar is the first ingredient on the bottle, so.... Well, says I to myself, go ahead, throw caution to the wind! What harm can a few chocolate sprinkles do, fer cryin' out loud??
the prescribed or established form of a religious or other ceremony
stereotyped activity or behaviour
any formal act, institution, or procedure that is followed consistently: the ritual of the law
I guess my morning ritual can't be precisely defined as a ritual. It's not religious... quite. It's not formal, especially since it's usually done half-asleep. I need a better word. What's the word that means ... something you do every day that gives you a huge amount of comfort.
My morning habit-custom-almost-ritual includes this:
Now, I don't put a LOT of sugar in my morning coffee, but I do enjoy my steamed milk sweetened. Correction -- used to. Never did I think, not in my wildest dreams, that I would be diagnosed with diabetes and have to stop putting sugar in my coffee.
Now that that little bit of sugar has become forbidden fruit, it begins to loom large like an obolisk, the shadow of which falls across my coffee cup darkly.
Typical. You always want most what you can't have. What you're not supposed to have.
I've had to start shopping for all things "sugar free". I guess I'm going to have to learn to cook with splenda and Sweet'nLow. I'm sure there are some good recipes I can try that don't taste like crap. My dentist will be happy, I guess. But man, how that forbidden fruit makes my mouth water now.
Man, I sure wish I had an iPhone, so I could test this cutey little app. It looks nifty.
It's a personalized coffee library, which I guess would be especially useful if you're a gal-about-town and need to remember where you found that really great espresso you had last week. You can add icons and photos, keywords, and it even includes a rating system, which means you can find your favorite coffee spots sooper easy.
If anybody with an IPhone gets this app please come back and add your comments here!
It took me a long while to get these pies made. The recipe came from my good friend Linda, Texas Cooking Queen, but I'm afraid I didn't do her justice. I'm sure her fried pies come out gorgeous and crispy. Mine ... not so much.
But, ugly as they were, they were SOOO tasty.
I'd never heard of fried pies. And I've never made pie crust at all, so I was a little nervous. My grandmother tried to pass on her famous recipe to me. We spent a wonderful afternoon with her making pies and me taking notes. That was our first mistake, I guess. A person needs to DO pie crust dough, you can't just learn the technique from watching or reading. But to be honest, all the destructions my grandmother gave me were so full of cautions and warnings that I was intimidated. Scared, even.
My friend Linda encouraged me to try, and she made it sound a lot easier. The recipe below is her mother's, I think. For a first attempt, I did ok, but the main thing I learned is that good pie crust must be earned over time and repetition and there's no substitute for experience.
I think the next time I make these, I'll try baking them to see if the crust comes out as crispy. Fried was wonderful - I loved the texture - but I'm sensitive to fried foods in general, so there was a bit of a bite-back.
FRIED CHERRY PIE
Pie Crust ingredients 2 cups flour 3/4 cup shortening 1 tsp salt 1/4 cup water
Fruit Filling 2 cups chopped cherries 1/2 cup dried cherry-flavored cranberries 1/2 cup corn starch 1 tsp almond extract 1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup almond paste/pie fillling
You can use any fruit you like for the filling. Linda swears by dried apricots. I included both dried and fresh fruit.
Put the fruit, corn starch, almond extract and sugar into a pan with 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and allow to simmer until the dried fruits become fat, and the juice becomes thicker.
Prepare pie crust dough. Mix together flour and salt in a bowl. Mash the shortening ino the flour - use a fork or a pastry cutter - until it looks like peas. Add water to moisten until it can be formed into a ball.
Break off half the mixture and roll out on a flat surface to about 1/8 " thickness. Use a bowl or any shape you like to cut out pie crust pieces. Depending on the size of your cutter, you should get between 5-10 pies.
Onto each pie, spread about a teaspoon of the almond paste and a couple of spoonfuls of the fruit mixture. Fold the dough over and press the edges together with a fork. If you used a bowl, your pies will now be half circles. I used a square tupperware so my pies were triangles.
Place the pies into a frying pan with 3-4 tablespoons heated vegetable oil. Fry until golden brown on each side. Place on paper towels and press lightly with another paper towel on the tops to absorb the excess oil.
I sure wish I had some vanilla ice cream to go with these pies. All I had was whipped topping, and it was good, but vanilla ice cream would have been SO much better. Next time. :)