A London fog—"fog" for short—is composed of concentrated earl grey tea, sweetener, and steamed milk. Elegantly simple with distinctive flavors, fogs depend on high-quality ingredients. To that end we use our in-house blended Hugo Grey: bold black breakfast tea from Yunnan, China massaged with oil of bergamot from southern Italy's Reggio Di Calabria.
Here, we've streamlined the London fog's preparation for baristas:
Measure tea concentrate to half the volume of your vessel—or make a quick concentrate with a 1:2 ratio of tea and hot water.
Ideally, your café would batch brew a tea concentrate for fogs, with a recipe of 1:2 (1 gram of tea to 2 ounces of water). For a 32 oz batch, use 16g of tea, and steep for 10 minutes in boiled water before straining and storing in a sealed pitcher under refrigeration. In a pinch, this process can be replicated in smaller volumes—for a 12 oz latte, brew 3g of tea in 6 oz of water (half the volume of the vessel) using the same parameters. Once you have your concentrate, fill the mug you plan to serve the fog in halfway with the tea.
Measure out a half or full ounce of syrup and add it to the concentrate.
While still technically optional, a quality sweetener can really lift a fog. Using a jigger, measure out between a half and full ounce of syrup and add it to the tea concentrate. We prefer house-made simples cooked with orange, lavender, or vanilla bean.
Steam your milk of choice to standard latte consistency.
At this point, fogs should be prepared like traditional lattes. Steam your milk of choice in a pitcher. Once the temp is up and the tear tapers off, be sure to gently tap the bottom of the pitcher on bar just before pouring to prevent air bubbles. Fogs are strong candidates for alt-mylks with less body and more understated flavors, like almond or hemp.
Pour steamed milk into tea concentrate per a traditional latte.
Because you're pouring into tea, which has a thinner consistency than matcha paste or an espresso shot, executing latte art is nearly impossible. This is a boon to the London fog, which looks best poured plainly to the color of light toffee. The final product should fill the volume of your vessel and have medium body.
Fogs should be served neatly on a saucer in the modern English style. This is a tea-focused speciality beverage—and most of our direct importing is with partners in Asia—but the drink has undeniable European roots that should be played upon and elevated in its preparation and presentation. At most, garnish with a fine dusting of pulverized black tea or a thin, curled sliver of grapefruit peel on the rim.