Starbucks London Fog is a milk-forward earl grey tea latte with notes of lavender and citrusy hints of bergamot. This black tea latte is sweetened and flavored with vanilla syrup.
While a London Fog is not an original Starbucks creation, this handcrafted tea beverage has been on the Starbucks menu since at least the early 2000’s.
While the origins of the drink’s name are a bit murky, the London Fog drink itself was created by Mary Loria in Vancouver Canada.
Loria was looking for a caffeinated hot drink to replace coffee while she was pregnant and this is what she came up with.
According to my Starbucks barista daughter, the London Fog is one of the least ordered drinks on the menu. In fact, she says in all the years she’s worked at Starbucks, she’s never had a customer order one.
If you’re interested in giving this black tea drink a try, here’s everything you need to know about getting a London Fog at Starbucks.
What’s in a Starbucks London Fog Tea Latte
A London Fog latte at Starbucks combines concentrated earl grey tea with vanilla flavoring and milk. This sweet tea latte is roughly half tea, half milk.
Here are the exact ingredients the barista uses to make this drink.
- Teavana Earl Grey Tea
- Hot Water
- 2 Percent Milk
- Vanilla Syrup
Teavana Earl Grey Tea: The earl grey tea at Starbucks is black tea infused with lavender, bergamot and other citrus notes. All Starbucks brewed tea drinks, including the London Fog, begin with Teavana tea sachets containing loose tea. (If you didn’t know, Starbucks owns Teavana.)
Make note, traditional London Fogs don’t have lavender infused in the earl grey so the Starbucks version may taste a little different than expected.
How to Order a London Fog at Starbucks
Like all tea lattes at Starbucks, there are two ways to order a London Fog: hot and iced.
Starbucks London Fog with Steamed Milk
A hot London Fog Latte is the traditional way to enjoy this beverage. It combines concentrated earl grey tea brewed on the spot, with vanilla syrup and steamed milk.
The steaming process brings out the milk’s natural sweetness and makes the latte silky smooth. It’s even topped with a little milk foam.
Iced Starbucks London Fog Tea Latte
An Iced Starbucks London Fog combines freshly brewed hot earl grey tea with vanilla syrup and cold milk. The beverage is shaken with ice.
For the iced version you might be wondering if the hot tea melts the ice and waters down drink. It really doesn’t and here’s why.
To make an iced London Fog, first the barista brews the tea bags in hot water and lets it steep for a few minutes.
Cold milk and the vanilla are then added in. By the time the milk tea is shaken with ice, it’s already cooled down.
How to Order a London Fog on the Starbucks App
A London Fog tea latte is an official menu drink so it’s a snap to order with the Starbucks app. Here’s how.
- Open the app and tap the order button. Go to “Hot Teas” or “Iced Teas” depending on which type of latte you want.
- Scroll to “Black Teas” and select the Teavana London Fog Tea Latte.
- Choose a size and make any desired customizations, like skinny, non-dairy or dirty.
London Fog Drink Customizations
There are a few common ways to modify a this tea latte to meet your dietary and/or taste preferences.
And all of these customizations are possible to make ordering with the Starbucks app.
Skinny London Fog
A skinny Starbucks London Fog replaces the 2% reduced-fat milk with non-fat milk and the vanilla syrup with sugar-free vanilla syrup.
Non-Dairy London Fog
Swap the London Fog’s 2% milk with a dairy-free alternative. Currently, the list of Starbucks milks includes four plant-based options: oat, almond, coconut and soy.
Personally, I prefer the almond milk at Starbucks since it’s the healthiest choice, boasting the least amount of calories and added sugar per serving.
All that being said, it’s important to be aware that Starbucks does not guarantee that any drink is completely dairy-free due to shared equipment.
Dirty London Fog
A dirty London Fog with a shot of espresso is a good alternative if you like the taste of coffee and are looking to bump up the drink’s caffeine content.
Just like a Starbucks dirty chai tea latte, you can add a single or double shot of espresso. You can also choose the espresso roast: dark, blonde or decaf.
Starbucks London Fog Nutrition
Surprisingly, a London Fog ordered at Starbucks is a very sweet drink.
For example, the total carbohydrates and total sugars in a 16 ounce Starbucks London Fog equals 29 grams each. The vanilla syrup accounts for 19 grams of added sugar, with the remaining 10 grams from the milk.
For comparison, a grande Pink Drink has 140 calories and 25 grams of sugar.
A 16 ounce grande Starbucks London Fog Latte has 180 calories, all of which come from the milk and syrup.
Interestingly, a grande iced London Fog only has 140 calories, 40 calories less than the hot version. This is simply because the drink contains less milk to make room for the ice.
Starbucks London Fog Caffeine
According to Starbucks nutrition facts, the caffeine content for every size London Fog tea latte is 40 milligrams.
As a regular customer of Starbucks black tea drinks, this information most certainly is not correct. (Oops Starbucks!)
Why do I say this?
The Starbucks recipe card for both grande and venti London Fogs calls for two tea bags, whereas short and tall sizes get one.
It would stand to reason that the bigger sizes have nearly double the caffeine content.
The caffeine content in steeped tea also depends on amount of time the tea bag is steeped. This varies widely.
Tips for Ordering a Starbucks London Fog
It takes Starbucks baristas a few minutes to make a London Fog. Expect to wait a few minutes to get your order since the earl grey tea concentrate has to be steeped before the drink can be assembled. This takes 3-5 minutes.
In addition, some baristas are not familiar with how to make this drink and may need to look at the recipe card.
The London Fog comes with the tea bags still in it. My recommendation is to remove them as soon as the barista hands you the drink. To make black tea properly, it’s best to avoid over-steeping.
Too sweet? Get less vanilla syrup. To customize the vanilla syrup portion of the latte, adjust the number of pumps or switch to sugar-free vanilla syrup.
My preference is to order it with half the syrup than what the regular recipe calls for.
Stir the London Fog before drinking. The syrup is usually added to the cup first and settles to the bottom. Give it a stir for vanilla sweetness throughout.
Questions You May Have
A London Fog Tea latte is an earl grey tea latte with vanilla sweetener added to it.
Caffeinated Teavana earl grey black tea is the basis of London Fog drinks at Starbucks. The amount of caffeine depends on the size drink you get.