A tea latte just seems like a little bit of a contradiction, to me. Is it tea? Is it a latte? Neither? Both? Can you call it a latte when there’s nary a coffee bean in sight? I have no clue. But what I do know, as someone who had to cut off a very toxic relationship with coffee nearly four years ago now, is that I like ’em. And this miserably moody part of the year is the perfect time to cozy up with a cup of something that’s equal parts comforting and creamy.
So apparently out in the big wide world that isn’t rural Arizona, there’s a tea latte type of beverage called a London Fog. Which appears to be a fancy, high falutin’ name for a posh Earl Grey tea latte. Now, I’m not sure if the original recipe always called for adding lavender, but this drink has been around long enough that Starbucks has a version on its menus. Which definitively contains lavender. And a bunch of syrup, which I’m not a fan of because I really don’t care for sweet drinks or garbage sweeteners.
And, since I’m being honest, I don’t really love lavender so much, either. As flavors and scents go, I find it really cloying, no matter how sparingly I’ve tried using it. After I made my candied ginger and rose petal Coconut Butter Bark for Valentine’s day, I still had the best part of a bag of dried rose petals hanging around on my kitchen island. So I figured, why not try infusing them into my tea? Steeping them with some Earl Grey gives a delicately scented tea with a hint of roses that isn’t overly floral or too-fragranced for my lavender-sensitive nose.
Now the rose-spiked Earl Grey is nice enough on its own. The rose is a lovely pairing with the bergamot of Earl Grey and the tea itself has enough depth without overwhelming the subtle rose fragrance. But whipping it up with some just-sweetened coconut milk into a smooth, creamy tea latte with plenty of foam on top makes for a showstopper of a beverage. It’s like a London Fog’s more sophisticated older sister, with a smear of colorful lipstick and a devil may care attitude. “You don’t have to make your tea lattes like everyone else, honey!”.
If you want to be even more of a rose-scented rebel, try adding a light spritz of rose water to your mug to really amp up that aroma. Or, you can try a more mellow approach with a little sprinkle of vanilla powder. Whatever floats your tea latte boat, people. Just make sure to go lightly with those additions. Too much of either and you’ll know, trust me.
(Not sure about vanilla on the AIP? This post from Autoimmune Wellness has you covered.)
The crowning glory of a tea latte is its foam cap, if you ask me. When you’re working without dairy products, it’s not as easy to recreate, since hot coconut milk doesn’t really whisk up too well by hand. At least not by my puny hands. Which is where the wonder of a milk frother comes in. Usually, I am vehemently anti-unitaskers, but this is one of my very few exceptions.
There is just something so decadent about sipping on a foam-finished beverage that it’s oddly one of life’s little extravagances, especially when you follow a healing diet. And the sweet little foam-makers take up almost no space. And they’re cheap. Aaaand I’m totally sold, can’t you tell?
Now, you’ll notice I didn’t just call this a Rose & Earl Grey tea latte — I included the coconut in the recipe title, because this is one of the times when the natural flavor and sweetness of the coconut milk does come through. So this won’t be your favorite thing if coconut isn’t on your “yum” list. But if you’re a-ok with the coco, you’ll love this combination. And if you’re not crazy about coconut, you can try tinkering with this base recipe to make your own version to suit.
Try reducing the amount of coconut milk, increasing the tea, using a stronger flavor or brew of tea and try adding some different finishing touches. Vanilla would cut the coconut a little, you could try adding a little extra honey or — if all else fails! — you could try substituting tigernut milk for the coconut. Let me know how you tweak yours! (Use the hashtag #meatified on social media so I’ll see it).
For a super pretty presentation, I sprinkled my tea lattes with a couple of rose petals and a rose petal powder. To make the powder, I blitzed a little of the dried rose petals in my spice grinder. If you wanted, you could add a little drizzle of honey, too.
- STEEP: Bring the water to a boil either on the stovetop or using an electric kettle. Allow the water to cool just slightly, then pour it into a heat proof jug before adding the tea bags and rose petals. Steep according to the instructions, using more tea bags if you would like a stronger brew. Once the tea has brewed, remove and discard the tea bags.
- WARM: While the tea is steeping, add the coconut milk and honey to a small saucepan on the stovetop. Whisk together and heat until the coconut milk is steaming -- do not boil. Remove the warmed milk from the stovetop.
- FROTH: Pour the brewed tea through a tea strainer to remove the rose petals and discard them. Divide the tea evenly between two cups or glasses. Pour the warmed coconut milk into a 12 oz frothing pitcher. Use a handheld milk frother and froth until the coconut milk has increased in volume and has plenty of bubbles on top. (Alternatively, if your saucepan has a pouring lip, you could froth it in the pan and pour straight from the pan, too.) Add the vanilla powder or rose water, to taste, if using, then divide the frothed coconut milk between the two cups or glasses.
- GARNISH: Sprinkle the foam with additional rose petals or a drizzle of honey if you like. I made a fine rose petal powder using my spice grinder that looks super pretty!
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