How to Make The Perfect Vegan Tea Latte at Home

I make it no secret that I love tea lattes – whether it’s a Chai or London Fog, I’m probably a fan of it! For those who are vegan or vegetarian and abstain from using dairy products, making a tea latte at home can be a difficult process – it’s just so hard to get a good amount of foam. I, for one, think that you deserve to have some thick foamy goodness in your cup!

For my trick on how to make a picture perfect vegan tea latte, I used a little something called aquafaba – a word I first heard from Chelsea of Vegcouver (and when she explained it to me, I thought she was nuts!). For those who aren’t familiar, aquafaba is the ‘water’ that comes in canned beans. Apparently that stuff I’ve been pouring down the drain all of these years is super useful (who knew??).

I use the water that comes from canned chickpeas – it has a light colour and a mild flavour. From a 28fl oz can of chickpeas, I get just under 12oz of aquafaba (almost 350ml or 1½ cups).

But how do I go from bean water to a tea latte? Continue reading, tea friend!

Steep your tea as you would normally for a tea latte and you can choose to add in the dairy-free milk of your choice at this point (or not). I find a lot of dairy-free milk alternative products just do not foam well with my at-home mason jar tea latte method that I’m so fond of. I tried it with almond milk, cashew milk, and soy milk – and they were all pretty terrible at foaming up. I’ve read online that dairy-free milks can sometimes foam up nicely with an electric milk frother, but I’m really trying to cut down on single-use kitchen appliances/gadgets (who has the counter space?!). If you’re in the same boat as me and still want to make gorgeous tea lattes at home with a generous amount of foam, this tutorial is for you.

So after your tea is steeped and you’ve already added in your preferred dairy-free milk, here comes the fun part!

Using a glass jar, pour in 3-4 fl oz of aquafaba (around 100ml). If you didn’t already add your milk to your tea, add equal parts dairy-free milk and aquafaba together in the jar (I tried 50-60ml of each and it worked a treat).

Add sugar to taste (I use 2tsp of white sugar).

Put the lid on, and shake! Shake, shake, shake!

The aquafaba turns from a yellow liquid to a white foam.

Pour foam on top of your tea and you’re ready to go!

I find that aquafaba doesn’t add a bean-y flavour or smell to my tea lattes. It doesn’t make your tea latte taste like chickpeas (thank goodness!) and the foam actually lasts a lot longer than cow’s milk frothed up in the same method. It doesn’t matter if you frothed up aquafaba or aquafaba and milk, it doesn’t smell or taste like chickpeas at all! The sugar helps sweeten the foam and makes it taste quite delicious. If you’re making a London Fog, you can substitute the sugar for Lavender Simple Syrup and then all of the foam has a delicate lavender flavour and aroma – yum!

For the rest of that aquafaba, you could make vegan pavlova or use it as an egg alternative in your favourite baking recipe (3 tablespoons of aquafaba ≅ 1 whole egg and 2 tablespoons ≅ 1 egg white!). Chelsea considers it to be a  vegan pantry essential, and with the uptick of plant eaters out there, it’s nice to have it on hand so your vegan and vegetarian friends can also have a fancy drink!

Recipe: London Fog with Lavender Simple Syrup

One of the most elegant drinks that I’ve ever ordered at a café has been the London Fog, otherwise known as an Earl Grey tea latte. There’s a lot of variations on this popular drink and you get something a little bit different depending on where you go. Allegedly, the drink originates from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada (as per its Wiki page). Today, I’m sharing my recipe for a London Fog which has everything I love in a good tea latte – made with a bit of vanilla extract and a homemade Lavender Simple Syrup.

London Fog Recipe

2 tsp Earl Grey tea or 2 tea bags – I am using DavidsTea’s Organic Earl Grey
450ml water
1 Tbsp Lavender Simple Syrup (see recipe below)
¼ tsp pure vanilla extract
125mL milk (or dairy-free alternative), frothed

Steep the Earl Grey tea to your liking – you want it to be stronger than you’d usually drink Earl Grey straight.
Stir in Lavender Simple Syrup and pure vanilla extract.
Froth milk – either with a dedicated milk frother, frothing wand, or with a mason jar (my personal favourite method).
Pour milk into your cup of tea, spoon foam over top.
And enjoy!

I’m using a 600mL double-walled latte (or soup) mug (pictured above). If you’re using a different size cup than I am, I essentially aim for approximately two-thirds of the cup for the tea and one-third for the frothed milk & foam. I find that ratio works best for my tastes when it comes to tea lattes, but you might find it needs more or less tea – experiment and figure out what works for you!

Lavender Simple Syrup Ingredients

1 cup sugar*
1 cup water*
2 Tbsp dried culinary lavender buds

* You can make more or less simple syrup depending on how often you want to have a London Fog, as long as you use equal parts water and sugar. You will want a clean jar/bottle on hand to store the Lavender Simple Syrup.

Lavender Simple Syrup Directions

Combine sugar, water and lavender buds in a saucepan and place over medium heat.
Stir until the sugar has dissolved.
Allow the syrup to simmer for 1-2 minutes, then remove from heat.
Once cooled, strain/remove lavender buds.
Pour the Lavender Simple Syrup into an jar or bottle and refrigerate.
The Lavender Simple Syrup will keep for at least 2 weeks in the fridge – don’t forget to label it with the date!

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Lattes at Home (Without the Fancy Equipment)

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Whenever I’m feeling particularly fancy, I like to make myself a tea latte at home. There’s all sorts of fancy equipment that you can buy to make this easier, but what I use is a small mason jar with a lid. Seems deceivingly simple? Well, it is! Fancy drink made with not-so-fancy tools? An overall win, I’d say!

I have my tea steeping before I start on the milk. In the photos, this was a latte made with DavidsTea’s Pumpkin Chai. You can use any kind of tea to make your own latte! It works best if you mix in your sweetener prior to the addition of milk.

Pour milk into a microwaveable jar. I filled a 250ml (1 cup) mason jar approximately 1/3 of the way filled, and then screw on a lid.

Shake, shake, shake! As the milk becomes frothy, there will be less sloshing sounds from the jar. You’ll be able to tell when it’s done when the sloshing sound is pretty much gone. When you take off the lid, you’ll find that it’s filled with foam.

With the lid off, microwave the frothy milk for about 30 seconds. The microwave helps to set the foam so it won’t disappear as quickly.

I use a spoon to hold back the foam as I pour the milk into my tea, and then I use the same spoon to push all the foamy goodness onto the top of my tea.

Bonus Tip: Take a photo and share your fancy tea latte with your friends! Homemade lattes always seem to elicit positive feedback, they’ll never have to know you didn’t buy a milk frother!

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