The London Fog Tea Drink Was Created To Cure Morning Sickness

Morning sickness is a common ailment during pregnancy. As all pregnancies are different, each individual body will react in different ways so morning sickness can range from nonexistent, to mild, to utterly unbearable. While there is no cure-all, morning sickness can be treated with supplements like vitamin B-6, prescription antinausea medication, or simpler remedies like ginger-infused water or tea. 

Tea has long been known to soothe upset stomachs. Earl Grey, a black tea developed in the 19th century, is particularly helpful. Infused with a beautiful, citrusy herb called bergamot, which has stomach-soothing properties, Earl Grey is commonly used as a relief for digestive discomfort, but can also be utilized for alleviating pregnancy-related nausea too.

Interestingly, morning sickness is the exact ailment that helped create one of the most popular tea-based lattes, the London Fog. A concoction of Earl Grey, milk, and vanilla syrup, topped with steamed milk, and a sprinkling of lavender — the London Fog is a fixture of almost every specialty coffee/tea house in the country. Starbucks even carries it as a regular part of its menu. And it's all thanks to morning sickness messing up one pregnant Canadian woman's morning routine.

A tummy soothing latte

The story goes that in Vancouver, during the mid-1990s, Mary Loria's morning sickness was making it difficult for her to enjoy the pastries and lattes of her favorite spot, the Buckwheat Café. Her morning routine typically involved walking her dog and then stopping at Buckwheats for coffee and a snack. With this no longer the case, Loria had to come up with an idea for a drink that would ease her nausea while still providing that morning wake-up call.

A tea drinker, Loria asked her barista if she could brew her up some Earl Grey steeped in warmed skim milk.  Earl Grey, thanks to its citrus flavor from the bergamot, traditionally does not usually have milk as an accompaniment — but Loria's barista made the drink anyway. Loria took her newfangled concoction over to the milk station, add a little vanilla sugar, and was on her way. Evidently, the drink did the trick, because Loria returned for more and shared her creation with friends, who, in turn, spread the word.  

Though other cafés have disputed this story, many tea drinkers acknowledge Loria is the creator of the London Fog. After her pregnancy, Loria returned to enjoying coffee. Meanwhile, her creation spread and grew in popularity to become the drink we all cherish today. 

So, the next time you order a London Fog, be sure to give a little toast to Mary and her daughter Molly for gifting the world with this wonderful latte.