In a medium-sized, heavy saucepan, combine the Redpath Simply Raw™, water, and salt. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce heat to low.
With a sharp paring knife, slit the vanilla bean lengthwise in half. Holding one end of the vanilla bean, and with the back of the tip of the knife, scrape out the seeds from both sides of the pod. Place the seeds and the pod into the simple syrup. Stir, cover, and simmer gently for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
If using, stir in the vanilla extract and cover to allow flavours to infuse.
Store cooled vanilla syrup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a month (see Chef’s Tips).
Warm up two 16-ounce mugs or heatproof glasses by filling them with hot water. Set aside until needed.
In an electric kettle, heat at least 2 cups (500 ml) of water set at either 200°F (90°C) or 212°F (100°C), or boil water in a kettle or small, heavy-bottomed pot on the stove.
Discard water from the mugs. Drizzle about a tablespoon (15 ml) of the vanilla syrup into the bottom of each mug. Place 2 teabags into each mug and pour ¾ cup (188 ml) of the just boiled water over the tea bags in each mug. Set a timer for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan, gently heat milk until steaming or just until small bubbles begin to appear around the edge; do not boil (see Chef’s Tips).
After 5 minutes of steeping, gently press and remove the tea bags.
Place half of the hot milk into a large French press. Froth the milk by pumping the plunger until it doubles in size.
Evenly divide the remaining hot milk from the saucepan into each mug.
Holding back the milk foam with a large spoon, pour the liquid milk from the French press into each mug in equal amounts. Spoon the foam into each mug to finish. Serve immediately.
*Vanilla beans can be found in bulk food stores or in specialty grocery stores. If unavailable, substitute 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of pure vanilla extract for the vanilla bean.
*The vanilla syrup can be made several days in advance. Use any leftover vanilla syrup to make more London Fog Lattes, sweeten regular teas and coffees or other lattes, add flavour to steamed milk, or moisten cake layers.
*The vanilla pod can remain in the simple syrup if desired. Once the syrup is finished, gently rinse and pat dry and place the spent pod into a container of Redpath® Granulated Sugar or Redpath Simply Raw™. Shake the container occasionally, and the vanilla pod will gently scent the sugar. For a more intense vanilla flavour, once the vanilla pod is brittle, place the sugar and vanilla pod into a food processor fitted with the metal blade and process until the vanilla bean is finely crushed.
*Other methods of heating and/or frothing milk: if you have an electric milk frother that heats and foams the milk, use that instead. If you have an espresso machine with a steam wand, use it to heat the milk and create foam. A mini handheld frother can be used to make foam with hot milk heated on the stove. For a simpler experience, heat the milk and divide between the two mugs without additional foam.
*Redpath® Golden Yellow Sugar can be used instead of the Redpath Simply Raw™. The resulting syrup will be more complex in flavour with a stronger caramel undertone and darker colour.