With or without milk?
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Hey! I'm new so sorry if there is already a topic about this!
For traditional English tea or similar, do you like it with milk or without milk?
I was brought up to have milk in my tea but since moving to continental europe I drink an ever increasing amount of tea without milk. I prefer with milk but I'm not too fussy!
Also, have any of you guys seen this?
I always felt a bit guilty for not drinking enough water so I was very happy to find out its actually good to drink tea!!
Yea gods, no milk! But I drink mostly green and cardamom teas, so it isn't quite the same. I would worry about that study being funded by the Tea Council, but getting water in any form is fine.
I drink far more black teas than herbal teas (if any) and I usually include milk. Though if I'm somewhere where milk isn't provided I'm not too fussed about it.
I have always found black Indian-type teas like Assam to be better with milk. But I wouldn't put milk in jasmine tea, and I'll take Earl Grey either way.
I find that if the tea is too strong then drinking it without millk causes serious problems inside my tummy. Two to 5 drops of full cream milk does the trick, or maybe its just my brain that thinks if the color turns creamy instead of dark black then it will be alright.
black teas...with milk...not cream! always seems to make the tea oily in my mind.
...but if no milk is available I will drink it without. but then I would prefer it weaker.
Ah so you call that black tea! I didn't really know what it was called. Do you think putting milk into tea is a British thing? I was on a course with people from 30 different countries and when I put milk in my tea I was asked if I was British, because only the British and Americans on the course put milk in their tea.
I rarelly put milk in my tea. I was never raised around those who did it, and it just seems really weird to me.
I've tried it a few times, but I prefer it without.
Plus my family gives me weird looks when I do... >_>
When you put milk in your tea here (Central Texas) they call it Tea Latte, and it is served either hot or iced. When I have it iced I put sugar in it. When I drink it hot I usually don't.
I grew up putting milk in my black tea, but rarely do now. It is really nice in the strong English and Irish blend teas, though, very comforting. Since I've recently gone off dairy, I guess it's not really an option. I'm not crazy about soy/rice/almond milk in tea unless it's a Chai.
I too grew up drinking black tea with milk and in fact still do. This seems to be the way most people drink tea in places that have some connection with Britain! But the real question is: do you put the milk in first or last? And is the milk cold or hot?
No milk in my tea. Growing up the only time anyone out milk in their tea was if they were in a hurry and the tea was to hot.
They then used milk to cool it down. This was often done at harvest time when tea was served at the noon meal.
Having heard somewhere that it was considered declassé to put the milk in before the tea, I googled the phrase "milk in first" just to see what I got. Boy, was I surprised - some of the webpages (on both sides of the issue) were amazingly vituperative. I had no idea it was such a controversy!
A while later, I talked to Michele Rivers, author of Time for tea : tea and conversation with thirteen English women, who was doing a reading at my local Borders. I asked her about this, and she, though British, had never heard of it.
So I'm puzzled. I'll be very interested to see what input we get here, though I hope without vituperation!
I always put cold milk in my tea, if I include milk (which I would usually if it's on offer). My mother would always put the milk in first and then pour the tea and when I was young this is how I was taught to make tea. But now when I make tea I always put the milk in last. I think I find it easier to judge how much milk my tea needs after its in the cup, I can add milk slowly until there is the right amount, whereas if I add the milk first I might have added too much.
Staffordcastle: I have heard that too. My sister told my mother that she made her tea in the declasse way! She joked that maybe she should put her milk in last! My mother had never heard this before and I expect most Brits haven't either (my mother is British also). Most British people I know put their milk in first, it's just normal in Britain I think!
who knew there was such a controversy! you are right staffordcastle...I googled it and there is a lot of discussion about it out there.
For me, milk first or last depends on if I brewed the tea in a pot...or made a cup with a tea bag in my cup. If made in the cup..then milk last so as to not lower the brewing temp. If in a pot, then milk first. But I have never noticed an issue with adding the milk last.
Now my father was Irish...and so of course I learned from him about the proper ways of tea...and off hand I can't remember EVER seeing anyone in Ireland drink tea without milk.
Never anything other than milk, never cream.
I found this interesting article that discusses the whole milk issue from a scientific point of view.... http://www.stashtea.com/tt111298.htm ...and find I agree. I think the tannins in black tea, which is what I usually drink, are enhanced by milk, but it must be milk with the right amount of fat. too much is 'oily', too little is gray and nasty looking.
And to think I figured that out by just drinking a lot of tea..lol
on the milk first or last: I was also told that this was a "class" thing - working class = milk first, upper class = milk last.
For me, (black) Tea is always without milk. But it's a matter of taste...
I always drink my black tea with milk (not cream- that makes the tea too thick.) Whether I put milk in first or last depends on how I'm making the tea. I do the same as #17 above- milk first if I'm making a pot, milk last if I'm making a cup.
I never put milk in white or green tea, though I do put it in Rooibos, on the rare occasion I drink it.
And that reminds me, I'm desperately in need of a cup of tea...
Perhaps this seems a class thing because those who put milk in last are working class and don't have time to brew tea in a pot...they've got to keep getting things done. And the upper class put milk in first because they have the leisure time to brew in a pot. Just something I was thinking about.
Actually, the slur works the other way. "Milk in first" is the declassé way (allegedly) - the original story I was told was that on being told that so-and-so was getting engaged to someone, the hearer replied something on the order of "Oh, well, she's rather milk-in-first, isn't she?"
And remember that up until the relatively recent invention of the tea-bag, everyone brewed tea in a teapot. Tea-bags are an American invention, and took a while to catch on in England.
When I was in London some years ago, I asked the staff at the Bramah Tea Museum about this question, and they said that originally, when tea and porcelain were new things in England, there was a good reason to put the milk in first; the valuable porcelain was likely to shatter on exposure to boiling hot tea. Having the milk in the cup first cushioned the porcelain from the shock. However, it was at that time only the upper classes who had either tea or porcelain, so it is not clear how it came to reverse itself. And it has been a very long time since porcelain was that tender; I don't think this was a problem at all during the 19th or 20th centuries.
I stand corrected...sometimes I don't entirely think through all the technicalities of what I say. (I even knew about the porcelain thing, but I forgot.) Here we are ranting about really bizarre issues. It cracks me up...but it gives me something to think about all day.
I'm not ranting - really it's just "inquiring minds want to know." I don't put milk in my tea at all, so it's all academic; I'm just curious about this social custom!
I prefer after trying both ways to put the milk in last, because I like the way the milk swirls in the tea. I don't consider myself upper class, though, it's really the way my mother taught me.
I occasionally put milk in tea, either a nice rich black tea or CS Nutcracker Sweet. I always put it in last, since my mom did it that way and it seems a better way to judge how much milk to use.
Mom never had a teapot at all until she inherited one a few years ago, we were strictly Lipton tea bags in a cup so milk last was the only option. (Sacrilege, I know, but Lipton was the only option available.)
> Do you think putting milk into tea is a British thing?
Not exclusively. In the northernmost parts of Germany tea (usually strong black tea) is consumed with milk and sugar, unstirred. Indian Chai is also consumed with milk.
Depends on the tea. For Assam, kenya and blends of those or teabags I would normally add milk, and if not available brew it much much weaker.
For more delicate teas and infusions I'll drink it black - even for green and white teas.
I'd also heard the shattered china theory, I don't know if it has any basis in fact - there's nothing in snopes on it either way. Note that the tea flavours are extracted from the leaves at best efficancy with fully boiling water - so if you are brewing in the vessel you are drinking out of you should add the milk last.
I drink mine black, unless I'm drinking it after dinner and trying to pretend it's dessert, in which case I'll add a little milk to make it richer.
I'm having English Breakfast tea right now without milk. Often (mostly in the mornings), I'll have milk and sugar in my Breakfast Tea (Either English or Irish). I always add the milk last...more of a "adding the right amount" thing than a "working/upper class" thing :)
However, I can't really say that I'm a milk and/or sugar type of guy by routine. It all depends on the tea (type and strength), the time of day, and perhaps even my general mood at the time! I like my tea just about any way :)
I saw in post 5 that MyopicBookworm mentioned Earl Grey with milk? Is this common? I had always heard that this is considered taboo to most tea drinkers. Of course anyone's personal taste is fine by me. I won't knock it until I try it and I'm not knocking it now. I'm just wondering how common this is.
I drink it both ways. I pretty much only drink black tea though so it all just depends on my mood and what I'm having with the tea.
I usually put milk in my English Breakfast or in some strong ones (like the Twinings Irish Breakfast). Earl Grey I usually have alone but occassionaly will put some in. Twining's Lady Grey I always drink alone - but that is because I love the flavor of the tea all on it's lonesome. :)
If I'm having buttery cookies I like the tea plain, no milk or sugar. but if I'm having ginger cookies or other spicy cookies I like a little milk (or half and half) and sugar. :)
DanoStone, I have never heard of a taboo on putting milk in Earl Grey; I know lots of people who do drink it with milk. Can you tell us more about this?
I really would object to putting milk in a green tea, but I believe some people do it. On the whole, the only tea which really won't take milk is one that has something in it which will cause the milk to curdle, like citrus. (Earl Grey is flavored with bergamot, not citrus.) Republic of Tea's Ginger Peach is one of the ones that does it, though otherwise a very nice tea.
>33 staffordcastle: staffordcastle,
I'll try to find the sites where I saw the Earl Grey thing mentioned. It has been some time ago...while I was making a switch from being a strict coffee drinker to a coffee/tea drinker, and researching the best teas to start with. The sites were some tea etiquette site (possibly just an opinionated tea-snob) and a tea-seller that claimed bergamot was too closely related to citrus and therefore shouldn't be used with milk.
When (if) I find the sites, I'll post the info.
However, it's good to know that many folks do use milk in Earl Grey. I plan to try it out today. I trust you folks over some impersonal website any day :)
Bergamot is part of the citrus family however many people have a splash of milk in Earl Grey tea. Personally I can't stand bergamot so don't drink Earl Grey.
I drink mine with teaspoon of sugar and a dollop of milk. So far it hasn't mattered what kind of tea it is, it gets the same formula added to it and I drink it. Haven't experienced curdling as yet.
I drink all of my black teas with milk, and that definitely includes Earl Grey!
I used to take milk in tea (and I'd feel cross if the maker stirred it and ruined the pretty patterns, esp when they stirred with a sugary spoon!) but just in the last couple of months I've stopped.
I've always used low fat milk, but I kept putting in less and less because it tasted too creamy. Suddenly black tea tasted really nice on its own!
I take mine with milk unless I have fresh lemon :) I'll drink Earl Grey either way.
>38 kaffles: Kaffles...a kindred spirit! I thought that I was alone in my annoyance at milk stirrers!
No milk, no sugar, and if it needs any sweetening, I just add a little honey.
I thought it worth pointing out that "black tea", at least in the UK, means two quite different things:
(1) tea of the kind which comes as fully dried tea leaves (as distinct from "green tea" or herbal tea);
(2) tea without milk.
Most ordinary British tea-drinkers have little experience of green tea, and wouldn't touch "herbal muck", so for them, "black tea" means black tea with no milk (like "black coffee"), and "white tea" means black tea with milk.
As for the prelactarian/postlactarian dispute: the apocryphal explanation that I have heard is that the middle class put the milk in first, to prevent the tea from staining the china. The upper class don't bother, since they can always buy new china, and the working class don't bother, since their china is too cheap to worry about staining.
Woo-hoo, another myth to add to the collection! Thanks, 'Bookworm!
Well I have to agree with some that it depends on my mood as to whether or not I add milk. Only to black tea though, never in green or fruit teas. It is my understanding that proper etiquette for tea would be milk afterward. Makes sense I suppose if you think of being served the tea, or when you order a cup of tea at a rest. they ask you cream or lemon, which to me I put it in order; pour, then add whichever you would like. As for me, sometimes I get lazy and add it first, but only in private (wink)!
My favourite trick used to be to pour cold milk very carefully into my tea, so that it sank to the bottom, and then add a saccharine tablet which would explode like depth charge at the bottom, pushing up a mushroom cloud of milk which billowed into the transparent tea. But I stopped taking the tablets.
Ah, the saccharine...I remember that stuff and stopped using that as well. What do you think about Splenda? I typically like regular sugar these days but do enjoy the splenda in green or flavored teas.
I gave up saccharine when I left home to go to college. I no longer had access to my mother's supply of saccharine, and she was too far away to make dark comments about rotting teeth if I reached for the sugar. Then I gave up sugar in my tea for Lent one year, and never took it up again. Nowadays, I only put sugar in tea if I feel in serious need of a sugar hit and don't have any chocolate to hand. I'd only use sweetener of any kind in coffee, and then only if I couldn't get sugar.
probably just as well, the artificial stuff is supposed to be terrible for you. I should probably give up the sugar myself but it just tastes soooo good some strong tea and milk!
Anybody ever use milk with China Keemun? (I'm too stingy to experiment for fear of ruining a cup!)
For strong, hot, morning tea, Irish Breakfast (Assam, black),must have non-dairy creamer and a touch of sugar (Splenda). Unfortunately, I can not use milk. If I run out of creamer, I drink it "black" with a tad of sugar. For green tea or herb teas, later in the day, no creamer, just a drop of honey. Lemon? Never ever!
I like soymilk in strong black tea (flavors are good) only, with plenty of sugar.
Very, very strong tea with loads of cream, and 7 packets of artificial sweetener (equivalent of 14 teaspoons sugar). Or if that's not on offer, creme caramel will do instead.
#42 ") tea of the kind which comes as fully dried tea leaves (as distinct from "green tea" or herbal tea);"
Just to clarify, black tea is not just fully dried (which is what green tea is) but it is additionally fermented technically oxidised according to wiki before the drying process.
Green and white teas, no milk. Black teas, occasionally, but not with any degree of regularity.
I have been drinking blueberry tea lately without milk.
When I drink black tea, I need milk and honey in it. :)
gmathis: I've had it, with great enjoyment, in strong Keemun-Assam or Yunnan-Assam breakfast blends, as well as breakfast blends specifically made of lower-grade Keemun. But I wouldn't waste a really nice Keemun, unless you want to add a pinch to some other base.
I usually leave light-bodied black, green, white, or scented teas as they are (Chai excepted), and add milk to strong, unflavored black teas. (Which are my standbys, anyway!) Sometimes, in need of comfort, I now add it to Earl Grey - privately. ;)
I've also come to enjoy the taste of plain soymilk in very strong cheap tea. No sugar, except in the case of chai, or coddling when I'm ill. Adding milk after making or pouring tea has always seemed reasonable to me.
Comments above on clearer, lighter teas - and their cleanly taste or astringeny - being better with buttery cookies, and milky teas with spicy ones, find me in total sympathy. In fact, I'm looking forward to green, sans milk, with a bit of shortbread, later this evening.
Black teas with milk and honey! Can be helpful for sore throats and nagging coughs.
I put milk in most of my tea, unless it's citrus, or has a fresh sprig of spearmint in it (which is very common). Also in fruity infusions - milk goes just fine with them, after all, we have cheesecake with all kinds of fruit, no? Milk in last if it's a tea bag in a cup, milk in first if it's from a pot - does that make me lower or upper class??? lol
When I'm out at a cafe or restaurant, I order tea with hot milk on the side. At home or work, though, I usually just splash the milk in right from the fridge and don't bother to heat it.
Can't wait for morning to try the soymilk in strong black tea rather than the non-dairy creamer that I have been using due to lactose intolerance. I have great hopes for this new combination. Thank you to those who wrote about it above.
Some non-dairy milks work in tea and some don't (to put it lightly); you must simply try different types to find one you like.
I find that one with a high fat content and very little flavor of its own works best.
To me, milk makes the tea taste faintly "dirty" and coffee-like. So, sugar only, in my tea.
I stopped adding milk some years ago after a lifetime of doing so (the usual thing - lost the ability to digest dairy products comfortably).
I've had it on odd occasions since then, and I've been quite surprised at how it alters the flavour of tea. In my opinion it spoils it. I've recently started exploring good quality loose teas bought online and now I shudder to think of adding milk to them! Just a personal thing, of course.
On the milk first or last thing: I read somewhere online that it stems from a time when the cheaper cups on the market were liable to crack if you poured hot stuff into them while the more expensive, better quality cups wouldn't. So you put the milk in first as a 'cushion', as it were. So the 'posh' thing was to pour in the tea first because it showed you could afford the expensive crockery.
Incidentally, I imagine it's probably wrong to speak of it as an upper class/working class thing. It was more likely a lower middle class/working class thing. The lower middle classes would have been the ones who were that insecure about their status in society and, thus, obsessed with doing the 'correct' things to emphasise that they were distinct from the working classes. Imagine, in, say, Edwardian times, a whole class of Hyacinth Buckets.
I love to put milk in English Breakfast tea sometimes, but mostly without to save on sugar and calories.
I think the idea of milk to 'cushion' against breaking cups is one of those urban myths. It's actually all in the chemistry. The lactic acid in milk prevents the tannic acid in the tea from getting bitter. The same effect as the citric acid has when adding a lemon slice.
It's easier to appreciate in the case of lemon than with milk. If you dunk the slice in carefully, watching all the while, you'll see the colour change, becoming much lighter as the citric acid gets to work. If you take out the lemon at that stage, quickly, you'll find you can hardly taste it, but the tea taste is very different. You really do need very little lemon. It amazes me to watch people squeezing every last drop of juice into the cup, as though they were trying to make lemonade! I suspect the same probably holds for adding milk, but the cloudiness of the dispersed fat in milk makes it impossible to gauge the change using colour.
I went off adding milk to anything as soon as I realise even this little fragment of the chemistry of what I was doing.
I once attended a weding in east cost Canada (near Sydney NS actually).
At the reception after dinner was what I though was the coffee service.
Ahhh good I thought, coffee would go just great now.
What I got was a premix of something and milk.
Ok I though, a little like Tim Hortons but I can cope.
But it wan't coffee, it was TEA with CONDENSED MILK.
Can you imagine the shock when you are expecting coffee and tea with condensed milk.
It was horrible. I still have nightmares
I've never put milk or sugar in my tea. It just does not appeal to me.
it depends - you're not supposed to have milk with Earl Grey or green/white tea. If the tea is black, then some milk should be used.
I sometimes put some soymilk (I'm vegan) in chai, but never in anything else, especially black.
I love to add milk and I drink Earl Grey 90% of the time. I enjoy my tea strong so I keep the tea bag in or let it brew for a long time and always add milk after, before would make it weak.
I'm from a British colony and don't think it is about being 'British', I think it is about taste.
>73 marcejewels: marcejewels
I agree I think it's about taste. Many people taste their tea and/or coffee first then add milk and/or sugar according to the strength of the brew. But there are those who take milk and/or sugar regardless of the strength of the brew and add it before the coffee or tea is poured. Those who add it first usually stir from the bottom up making little noise. Those who add it later mostly stir it from the top down making a clattering noise.
Any herbal/fruity teas I drink without cream. (I never use milk in coffee or tea.)
Earl Grey and Green are my favorite morning teas, so I usually use a teeny bit of cream then, but not too much. I'm picky.
I like black teas - Earl Grey tea, I take mine with milk, usually milk in first.
I usually drink herbal teas so I don't put milk in that. But if I'm having a black tea that's strong I sometimes will. That's if I have milk in the house, which I often don't...
I like milk in black tea, but not in green or herbal tea. Mind you, I'm not a big fan of green or herbal tea anyway, so hardly ever drink them. When I was a teenager I put both milk and sugar in, but in university I gave up the sugar. Not sure why - I couldn't store milk in my residence room (no refrigeration) but sugar never goes off, and yet I gave up the one that was easy.
Milk, no sugar and i drink Yorkshire tea by Taylor's of Harrogate and i also like Earl Grey tea. Been trying Rwandan tea and it's rather good.
I grew up on tea with milk. My grandma made us tea every morning despite my mother's objection. Gramma said the milk made the tea healthy and having something warm in the tummy started the day right. Since I've grown I found I do not like milk in my tea so I drink it without. Its much more refreshing
I tend to add milk and sugar to my tea more often when I'm visiting my parents, and the rest of the time I usually take it black (except for Earl Grey and variants thereof). Having a nice cup of black tea right now actually :)
Many black teas just need milk to make them palatable. Not all, but many. And, of course, that's just my opinion. <3
I grew up surrounded by adults who added milk to their tea, and as I did not like the taste of tea with milk, I foolishly thought I didn't like tea. It was when I discovered the tastes and aromas to be enjoyed from tea served with neither milk nor sugar, that I became hooked. Admittedly, I do now drink a lot of green tea, but also enjoy a variety of black teas, from gloriously aged pu'er, through to deliciously scented Earl Grey. As well as the taste difference between tea with milk or without, there is a vaste difference in appearance. Gazing into the depths and hues of a cup of black tea can give the tea break an almost zen quality ...
Unless it's herbal, I use milk and usually honey. I even use honey in coffee now.
My first post anywhere. I heat milk (about 1/4 of mug) in microwave with honey. Heat water separately. Usually black tea though sometimes I add a second bag for flavor, e.g., Rooibos, jasmine green. Also put honey in coffee. Can't stand Earl Grey.
No milk or sugar with my Earl Gray, but will add a few sprigs of mint.
Milk does not go with tea but sugar or honey is necessary, in my opinion.
I find honey gives a rather odd taste, though I do sometimes put it in rooibos tea, especially if I have a cold.
It's always something!
*I like it black and scalding...I guess I should let it sit for a bit.
I take mine straight up, neither milk nor sweetener, unless I have a cold, when honey and lemon are helpful. I very occasionally will accept milk and sugar (usually when it's a terrible brand of black tea and there's no other choice), but putting either in green tea is an abomination.
#89: Blimey: maybe I should keep a thermometer in the kitchen.
(I mean, another thermometer: I've already got one for making jam.)
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