Miss Cole's Tea Time: THE GREAT MILK DEBATE


Making tea is pretty easy. There's no need to get super technical about it when you're first starting out. But there's this one thing that will keep coming up over and over again. Especially if your British, because we like to argue about these things. A lot. In fact almost every time someone pops the kettle on, this will be a source of debate.

Do you put the milk in before or after you pour the tea in?

Science will tell you to put the milk in first. Why? Because then the tea warms up the milk rather than putting it in second where the milk chills the tea. At least that's my interpretation of it. And when you're sat at your desk writing and don't want to have to get up anytime soon, tea that stays warmer for longer is a good thing.

Problem is, if you're making tea out of a bag, and you dump in into milk while the kettle's boiling, you're going to lose some of the taste to milk and the leaves won't flow so freely. And there's a risk of adding too much milk if you put it in first. Enjoy that mug milky hot water with a hint of black tea! You have to learn to judge these things, and I'd be lying if I said I got it right every time.

If I'm making tea with bags, the milk goes in after the water. If I'm making it with leaves, the milk goes in... yep, still second. I only put the milk in first when I'm taking a teapot to my desk and it hasn't finished brewing.

Science, I respectfully choose to ignore your findings.

How about you? When do you put the milk in your tea?

Comments

  1. That bit about the order in which you add the liquids affecting the final temperature sounds like utter tosh - citation please!

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    1. ;) http://www.theguardian.com/science/brain-flapping/2014/oct/03/how-to-make-tea-science-milk-first

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  2. I always put milk in after. My reasoning is that the tea won't steep as well if the water has been cooled down by the milk. The hotter the liquid, the better the tea will diffuse. Then I add the milk so it cools down enough that I don't scald my poor tongue. Another reason I add milk after is because I tend to reuse my tea leaves/bags, but if I steep them in milky water, they'll go bad if they sit out on the counter. I had no idea this was such a debate! Maybe I've been doing it wrong all these years lol. Interesting discussion!

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    1. People get quite heated about this topic over here.

      I do feel quite bad about not reusing tea leaves but I take them to work with me so I'm not sure my bosses would appreciate it :P

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    2. I do something similar to Erin. If I am making tea in a teacup, I always brew the teabag or loose tea without the milk so that it brews at the "proper" temperature-just off the boil! Then I add the milk (and frequently misjudge how much water I put in so that I don't end up having enough space for as much milk as I'd like!). If I am making a pot of tea then I put the milk in first because I feel like I am doing the "right" thing (and frequently misjudge how much milk I put in so that I don't end up having enough space for as much water as I'd like!)! Oh the trials of being a tea lover.
      In the recent movie Saving Mr. Banks, the Emma Thompson character made a big deal out of "milk in first"! So, this controversy has even made it onto the silver screen! :-)

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    3. lol, yeah, I "do the right thing" and put milk in first when using the teapot. Getting the tea to milk ratio right is hard!

      It's a SERIOUS issue, this milk business ;)

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  3. I'm always milk-first for black teas, so I can accurately judge whether the shade of brown is right for my cuppa. Theoretically, I would milk in first if I was drinking tea out of fine bone china to stop the cup from cracking, but this is not exactly a thing I spend a lot of time doing. :)

    Milk doesn't always agree with me though, and in the office it's often dubiously is-it-or-isn't-it-off, so I drink a lot more green tea now.

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    1. One *should* drink out of fine china more frequently ;)

      I do use soya at times which can really enhance the flavour of the tea. Depends on the soya brand though. And *definitely* not sweetened soya.

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