Milk or Tea first into the cup?
More and more tea is being mentioned in the media, and this question always seems to come up: Is it proper to put the milk in first then the tea or the tea first then add the milk? This debate is solved by looking at a few things about the tea drinking process:
1st) moooo is for milk. In the old days people got their milk directly from the cow and when they made tea, if they added the fresh cow’s milk second, it would glom ( is that a word?) and rise to the top and float in the cup. To solve this people put the milk in first then added the hot tea, this caused a chemical reaction and the milk mixed with the tea. In my opinion when ever I add milk first, and I don’t often add milk to tea, but when I do I always seem to add too much and the cup of tea is ruined so I prefer to add it after so I can regulate it, some teas need a lot less milk than others.
2nd) what are you drinking the tea out of? There are different forms of porcelain, stoneware, bone china and ceramics to drink out of. If you don not know exactly what your cup is made from the by all means put the milk in first. This will lessen the chance of the very hot tea cracking and even breaking the cup.
3rd) what kind of tea are you drinking? Tea bag tea is blended specifically to take milk as this is the most popular way in the world to drink tea, so it is personal preference to add the milk or tea first. If a person is drinking a fine, loose leaf tea then please don’t ruin it by adding milk! Fine tea needs no milk or sugar for that matter. There goes all my cream and sugar sets off to the second-hand store!
4th) it’s a class thing. Back in the day when people were able to start buying fine china to serve tea in it was low-class to add the milk first. This showed the china was not of good quality and milk was needed to protect it from breaking. In an upper class household ladies who poured tea then added the milk were greeted with ooo’s and ahhh’s as they demonstrated the superior quality of their china by bolding pouring hot tea into it.
One last thing to note on the whole milk first or second debate is science has proven that china cups that have tea poured into them with no milk or milk added second will over time have a tendency to stain. If you have a particularly special cup then to stop it from staining add a bit of milk first to keep the cup clean and shiny!
Ok this debate will never be solved! Just enjoy your tea and remember…….