Tea: With or Without Milk?

Share article

Different cultures all over the world have different rituals and behaviors, especially when it comes to what we eat and drink. It is no surprise then that tea is consumed in a multitude of different ways depending on the traditions and tastes of a given culture. One such custom that is available throughout the tea-drinking world is the addition of milk to one’s tea.

The British are particularly renowned for drinking their tea with milk. Actually, having fresh milk with tea tea was one of the contributing factors to the more general adoption of milk in the British diet. Milk is predominantly used to sooth out the richness of strong black teas, like the tea from the Assam region known to most of us as English Breakfast Tea, while it might subdue some of the flavors of green or red teas. Similarly, colonial areas like India and Hong Kong adopted and integrated this tradition into their own tea drinking habits. In certain regions of India, for instance, tea leaves are brewed in just milk.

Tea with or without milk?

Another notable use is the Tibetan custom of making yak butter by blending yak milk with tea. This butter tea, with more caloric density, is said to be more suited for the chilly conditions in the Tibetan mountain regions. At the same time, a 2007 study argues that the addition of milk might prevent the beneficial effects of drinking tea.

There have even been debates on how to best prepare a cup of tea with milk. Do you pour the milk first or does the tea go in first? From a cultural perspective it has been asserted that the lower social classes tended to pour in the milk first as to not break their modest cups or glasses while the upper classes, who could buy proper porcelain cups, wouldn’t have the same worry so they poured the tea first. Ultimately, while some tea purist might say you should never add milk to tea, it very much comes down to a question of personal taste, and we have a host of customs to keep us inspired.

Also in Tea

The Story Of Gunfire Tea  

Gunfire tea is a British caffeinated and alcoholic cocktail made by mixing black tea and a splash of rum. This unique beverage was a favorite

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top