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Tuesday 17 February 2015

Tea - Should the milk go in first, or last when making a cup of tea?

Do you prefer loose tea to tea bags?
Should the milk go in first, or last when making a cup of tea?

Questions .....Questions and if you prefer coffee these questions may not matter to you. However, to tea lovers they are very important.

The words below are taken from an article in 'The Huffington Post' and may just answer some of your tea related questions.

Why not put the kettle on and have a refreshing cuppa before you read on.

Image result for cup of tea

"It's a question that's divided the nation for decades: Should the milk go in first, or last when making a cup of tea?

But we may have had an answer to this conundrum right at our fingertips all along.

The British Standard's Institution has released a guide called "preparation of a liquor of tea for use in sensory tests" which was developed in 1980 to help professional tea testers.

It offers a set of guidelines to making the perfect cup of tea.

According to the extensive six-page guide, there should be 2g of tea for every 100ml of water. The water should not be heated to more than 85°C or you risk scalding the milk (and presumably having a sub-standard cuppa).

Having said that, the tea should always be above 60°C when served for "optimum flavour and sensation".

The tea must be brewed in a pot made of porcelain, but not just any old porcelain - "white porcelain or glazed earthenware, with its edge partly serrated” is required.

Milk should be added to cups while the tea is left to infuse in the pot for six minutes.

But it's not the end of the world if you add the milk afterwards, you just have to make sure it's the right temperature.

“If the milk is added afterwards, experience has shown that the best results are obtained when the temperature of the liquor is in the range 65 to 80°C when the milk is added," the guidelines state.

Organisations including the British Tea Producers’ Association, Tea Trade Committee and Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food helped to create the standards.

A previous survey found 35% of Brits are happy to skip the teapot stage and use a mug to make their tea.

It turns out many of us may be missing out on optimum tea, but unfortunately bringing a porcelain tea pot to the office isn't all that convenient."

Link to article here - in the meantime I must go and pour myself another cuppa ...... now milk first or not?

Take Care and ........

All the best Jan


tess said...

lol -- your post prompted a memory for me so i googled where i had read a certain quote before.... check this out:

if i weren't currently drinking coffee, i think you WOULD have inspired me to head for the kitchen to prepare a cuppa....

Anonymous said...

Always milk first for me.

Jenny S

Anonymous said...

You Brits do have a thing about tea


Anonymous said...

In proper tea etiquette, what goes in the teacup first, the tea or the milk?

Dear Straight Dope:

Could you please help settle a dispute? It is my opinion that proper tea etiquette requires that one pour the tea into the cup *before* adding the milk (something to do with causing fine bone china to crack). However, a colleague of mine always pours the milk first and insists that that is proper etiquette. Can you please confirm for me that this man is clearly a prole and his manner of tea drinking beneath contempt?

— Cormac Reynolds

Cormac dear, as I was leafing through my new revised edition of "The Joy of Cooking" I came across this passage:

"The old-fashioned dictate 'milk in first,' or 'MIF'--supposedly a sign of good breeding--was simply a way to prevent thin porcelain in typically cold English houses from cracking at the touch of hot tea" (page 32, "What to Put in Tea").

I don't know that "Joy" is the definitive word on English tea etiquette, but it does at least offer a rationale on why you should care which thing goes into the teacup first. However, there is a contrary view, and luckily for you it's one that probably carries a lot more weight in the chi-chi circles to which we all aspire.

In "Miss Manners' Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior" (Warner Books, 1982), Judith Martin indicates that the phrase "She's rather milk-in-first, dear" refers to the fact that nannies and governesses seem to be prone to pouring the milk in before the tea, while all others do the opposite. In her description of serving tea, she says, "[A]sk your guest of honor how she takes it. Using the strainer, pour straight from the pot for strong tea, and dilute it from the kettle for weak. Then add sugar ... and milk, according to her taste."

So on the one hand you've got the humble, practical proles, who pour the milk in first because they don't want to break the crockery. On the other hand you've got Miss Manners. You pick.

— Larasaurus

Thank you Tess for this link. I hope my computer prowess or rather lack of it allows me to copy it. Rather interesting read I thought

'Lady P'

Judi O said...

I'm having some tea right now! Loose leaf jasmine green tea is my favorite, just plain. Sometimes I use a cast iron Japanese tea pot to brew it. Yummy on a cold day like today.

tess said...

you're most welcome, Lady P! :-)

tess (who moved on from coffee and is how enjoying a Hurricane)

Anonymous said...

A Hurricane indeed.

It's Horlicks for me, with plenty of milk.

'Lady P'

Lowcarb team member said...

Thank you all for your comments - I have enjoyed reading them all, and I'm sure other readers have to.

The humble cup of tea, so welcoming.

I wonder does it truly matter how you serve it ? Surely the important thing is to enjoy it ?

So to Tess, Jenny S, Hils, 'Lady P', Judy O, I thank you most kindly for your comments and offer you a 'virtual' cup of tea. Hope you enjoy it.

If anyone else cares to leave a comment, I'll keep a cup in the pot for you 'virtually' speaking of course.

Thanks again and ....

All the best Jan

driftwood said...

my son has spent half term writing a science project about the perfect cup of tea. always a teapot (with a tea cosy) milk in first!

Lowcarb team member said...

Many thanks for visiting the blog 'driftwood' ...... we always used to use a tea cosy, funnily enough we don't any more. My dear mum used to knit some wonderful ones.

I hope your son got top marks for his science project.

All the best Jan