According To Science: Should You Put The Milk In First?

According To Science: Should You Put The Milk In First?

It’s an age old argument and one which has never seem to let up, despite it coming down to preference. The origins of putting the milk in first some authorities believe may be down to the fact that china was thought to crack and break if hot tea was poured into it. Highly erroneous as china is surprisingly robust!

However, since temperamental china isn’t an issue in most households today, this argument is no longer in the hands of the general public, as it has been settled by science. 

Based on the research conducted by Dr Stapley of Loughborough University, it has been confirmed that putting the milk in before the hot tea is the correct way to make a brew. Sorry to those of you who have been putting the milk in last all this time, you’ve been doing it wrong! This somewhat bold claim is all down to the milk heating unevenly when poured into hot tea. 

When the milk heats unevenly it makes the proteins denature. This not only does the milk lose its flavour, it is also the culprit for the sticky skin that can form on the top of a cuppa! Brewing your tea in a pot and then adding it to cold milk works to prevent this.

That’s not to say that ‘put-the-milk-in-last’ people now have to change the way they make their tea because a scientist told them so. 

All of us have our own preferences when it comes to how we take our brews - some with stronger opinions than others, perhaps most notably George Orwell in his controversial essay A Nice Cup of Tea - so, surely the correct way to make your tea is however you prefer? 

So keep doing what you’re doing... as long as that’s how you like it! For more tea musings, visit the Dorothy’s Teas blog.

Dorothy Stubley
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