Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Milk in First or Second?

We often get asked this question by customers and everyone has different views on the subject.  Scientists at The Royal Society of Chemistry (London) believe the correct way is to put the milk in first because the hot tea homogenizes the fats in the milk.  However, our theory is it is better to put the milk in second so you can tell exactly how much you will need.  We often have customers fill half of their cup with milk then add their tea and then say "Ooh, this tea's a bit weak!". 

Pouring the tea in first was said to have originated amongst the Upper Classes as a way to show off the quality of one's china and, of course, the brew itself.  English writer Nancy Mitford, who is best remembered for her series of novels about upper-class life in England and France, scathingly referred to the lower classes as MIFs, or Milk In Firsts - in the earliest days of tea drinking, milk was put in first to help protect poor quality china from cracking on contact with the tea.

The more important issue though, isn't whether you should put milk in first or second but whether you should add milk at all.  While milk often goes well with black teas it should never be drunk with light and fragrant Green Tea, Oolong Tea, White Tea or Herbal Infusions.  This may be common knowledge to most tea drinkers but to the beginner it can be a little daunting.

However, at the end of the day,  there's no right or wrong way to take your tea - the best way is exactly how you like it!

Enjoy x


  1. I always wondered which was correct.
    I actually think the tea tastes better if milk is added last:)
    Love your shop!

  2. I am a milk in second for sure does that make me upper class??!! xxCorrina.