While some tea lovers will argue that a cuppa just isn’t the same without a drop of milk, others believe that, if you have to make such an unnatural addition, then it’s not worth drinking in the first place.
If only it were as simple as that, and the honest answer is – the decision is entirely up to the drinker – there really is no right or wrong.
It’s a matter of personal taste and if you enjoy milk in your tea, then go for it. After all, you are the one who is drinking it.
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to putting milk in tea, or any other condiment for that matter, and let’s face it, part of the fun of tea drinking is the experimentation.
Sure, there are some teas that are robust enough to accompany a dash of milk and maybe a little sugar, whereas there are some which aren’t.
So here are some teas which can work with milk, along with a selection of those which are, well, best enjoyed without.
Three teas that work well with milk
1. Black Tea
This includes many single-origin teas from India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and parts of Africa and South America.
And, despite the name, bold, astringent black teas, or red teas as they are known in China, will be your best bets if you’re partial to a little milk.
This is because they are bold enough to retain the flavours you’d expect from loose leaf teas, even with a little added extra.
This naturally sweet herbal tea, made from African red bush, is a perfect choice when it comes to making a lush latte.
Many Rooibos lovers enjoy theirs as it comes, while others swear by a strong brew and a splash of milk, giving a great caffeine free alternative to a traditional everyday black tea.
Either way, Rooibos can be blended with many ingredients – from spices, chili, honey, chocolate and others – making it a good base should milk be your thing.
Although Pu’erh belongs to dark and not black teas, it can still be made with milk and not lose its distinctive taste, which makes it such a popular choice among those with a slightly sweeter tooth.
Though it’s worth remembering, when it comes to making a Pu’erh tea with milk, it’s important to let it brew for at least five minutes in order for the flavours to develop and not be overwhelmed.
Pu’erh is strong enough to handle a drop of milk or two and, meaning it’s a good option when making a proper latte.
Three teas that are best without milk
Darjeeling is cultivated at the foothills of the Himalayas with the thin air and misty climate thought to be responsible for its unique and deliciously delicate flavours.
As a result, this is a thin, lightly-coloured tea with a floral aroma which is rich in antioxidants – making it a popular choice for the purist.
Generally speaking, Darjeeling teas taste delicate, fruity, floral, and light, and are best served without any milk or sugar.
2. Green Tea
Green tea differs from the likes of black tea because, rather than being withered, rolled, fermented and dried, it is steamed or fired; meaning the colour is much fairer and lighter.
That means its flavours are richer, truer and more distinctive, thus needing very little in terms of sweetening or enhancement – essentially, its simplicity is its beauty.
Of course, there’s nothing to say you can’t take milk with Green Tea, but don’t expect to get the full experience, so maybe hold the milk for this one.
3. White Tea
Due to its delicate, refreshing flavour, along with the subtle notes of melon and cucumber, it’s little wonder white tea is one of the most popular on the market.
High in antioxidants and low in caffeine, not to mention refreshing and revitalising values, most tea connoisseurs will tell you white tea is the simplest and most natural form of the drink and is best served straight up.
But each to their own and whether you want to add a dash of milk is entirely up to you.
Whether you are a milk person or not, we have a fantastic range of loose leaf teas for you to drink however you choose.
You can find out more about our range of loose leaf tea products, and how you can treat yourself or friends with our quality range of teas here at Leaf Tea Shop.