Milk in Tea: A Tasteful Journey through the TimesThee met melk

Milk in Tea

A Tasteful Journey through Times

By Kirsten

Table of contents

  1. Introduction: Tea with Milk - A Romantic Dance of Taste and Tradition

    • Historical overview
    • The Influence of Milk on Tea
  2. From England with Love?

    • British Tea Culture
    • The Origin of Milk in Tea
  3. Tea and Milk - A Match Made in Heaven?

    • Suitable Teas for Milk
    • Earl Grey - A Touch of Bergamot
    • Green and White Tea - Caution Invited
    • Rooibos - A Caffeine Free Alternative
  4. Influence of Milk on the Taste of Tea: A Creamy Revolution

    • The Importance of Preheating
    • Fat content and taste
    • Finding the Perfect Balance
  5. Alternatives to Traditional Milk: A World of Possibilities

    • Soy Milk - The Plant-Based Pioneer
    • Almond Milk - Sweet and Subtle
    • Oat Milk - Creamy and Rich
    • Sweetened and Condensed Milk - For the Sweet Tooth
  6. Cultural Aspect of Milk Tea: More Than Just a Drink

    • England - A Tea Tradition
    • India - Chai Ki Chuski
    • Malaysia - Teh Tarik Show
    • Worldwide Love for Tea with Milk
  7. Conclusion: Tea with Milk - A Timeless Love Affair

    • Reflection on Traditions and Modernity
  8. Frequently asked questions about milk in tea

1. Introduction: Tea with Milk - A Romantic Dance of Taste and Tradition

Tea with milk! These two extremes have formed a classic pair for centuries.

From the historic streets of London to the bustling markets of Delhi, tea with milk is enjoyed everywhere.

But… why do we actually put milk in our tea?

In this blog we dive into the creamy world of tea with milk. We delve into the history, discover the influence of milk on our beloved tea and explore the cultural nuances of this well-known combination. So pour yourself a cup of tea, add a splash of milk (or not of course…) and join us on an adventure!

“From the historic streets of London to the bustling markets of Delhi, tea with milk is enjoyed and cherished everywhere.”

2. From England with Love?

When you think of milk and tea, you automatically think of British tea culture. Rightly so…

The UK and tea are inextricably linked, just like scones and clotted cream. But did you know that the British didn't always put milk in their tea? Tea was introduced to England in the early 17th century but only gained popularity when Catherine of Braganza, a Portuguese princess with a great love for tea, married King Charles II in 1662. From that time, milk was also added to the tea. This was done to protect the delicate china cups from which the happy view drank their tea from the heat of the hot tea. Smart, right?

An additional advantage ... a dash of milk in the tea neutralizes the tannin, making the tea taste less bitter. Not a superfluous luxury since the quality of the tea was not always optimal at the time and therefore contained a high content of tannin.

But before the tradition blossomed in England and spread through Europe, wasn't milk added to tea? Certainly. Especially in Asian countries where cattle breeding was important, such as Nepal, it was not unusual to add milk to the tea. In this case it was not to protect the expensive porcelain but to increase the nutritional value. In poor regions it was not self-evident that there was enough to eat every day. By adding milk to the tea, people still got some much-needed calories. In addition, the milk provided a feeling of fullness and satisfied hunger.

A classic cup of tea with milk on a saucer with a golden teaspoon. A rose in the background.

3. Tea and Milk - A Match Made in Heaven?

Not every tea combines well with a cloud of milk.

Black tea, with its robust and earthy notes, is the ideal candidate. Especially the Assamica variety, from the fertile fields of Assam in India, is a good choice and provides a harmonious taste. But Ceylon, black tea from Sri Lanka with a mild taste that is somewhat reminiscent of citrus, also goes well with milk. The creamy milk softens the strongest notes of the tea

Earl Grey - A Hint of Bergamot

This aromatic black tea, infused with the essence of bergamot, also has a citrusy twist. Add a splash of milk and you have a refreshing and creamy treat that will delight your taste buds.

Earl Grey ... the Amsterdam way. Morning, afternoon or evening, this quality tea is delicious at any time of the day. Amsterdam Earl Grey is milder than the traditional Earl Grey and contains less tannin. It is a smooth and rich black tea that is perfectly complemented by the citrusy bergamot.

Green and White Tea - Proceed with Caution​

Although it is not common, some people may enjoy green tea with a hint of milk. But be careful; the subtle flavors of green and white tea can easily be drowned out by the milk.

Rooibos - A Caffeine Free Alternative

Although Rooibos is often referred to as tea, it is not officially a tea as it does not come from the Camelia Sinensis tea plant. This red drink from South Africa is naturally sweet and goes well with milk. It's a great alternative for those looking for a caffeine-free option.

Unlike regular tea, Rooibos does not contain caffeine and has a soft taste. This tea is also delicious to drink cold. The name rooibos is African and derived from the Dutch 'rood bos'. Biologically grown.

"Tea and milk - not just a drink; it's a story, a tradition, a moment of calm in our hectic lives."

4. Influence of Milk on the Taste of Tea: A Creamy Revolution

Milk and tea, two completely different drinks. But how does milk actually affect the flavor of your favorite brew?

Preheating - a crucial step:

Before we dive into the depths of the taste, let's think about preheating the teapot. This may seem like a small detail, but it is a step that is often overlooked. By pre -heating your teapot, you ensure that your tea stays at the perfect temperature, so that the flavors and aromas come into their own.

Fat content - The seasoning:

Before we dive into the depths of the taste, let's think about preheating the teapot. This may seem like a small detail, but it is a step that is often overlooked. By pre -heating your teapot, you ensure that your tea stays at the perfect temperature, so that the flavors and aromas come into their own.

The perfect balance:

It's all about balance. Too much milk can drown out the subtle nuances of the tea, while too little milk can miss the purpose of the creamy addition. It is an art to find the perfect balance, but once you have mastered it, it is a treat every time.

So, the next time you wonder if you have to add milk to your tea, think of the rich flavors and textures that you can create. Experiment, taste and enjoy!

Tea with a cloud of milk. The milk is served from a small metal milk jug.

5. Alternatives to traditional milk: a world of possibilities

Who said that cow's milk was the only option for your tea? With the rise of vegetable diets, alternatives such as soy milk, almond milk and oat milk have found their way to our tea cups. We have an abundance of choices. From vegetable options to milk with a twist, we let the alternatives explore that can transform your tea experience.

Soy milk - The vegetable pioneer:

Before almond, oats and rice entered the stage, soy milk was the star of the vegetable milk world. With its nutty undertone and creamy texture it is a favorite among vegans and lactose-intolerant tea drinkers.

Almond milk - Sweet and subtle:

If you are looking for a sweeter touch for your tea, then almond milk is your ally. It adds a subtle almond flavor that goes well with aromatic teas such as Earl Gray.

Oat milk - creamy and rich:

A newcomer in the milk scene, but quickly become a favorite. Oat milk is creamy, rich and has a slightly sweet aftertaste, making it an excellent addition to strong black teas

Sweetened and condensed milk - for the sweet tooth:

Popular in Asian countries, these milk variants transform your tea into a sweet dessert. Especially loved in Vietnamese and Thai tea, these milk species add a rich sweetness that will surprise your taste buds.

Whether you are lactose intolerant, vegan or just feel like something new, there is a milk alternative that waits to be discovered. Experiment with different types and find the perfect match for your tea!

"Tea with milk is not just a drink; it is a story, a tradition, a ritual that is passed on for generations."

Our Amsterdam Chai blend is a unique tea experience inspired by Amsterdam. When brewing this tea, you immediately notice how the seductive scent of spices such as coriander, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg mixes with the aromas of black Assam tea, orange and flowers. Amsterdam Chai is a true taste sensation that reminds you of the old warehouses and markets of Amsterdam, where the scent of exotic herbs and spices filled the air.Ingredients: Black Tea (assam), Orange, Coriander, Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg, Sweet Blackberry Leaf, Sunflower Blossom, Rosa Pepe

6. Cultural aspect of tea with milk: more than just a drink

Tea with milk is not just a drink; It is a story, a tradition, a ritual that is passed on for generations. From the foggy hills from Darjeeling to the bustling streets of London, tea with milk is cherished in many places in the world.

England - A tea tradition:

In the cozy houses of England it is five o'clock in the afternoon tea time. But it's not just tea time; It is a ceremony. Fine porcelain cups, freshly baked scones, and of course tea with a cloud of milk. It is a moment of being together, sharing and enjoying the simple joys of life.

India - Chai Ki Chuski:

Walk through the streets of India and you will undoubtedly hear the call of the 'Chaiwala' that incurs his freshly brewed Masala Chai. Here tea with milk is not just a drink; It is a lifestyle. Mixed with herbs such as cardamom, clove and ginger and served in small glasses, it is a perfect boost on a busy day.

Malaysia - Teh Tarik Show:

Tea with milk is an art form in Malaysia. 'Teh Tarik', or 'drawn tea', is prepared with flair and style, where the tea is "drawn" between two cups to create a frothy texture. It is not only delicious, but also a true spectacle to watch!

Other cultures - Worldwide love:

From the 'Milk Tea' Boba drinks in Taiwan to the creamy 'Chai Lattes' in hip cafés around the world, the love for tea with milk has no limits. Every culture has given its own unique twist to this classic combination, making it a universally loved drink.

"From the foggy hills from Darjeeling to the cozy houses of England, tea with milk tells a story that connects the world."

7. Conclusion: tea with milk - a timeless love affair

After a deep dive in the world of tea with milk, we also consider the magic of this combination. It is not just a drink; It is a story, a tradition, a moment of peace in our hectic lives.

And while we discover new milk species and brewing techniques, one thing remains constant: the benefits of a warm cup of tea. For many it is also a reminder of simpler times, to the past with grandma and grandpa. Or at Mama at the kitchen table after school ... tea with milk and a cookie.

So the next time you add a cloud of milk to your tea, think of the rich traditions that you celebrate with every sip. And remember: there is no correct or wrong way to drink tea with milk; It's about what feels good for you.

Cheers on tea, milk and beautiful traditions ... in whatever form!

- Kirsten - 

Frequently asked questions about milk in tea

Adding milk to tea started as a practical solution. In England, milk was added to protect the delicate porcelain cups against the heat of hot tea. Moreover, milk helped to neutralize the bitterness of the tea, which was often of lower quality and had a high content of tannin.

Black tea, especially the Assamica variant from Assam, India, and Ceylon tea from Sri Lanka, are ideal for combination with milk because of their robust and earthy tones. The creamy milk softens the strongest tones of these teas.

The fat content of milk can significantly influence the texture and taste of your tea. A higher fat content gives tea a rich, creamy texture, while a lower fat content gives a lighter, more subtle taste.

Yes, in some Asian countries, such as Vietnam and Thailand, sweetened condensed milk or evaporated milk is added to tea, resulting in a sweeter and richer taste.

Although it is not the norm, some people add milk to green or white tea. However, due to the subtle flavors of these teas, milk can easily drown out the delicate aromas. It is therefore a matter of personal preference.

Why buy tea at Tea Shop The Smallest House?

If you're a tea enthusiast, just like us, then you know that the source of your tea is as important as the way you brew it. At The Smallest House, we're not just passionate about tea, but also about offering the best tea experience for our customers. Here are some reasons why you should consider making your next tea purchase with us:

  1. Expertise at Its Finest: Our extensive knowledge about tea, from its rich history to the subtle nuances in flavor, means we carefully select the best and most authentic tea varieties for you.

  2. A World of Tea Under One Roof: Whether you love the robust taste of Assam or the subtle notes of white tea, we have a diverse range to cater to all your tea desires.

  3. Authenticity in Every Cup: We value the traditions and cultures that make tea so special. That's why we aim to offer you the most authentic tea experience, every single time.

  4. More Than Just Tea: With us, you're not just buying tea; you're buying an experience. With every purchase, you get the chance to learn, discover, and deepen your passion for tea.

  5. Driven by Passion: Our love for tea is at the heart of what we do. We're dedicated to ensuring the quality and freshness of our products, so you can brew the perfect cup every time.

So, the next time you're considering trying a new tea variety or replenishing your stock, think of The Smallest House. We're here to guide you on your tea journey, one cup at a time.

For a large part of her life Kirsten has had a passion for entrepreneurship and tea. Since 2014, she has been combining this with her husband, Niels, in the tea specialty store Het Kleinste Huis (The Smallest House in Amsterdam). Kirsten likes to write about things that keep her busy (this doesn't have to be just tea!).

Leave a comment

Related Posts