back to article Milk IN the teapot: Innovation or abomination?

El Reg towers was plunged into internal strife today, with the production desk struggling to keep the news production line humming as senior editors were forced to launch an investigation into the question that has split the editorial team down the middle: is it acceptable to add the milk to the tea pot? The rift opened up at …

FAIL

NSFW Icon

This entire article needs flagging as NSFW. Enough to get grown men groaning. I do hope that no one of a delicate nature reads this. <Shakes head...>

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More practice needed

Clearly the graduate needs a little more education in how the world brews tea outside of student digs. I believe they term it work experience.

I propose regular practice to build up the required skill level. Perhaps a brew performed correctly at the same time every day for say the next 6-12 months would do the trick.

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FAIL

Tea - in bags?

what is the world coming to?

now get off my lawn!

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hah... shameless plug and I know its farcebook, but I do give instructions on how to make a proper brew here...

https://www.facebook.com/ShangFangTeaRoom/

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An absolute travesty! No tea needs milk, and teabags should only be used in emergency when the tea leaves have run out! But then, anyone who lets the leaves run out should be hung by their knackers until they learn their lesson.

Making anything in a coffee pot is an abomination, as they retain the taste of the noxious liquid that is nowt but the devil's diarrhoea!

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Standard Indian tea-making

In India, if you ask for tea from a stall, you get tea that has been boiled with milk and spices long enough that all the bacteria in the water and milk are dead. It is a lot safer than what you get at post hotels. And it actually tastes quite good.

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Happy

Personally

Personally, I loathe the teabag. It's leaf tea only for me. Unfortunately, unless I pay a fortune for real leaf tea, all I get is the dust that they put in teabags. The teabag was a real boon to the tea suppliers, no longer would they have to throw away the dust from the leaf tea manufacture. However, I eschew the traditional teapot, and use the standard filter coffee maker, using the normally supplied permanent filter. That way I get perfect tea, without the leaves being overlong in contact with the hot water. Too, the keep hot heater maintains the tea at drinkable temperature for a long period with no deterioration in taste. The milk, however still goes in the cup. Try it, it really does work. Disposal of the tea leaves, too, is a doddle, simply upend and tap the filter over the bin. There's no need to wash out the dregs, such as there are.

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Definitely "an insult to years of British tea making"! I'm sure we'll never see the Queen destroying a good cuppa in this fashion!!

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{shudder}

I'm actually greatly impressed with the amount of restraint the other commentards have shown.

Now I need to go and have a few glasses of wine to recover from the shock.

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Here now

I've been long away from Blighty but *I* thought one had to boil tea until the spoon either stood up in it or dissolved.

Or was that Army coffee.... not sure: I think COFFEE came by the slice. US Army coffee, that is.

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Anonymous Coward

This sort of thing would never have happened before Brexit !!

(Brexit icon required)

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Mmmmslow news day....?

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Pint

Hot, strong, and black

Since I can no longer use the title as the opening to a joke, let me just say that you Brits are beginning to sound like American coffee hipsters. Next someone is going to start talking about "hotting the pot", something that only makes sense with an East Asian [please bring back the term 'Orient' as a geography term] cast iron pot.

For the office tea, you should have a French Presses. Use loose leaves and dump the resulting brew into an insulated pot if it's not going to be drunk immediately. Let people add milk or sugar to their cuppa to taste.

If there's anyone in the office who worries about temperature or brewing time, you're overstaffed.

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what if ...

What if I didn't wank milk in my tea? Can't exactly take it out. now can you?

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Coffee/keyboard

Re: what if ...

Typo of the Month award right there, I think .....

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M.I.F

Tea contains polyphenols, which give it a bitter flavour that some people prefer. Milk binds to some of the polyphenols making the tea taste less bitter.

Pouring a small quantity of cold milk to a large volume of hot tea will "scald" the milk and denature it before it has time to bind with the polyphenols.

Pouring tea into a cup with milk in will slowly warm the milk and result in a less bitter drink.

So, putting milk in the teapot will give you all the disadvantages of milk with none of the benefits, which is why it's just not done old boy.

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Re: M.I.F

Um, no. The temperature change seen by the milk is the same, whether you add the tea to the milk or the milk to the tea.

The temperature change seen by the cup, however, is less severe when adding hot tea to cold milk in the cup than when adding hot tea to an empty cup. Which can, in some cases, be enough to make the difference between the cup remaining intact versus undergoing what mobile phone manufacturers term "spontaneous rapid disassembly".

But people like to make up all sorts of stories to kid themselves it's nothing to do with their cheap china .....

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Boffin

Re: M.I.F

Um, no, it isn't. Half litre of tea at 95°C, add small dash of milk at 4°C temperature of the mixture is now 94.5°C. Repeat until all the milk is added and the mixture is now at about 75°C. (all depending on initial starting temps and relative volumes)

Or quantity of milk at 4°C, add a splash of tea at 95°C, temperature of mixture is now 5°C. repeat until all tea added, mixture is now at 80°C. In the second instance the hottest the milk ever gets is the 75°C. In the first instance some of it gets up to 95°C and denatures more and tastes 'funny' - like using UHT milk in your tea tastes 'funny' vs. the pasteurised stuff.

(Icon with a dash of irony, added at any stage of the reading you like!)

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Pint

A warning from history

Milk in the pot is fine, just dont accidentally pour it into a cup containing instant coffee.

Te'coffee tastes awful.

Cheers !! (Thats my pint glass of Rooibos tea)

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Am

Re: A warning from history

I used to work with someone who drank a mix of tea and coffee together, and said it was very nice.

I choose to believe they actually did like as I could;t stomach trying it myself.

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Re: A warning from history

I will admit to having dunked a tea bag into some particularly egregious coffee - low-quality grounds, over-extracted, and left on the heat for too long - Just nasty. The addition of tea actually reduced the amount of "bitter".

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Is it acceptable to add the milk to the tea pot?

No.

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FAIL

No way !

If you are a Squaddie coming off stag at 0 dark hundred cold, wet, miserable and, in a combat area, terrified then so long as it is hot, wet and sweet you will drink it with gratitude and without asking any unnecessary questions.

Otherwise - tea should not have milk in it at all !.

Chris Cosgrove

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Since I'm on the wrong side of the pond ('Merica, Eff Yeah!) I only drink Twinnings Earl Grey and a loose leaf "Russian Caravan" both of which don't take kindly to milk or sugar at all.

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R U Surprised?

Another thing Boris amd Nigel forgot to mention about the glorius post-Brexit future -- the tea will be shite and made by lunatics armed with fscking coffee pots!.

Now you know, are you going to sit there like stunned mullets or take to the streets and demand a return to simple human decency? I think we all know the answer to that question...

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Alert

The French Connection

Every good Briton knows that adding milk to the pot (or even worse, to a tea-bagged mug) lowers the water temperature which prevents release of all the mystical goodness locked in the tea leaves.

The French, on the other hand, believe tea should be made with lukewarm water. After too many putrid experiences with "le cuppa", I now take my own travel kettle with me when venturing onto the continent.

I would launch an urgent HR investigation into said staff member - s/he may be harbouring secret Francophile sympathies, in which case they should immediately be stripped of tea-making duties - and put in charge of lunch.

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Re: The French Connection

That might explain why it was harder to find somewhere to get a decent cuppa in France than in the US. I suppose I should have been suspicious when the waitress was polite.

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Is this what is called taking the piss.

Is it possible to be more wrong?

Coffee Pot

No cosy

Tea bags

Sugar

Mugs not tea cups

Milk in the pot is the final straw - perhaps a straw is the only solution to this.

Did someone mention Brussels?

Did anyone actually drink this?

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Pint

I never drink tea.

Count me out

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Tea or milk first?

Yes, yes. As one who remembers tea ladies and trolleys both in the office and on the trains, there's no doubt about it! Question is though, tea or milk first?... Oh, and it better not be any of that arty-farty Starbucks stuff!

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tea first.

You get the best cup of tea when you pour on boiling water or water with a temperature of at least 96 degrees C. Adding milk first will not allow the tea to come in contact with boiling water so you'll get a crappy cuppa.

On the other hand coffee should be made with water at less than 96 degrees which is why you get a good cup off coffee if you add the milk first.

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Brilliant

A simple question about a method of making tea gathered some 180 comments in the space of 23 hours. That's what I like about El Reg! BTW milk in the teapot is very bad idea, especially for those few who like their tea black.

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Mess tin tea

where it is cold outside adding milk over the flame may be reasonable.

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Different kind of tea

I've had a few very nice cup of tea in a seedy dive of an Indian restaurant in Birmingham; made by boiling up teabags, sugar and spices in a pan of milk.

This alarmed my inner tea purist, who obsessively insists that the teabag be removed from the cup before milk be added, at first; but in the end it was found to have none of the unpleasant taste that usually results when cold milk is added to hot water and tea leaves. It was very nice, really.

Nothing like tea made with hot water and tea leaves in a teapot, though, mind. More like a hot, sweet, spicy tea-flavoured milk shake.

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No No No No No.

That is enough said.

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Where can I get one of those vulture cups?

Title says it all.

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And this kind of article and the resulting comments, dear friends

Is one of the reasons I love The Register.

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ROFL - On my first trip to India, I asked for and got a cup of tea - but it had milk in it. I asked again for a cup of tea without milk, and the tea boy (yes, they have tea boys in India and tea girls in Japan -- go figure) was totally confused.

It turns out that at least where I was in India, they tea is brewed with milk and not with water. ewwwwww.....

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Not just India. Also in East Africa

It turns out (maybe because of Indian influence) that East African tea is usually brewed not just with the milk in the pot but actually just with teabags in boiling milk - no hot water involved. Unfortunately I like black tea.

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Facepalm

Better hope that no teabagging was involved

On the grounds that the culprit was obviously a deviant one should be worried if any teabagging was involved in the adulteration of this classic drink. That white stuff may not have been just bovine lactate.

As for using a coffee pot for making tea, this should be grounds for instant dismissal. It may or may not change the quality of the tea but it sure as hell changes the flavour of the next coffee brew.

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NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooooooooooooo....................!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Putting the milk in *with* the tea reduces the temperature of the water below the level neccessary for steeping the leaves and releasing the 'tea'-ness into the water. This is also why you don't do that satanic abomination of pouring milk over a teabag in a mug. You're killing the delicate temperature-based chemistry.

For those wot want tannin-flavoured milk, then let them go ahead. But for a proper cuppa, the tea needs to be in near-boiling water *before* flavoured with addative-of-choice.

Obwhich, for the last few months I've been doing IT upgrades in in-house catering outlets. It's amazing how many of them offer me a cup of something almost but not entirely unlike tea. They pass it off as "that's how I like it". But that's utterly irrelevant. You're running a canteen, *YOUR* tastes are irrelevant. You make tea to suit the tastes of your *CUSTOMERS*, ***NOT*** yourself.

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Milk is used when the product is wretched!

The use of milk means that the main beverage of choice is wretched to begin with. Both coffee and tea should be had without milk. The milk is for killing the "flavor" of a wretched tea or coffee.

I roast my own coffee at home, and I grind it, then brew it and drink it black. Good coffee has an inherent sweetness to it. It isn't grossly bitter, and it gently rests on the palate. It's a nice, gentle pick-me-up,

The person who brewed tea in milk in that beast of a pot you have has never had good tea or coffee.

Tea bags, indeed!

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Disclaimer: I'm actually a colonist, so my opinions may not count.

I grew up on Lipton tea. Pour boiling water over the bag, steep, add milk and sugar just prior to serving.

Since then I have reduced my sugar intake (multiple times), learned to take tea without; to me it tastes wrong with only milk, so now I take it black.

Meantime I also discovered better teas. I now buy my tea online from Harney and Sons. Their English Breakfast blend is my go-to, but I mix it up a bit sometimes. Bridgette's Blend is one of my favorites. But I digress.

Now that I've re-trained my palate, Lipton tastes abominable to me.

I still make tea the same way, except it's usually loose now, but boiling water brings out the flavors. I only make a cup at a time because it's just me. I use a Chef's Choice electric kettle to boil the water. (I keep one at home and one at work.) Microwaved water is an abomination. I use bottled or filtered water; tap water here in Sacramento is an abomination all on its own.

I use one of these for my loose tea: https://www.harney.com/finum-permanent-tea-filter-large.html

Does the coffee pot brew the coffee or merely warm it? If the latter, it seems like it would be too cool for proper tea. But I don't know much about brewing tea in a pot, so maybe it's not that bad. Brewing tea like coffee sounds completely wrong.

Adding milk while it's steeping would cool the water prematurely, that sounds wrong too. But I'm still of the "pour boiling water over dried leaves and steep" camp.

How long to steep is a matter of taste. You Brits seem to like your leaves ground, which goes bitter after a few minutes. I prefer whole leaves, but I'm careless about the timing. Consequently I've gotten accustomed to a touch of bitterness.

My own opinion, for what it's worth, is that making it in a coffee pot with milk already added is an abomination. I would also be annoyed that somebody would decide for me that my tea should have milk, and not give me a choice, quite aside from the issue of proper steeping.

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I don't even drink tea and know this is all kinds of wrong.

New intern required.

Their lucky the bofh wasn't around to witness this debarkle

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Quick Brew

Mug, tea bag, water, milk, 1:20 zap, ready to drink.

Swapping the order of milk and water clogs the bag. Watch it burst.

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Perfect optimisation

We did exactly that - but in a proper teapot, I'll grant - at (later to be troubled) Cambridge micro-maker Acorn Computers in the early 1980s.

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Boffin

Beaker, tea leaves, boiling water is all you need

Pinch of tea leaves* into the beaker, pour on boiling water, drink when it's cooled enough.

You do not need:

  • Teapot
  • Tea bag - they're full of crappy dust, and seem to be formulated to need milk/sugar to mask their awful taste
  • Straining mechanism - virtually all the leaves will sink
  • Milk
  • Sugar
  • Stirring device

*If it's the first brew of the day, then use Oolong if you can, then your second brew just requires a top-up of hot water.

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Anonymous Coward

No because lots of people don't like tea in their tea and many others like varying levels of milkyness.

Maybe if you're the only one whose going to have the tea then it could be fine.

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Mushroom

Sounds Like Tea - NATO.

Take a green norgie container, add a large handfull of NAAFI teabags, a bucket of sugar and half fill with boiling water. top off with milk (So about 50:50).

Leave to stew for 7 or 8 hours (while still maintaining the near boiling temp).

Serve on a cold, wet gun position.

Absolutely vile but its hot and wet.

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British "tea" isn't.

Seems to me that many British love what they call "tea". Unfortunately, it bears little to no relation to what anyone else would call "tea". The "tea" they drink must have been developed during the rationing, and seems to consist of some sort of waste swept up from the streets then bagged. This fact is probably the reason so many prefer to hide the horrible taste of their bagged waste with sugar and milk.

Real, good quality tea does not require milk or sugar. However, as elReg is probably a fairly typical British office, they'll be using the cheapest available bag of sweepings. In which case yes, it's proper to put the milk and even the sugar in the pot, since it's not really tea in the first place, and something needs to be done to hide the awful taste.

Anyone who enjoys real tea should probably just bring their own.

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