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'Milk first' is 100% the best way to make a cup of tea

And anyone who says different is wrong.

WE NEED TO talk about making tea.

There is an issue that divides our nation. And it is this: when you’re making tea in a mug, do you put the milk in first, or the hot water first?

So let me settle this for you now. The best, most delicious way to make tea is to put the milk in first with the teabag. THEN add the hot water.


Yes. Like so:

Got it?

Um… OK, prove it?

Source: TheMrsNatG

Damn straight I’ll prove it. When you put the milk in on top of the hot water, you get that very thin oily ‘skin’ on top of your tea. You can literally see it floating there. And it makes the tea taste worse.

Apparently, according to, oh, just this research paper from AN ACTUAL SCIENTIST, this is because of the way the milk interacts with the hot water. If you start pouring your milk in on top of loads of hot water, the milk proteins are “unfurling and clumping together”.

You want to drink a load of clumpy proteins? Hell, be my guest. But hear this: basically you’re turning part of your milk into grim UHT milk.

Putting the milk in first results in a creamier flavour, and no oily skin.

But… but… how do you know how much milk to put in?

Source: TheMrsNatG

How many cups of tea have you made in your life? And you’re telling me you can’t make a good solid guess about how much milk you need? What are you, six years old?

I’ll tell you what, pal. If this is a problem for you, you need to step away from the kettle and let a goddamn pro handle the job.

Hmm, this IS persuasive. Got any more evidence?

Source: Feeling My Age

Sure. Historically The convention that putting the milk in last was ‘correct’ arose from pure colonial, English snobbery, and was - according to Fortnum and Masons - ”a social divider that had little to do with the taste of the tea”.

Basically, it was all to do with showing that you had expensive china. The phrase “rather milk-in-first” was even recorded as being used by an upper-class English posho to refer to a lower-class person.

OMG, so all this is just a hangover from the days when Ireland was ruled by wig-sporting English planters?

Yes. Let’s just recap. This…

… is nothing to do with good tea, and all to do with pure colonial-era British snobbery.

So as if the scientific evidence wasn’t enough, we can safely assume that James Connolly and Padraig Pearse would have wanted you to put the milk in first. 

This conversation is over. Put the milk in first. Do it for Ireland.

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About the author:

Michael Freeman

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