Need suggestions for black teas that take milk well.

I learned to drink tea in Dublin, so needless to say I take all my tea with milk and sugar. I’m currently making my way through some of the breakfast tea offerings that are available. I’m wondering if anyone has any recommendations for teas for me to try. Since I just started to explore teas, I only know little bit about my taste. My tongue is not a big fan of astringency, my tummy is not a big fan of tannins. (ironic isn’t it?) my reviews show a penchant for blends of African and Assams, but I’m not quite sure how to approach the Chinese blend teas…. Or if you can even put milk in those! All suggestions appreciated!

14 Replies
Dexter said

It’s your tea, you can do whatever YOU like.
I like Yunnan with a hint of sweet and a splash of milk. There are lots of bold chocolatey, malty Chinese teas that can stand up to a bit of both. The purists might think that you are covering all the subtle nuances and might not “agree” with it, but like I said it’s your tea, you should enjoy it however you like.
Teavivre has some great blacks – Bailin Gonfu, Black Pearls, Yun Nan Dian Hong are a few of my favorites. http://www.teavivre.com/
I’m not scared to put milk and sweet in Laoshan Black by Verdant.
Best advice is to order a few samples (Teavivre has a samples available) and see how you do.
Personally I really like Capital Tea Ltd. They do 20g packages of most of their teas for 3-4.00 good way to try several. Yunnan Black FOP and Hunan Black Congou are a couple of my favorites. http://www.capitaltea.com/

ssajami said

Me too! Verdant’s Laoshan Black is as AMAZING with milk as it is without.

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Ah, just went to order and the pre-order is sold out….

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Uniquity said

I happen to think that Indian teas take milk better than Chinese, but that is just my preference. I think most of us feel that however you like your tea is the best way to drink it. I am quite sensitive to astringency which is why I prefer Chinese blacks. You might want to try some, with and without additions to see what you like. The easiest way is to steep everything gently (2-3 minutes) and take a sip to see how it is. Then you can add milk and/or sugar if you don’t like the balance. If it isn’t strong enough, steep it another minute and see if that changes it for you. Experiment and have fun with it. :-)

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ifjuly said

I find Fortnum and Mason’s Breakfast Blend to be very good, but only drinkable at all with milk. But that’s just me, of course YMMV and all that. Do agree that rich hearty but still chocolate-y Assams tend to do well with milk.

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ifjuly said

And a lot of Harney and Sons’ brisk blends (they have approximately a million) are designed to take milk. Their Scottish Morn comes to mind, for example. But they have lots really. They offer sample sizes as well (and just about every morning blend of theirs, in tinned size not sample, is quite reasonable for the quality I feel).

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keychange said

Well, given that I enjoy pretty much all my tea with sugar and milk, I’m glad we’re following each other!

I agree with ifjuly regarding many of the teas from H and S. Here are some of my favourite blacks with milk and sugar:
Harney & sons:
Queen Catherine
Paris (go easy on the milk here though-it’s a delicate tea, but can absolutely handle a bit)
I also have tins of: Scottish Morn, Big Red Sun, and Eight at the Fort that I haven’t yet opened but that I will absolutely be drinking with milk and sugar. If you’d like samples of them once I crack them open, I’d be happy to share.
Butiki teas:
Caramel vanilla assam
Taiwanese wild mountain black

I read somewhere that you don’t like darjeelings, but in case you do, all the ones I’ve tried (all two of them, that is) have been excellent with milk and sugar.

yay milk and sugar!

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I split some of my yunnans by drinking most of a pot without milk and then adding cream to the last couple of cups. It may cover some of the other flavors but it gives them a different depth and makes them even richer. I have enjoyed Harney & Sons Golden Monkey with cream as well. Also Vanilla Comoro & Queen Catherine from Harney.

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Everyone has been so brilliant with her answers here! I kind of felt like a bastard child because of the milk and sugar thing, but not anymore! Keychange, I don’t seem to be able to resist free shipping from Harney, so I just got the following:

Irish breakfast
English breakfast (all china tea)
East Frisian
Scottish Afternoon
Malachi McCormick

I also got a box of organic Assam sachets, as they were recommended by a woman who works there. Perhaps we should do a wee sample swap once they’re all opened! I know that big red sun is the same as royal English blend and HT English breakfast, so don’t double up by accident. All are Ceylon and kennilworth from Kenya. I also have some sachets of safari breakfast, which I rather like! Nicole, I have a sample of the golden monkey….I’ll try it this weekend!

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Amazon V, there are a couple that you sell that look intriguing…. I seem to well favor low astringency teas as well…. Can you make any further recommendation? Keychange, I just broke into the Malachi McCormick this morning…… Mmmmmmmmmmmmm!

if you are looking for a low astringency black you’ll need to stay away from our (lovely) assams from Lochan teas, and also stay away from finbarr’s revenge, persian princess, and two tigers. Otherwise we have some nice darjeelings too. http://us.the-devotea.com/store/products/darjeeling-giddephar or http://us.the-devotea.com/store/products/darjeeling-margarets-hope and http://us.the-devotea.com/store/products/darjeeling-margarets-hope . were you only seeking unflavored blacks? we do have an assortment of flavored blacks and they tend not to be very astringent but i know many people avoid flavoring!

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