British milk tea

We all know that British enjoy afternoon tea, it is said that the custom of adding milk to tea began in France and later took root in England.
Today, it is common for people in England to add milk and sugar to their tea, while in France people tend to prefer a bit of lemon in their brews.
I am quite curious about how to make a “perfect cup of tea”, and how to add milk to your cup of tea. If you want to have a try, what kind of tea would you like to use? It’ll be nice for someone tell me how to make a cup of British milk tea.
Have a nice day!

17 Replies
AllanK said

While I don’t put milk in my tea I think the tea that the British drink with milk is generally a strong black tea such as English Breakfast or Irish Breakfast. Assam teas are also usually strong enough to stand up to milk. Darjeelings are usually in my opinion too light to stand up to milk. The only thing that I sometimes add milk to is a strong smoky Lapsang Souchong tea. If you put milk in a weaker tea you will not taste the tea.

I agree with your opinion that"If you put milk in a weaker tea you will not taste the tea". I will try the the black tea you mentioned above. Thank you for your suggestion.

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Teatotaler said

I agree with AllanK. It is my understanding that British breakfast blends are created to be strong enough to take milk, and most tea folks are mortified by the very idea of adding milk to a Darjeeling – Certainly not a first flush!
Adding milk to tea in the U.K. really took off in the late 19th century when they began to use the more potent, but more available, Indian Assam rather than the previously used China black.
For whatever reason, the only tea other than English Breakfast that I always add milk to is Earl Grey. I do enjoy an occasional London Fog very much.
Milk in a strong Lapsang sounds good – I must try that.

Thank you for your nice comments. Maybe I should have a try and choose one of the best flavors to share.

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Mr Tea said

Hi there,

I am British and yes we love our tea black, with milk and sometimes 2 sugars. If you really want to know more about British tea drinking culture you should check out one of my blog posts. It covers about everything that you need to know.

In England we usually bicker over the most pettiest things when it comes to tea. One of the most common debates is do you pour the milk in first or last.

This is something I could really talk about all day but as I type my fingers are feeling a little bit tired XD

Lapsang Souchong is great with milk. You should also try adding milk to Rooibos and adding a dash of honey. Delicious! :-)

Thanks, I would like to know more about British tea drinking culture.

Psyck said

If you are undecided about pouring the milk first or last, how about pouring them together or brewing the tea in the milk instead so that you can evade the controversy :)

But you agree that the milk has to go in last right?


I’m now determined to try a lapsang souchong with milk!

Mr Tea said

Lapsang Souchong with milk is the bomb :)

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Teatotaler said

I love rooibos with milk and honey! Anise tea is very good with milk and honey too!

Mr Tea said

It’s the best combination ever! It has to be Manuka honey though all the way!

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I only add milk to black tea, usually an Assam, English Breakfast, or occasionally to an Earl Grey. I always add my milk last but you’re the one who will be drinking the tea, so you do what you like best!

Yet, I would like to add milk to reduce the bitter flavor of black tea, and it’s a quite British way.

AllanK said

Some Yunnan Black teas are strong enough to stand up to milk as well. Some of them.

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green1 said

I have drunk milk tea in Hongkong, the bubble tea tastes well, I love it!

Nice tasty!

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