Is milk added to the teacup first, before the tea is poured, or is milk added after the tea is poured?
If you're like me, Breakfast teas are my favorite, and they are delicious with milk.
The practice of adding milk to the cup before scalding tea is added was to ensure the fragile teacup wouldn't crack from the heat. Completely understandable, a cracked teacup is heartbreaking.
Modern, even vintage, china can withstand heat better than antique pieces, so the practice has died down some. I would guess for traditions sake, or as a familiar childhood memory, milk is still added to the cup before the tea.
Once when I was about ten and my brother nine, we went to a friend's house after school. His British parents offered to bring us a snack of tea and cookies. First the tray of teacups arrived with the cookies. In each cup was a splash of milk, and to me this was new. In fact, I thought the teacups were dirty and the milk was left from previous use. When the tea arrived my confusion was explained and we enjoyed a wonderful treat.
Adding milk after the tea is poured to to ensure just the right amount is added without overpowering the tea.
So now the big question, and I think you know what I'm going to ask. Yep, you guessed it.
When do you add milk to your tea?
I'll be the first to answer my own question. I love adding milk last. It's the simple pleasure of watching the white milk swirl in the dark tea making what often looks like weather patterns in my cup.