If you’ve read my ramblings at this fine tea site or at my own tea site then you’ll know that I don’t make any secret of my dislike for the practice of adding stuff to tea. Stuff like milk, cream, sugar, honey, laundry soap (just seeing if you’re paying attention) and so on.
By the same token I don’t have a problem with anyone who does. If we all drank one kind of tea prepared exactly the same way the world of tea would be a pretty boring place and there wouldn’t be as many things to write about.
I think these preferences for putting stuff in our tea probably have a lot to do with our upbringing and I suspect that if I’d been brought up in England I wouldn’t be writing such an article. As it turns out I was born and raised on the left side of the Atlantic in a family where the only thing that resembled tea was this powdery substance you scooped from a big jar, mixed with water and served chilled.
Which doesn’t exactly prevent one from choosing the path of adding stuff to tea but that’s not the way it worked out for me. As I gradually began to get clued in on the secret that there were really good teas to be had I decided that they were best tasted without any adornments.
But recently, in the interests of fairness, tolerance, world peace and the like, I thought I would revisit the subject of stuff in tea, specifically milk. My poison of choice in this area is soy milk and so I thought I would sample a few black teas thus adorned.
I started with Lover’s Leap, from the English Tea Store, which I just finished reviewing for this site and which I liked quite a bit. With a dash of milk I still liked it quite a bit, but this has never really been this issue. The problem was that what I was tasting was not really the tea, which is what I wanted to taste in the first place.
Next up was a Chinese black tea that I liked for the most part, but that which had one or two flavor notes that put me off a bit. I liked this one just as well with milk added and perhaps even a bit more, since I wasn’t quite as keen on the original tea in the first place.
None of which comes as a surprise and I’m not sure what any of this solves, but I guess I’d summarize it by answering the question “got milk?” with a polite, “no, still not.”
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