a illustration of a cow with the text "to milk, or not to milk, that is the question..."

Tea is one of the most popular beverages in the world and is enjoyed in a variety of ways. One of the most debated topics in the tea world is whether or not you should drink tea without milk. Most people swear by having milk in tea, while some are staunch opponents. In this blog, we’ll explore the different ways that tea can be enjoyed, with or without milk, and the reasons behind each preference.

Should I Drink Milk With Black Tea?

Black tea with milk is a classic combination that has been enjoyed for centuries. Adding milk can help to mellow out the bitterness of strong teas, creating a smoother, creamier texture and flavour. Some people prefer to add a splash of milk, while others go for a proper glug. If you find yourself asking ‘why don’t I like tea?’, first make sure you’ve tried drinking your tea with milk, milk alternatives, or even without.

At the end of the day, it comes down to personal preference - but one thing’s for certain; you shouldn’t put the milk in first! More on that later…


A Note on Darjeeling and Earl Grey With Milk

There are loads of different types of black tea and some are more delicate than others, because of this it’s perfectly normal to enjoy some black teas without milk. Examples include: Darjeeling or Earl Grey. While you absolutely can drink darjeeling tea with milk, many would agree it makes a brilliant cuppa without.

What About Green Tea and Milk?

Do you have milk with green tea? This question pops up all the time. Green tea is delicate and as a result is typically enjoyed without milk, adding milk to green tea tends to overpower the subtle flavour of the tea and creates a far less enjoyable experience. However! If you’d like to take the edge off a bitter green tea, adding a squeeze of lemon or a tiny bit of honey/agave - it can be a real game changer. Of course, the decision to add milk to green tea is up to you, but if we’re talking about tradition (and we are!) - milk in green tea is a no-no.


Can I Put Milk In Herbal Tea And Infusions?

Herbal teas and infusions are an entirely different story. As they’re not made from the Camellia Sinensis plant, they’re not technically considered tea (we just call them ‘tea’ to keep things simple). As a result, there are no ‘strict’ rules about whether or not you should add milk. Some people enjoy a splash of milk in their herbal tea, especially in blends like Rooibos. However, if you’re looking to get the full benefits of the herbs, it’s usually best to drink most herbals without milk.

 a image of some teapigs mao feng green tea in a glass tea cup

Add Milk First or Last?

Ah, the age-old debate of whether to add milk first or last. The general consensus is that adding milk last is the way to go. This is because adding milk first can cool the water temperature below the 100°C necessary to get the best out of black tea. Brewing at a cooler temperature will impact the quality of your brew.

Also, if you add too much milk first, you may not be able to get the right balance of tea and milk, at which point all hope is lost as you stare into a pale, ghost-like cuppa and wonder where it all went so wrong. Save yourself the trouble and contrarianism and just add the milk last!


How Much Milk Should I Put In My Tea?

As with most things tea-related, the amount of milk you should add to your tea is a matter of personal preference. Some people prefer just a splash of milk, while others add enough to create a creamy, latte-like texture. Ultimately, it's up to you to experiment and find the perfect balance of tea and milk for your tastes.

Can I Use Alternative Milk In Tea?

Yes, you absolutely can! Alternative milks such as almond, soy, and oat milk have become increasingly popular in recent years and can be used as a substitute for dairy milk in tea. Just be aware that each type of alternative milk will have a slightly different taste and texture, so it may take some experimentation to find the best match for your tastes. Also keep in mind that, some alternative milks may not mix as well with tea as dairy milk does, so be prepared for some trial and error, we find that the barista versions mix best and don’t split. Specifically oat-based barista milk alternatives are a real favourite amongst teapigs, they go brilliantly with black tea!



In conclusion, the decision to drink tea with or without milk comes down to personal preference. Milk can help mellow out the bitterness of black tea, but it's typically not added to green tea or delicate black teas like Darjeeling or Earl Grey. Herbal teas and infusions are a different story, as there are no strict rules about whether or not to add milk. When it comes to adding milk, it's best to add it last to avoid cooling down the water temperature and impacting the quality of your brew. That’s a wrap!