back to article Milk IN the teapot: Innovation or abomination?

El Reg towers was plunged into internal strife today, with the production desk struggling to keep the news production line humming as senior editors were forced to launch an investigation into the question that has split the editorial team down the middle: is it acceptable to add the milk to the tea pot? The rift opened up at …

  1. Ol'Peculier

    And I bet he didn't even use Yorkshire Tea...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      are you

      suggesting that there is any other kind???

      1. Zot

        Re: are you

        Naa, Yorkshire tea is a little metallic for my taste, whereas Typhoo is the better builder's tea.

    2. WylieCoyoteUK

      Probably used boiling water too.....

      Everyone Knows that scalds the leaves.

      1. theModge

        Extracts the flavor better though. Some on the tannins stay put in the leaves until it's properly hot. 86 degree half arsed efforts are ok for not-really-tea, but proper English Breakfast needs boiling water.

        1. Adrian 4

          86 degrees ? Hah !

          Lads, look, there's an 86 degree-er here.

      2. Jame_s

        i thought scalding the leaves only applied to white and green tea.

        1. Sam_B.

          Scalding the leaves is normally regarded as a positive thing, in fact a requirement, when making "normal" tea, but should be avoided with green and white teas.

      3. a_a

        You should probably stick to coffee.

      4. Munzly The Hermit

        Boiling tea?

        You should always scald tea leaves! It's instant coffee that mustn't be scaled.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > And I bet he didn't even use Yorkshire Tea...

      Is there a tea bush growing within 3,000 miles of Yorkshire?

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. David Dingwall

          And has been grown on the Channel islands. I had heard a few months ago South Wales is getting warm enough, and a development agency is looking at it

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            They'd better not breathe too heavily or make any sudden movements, then

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        "Is there a tea bush growing within 3,000 miles of Yorkshire?"

        It's grown on Ilkley Moor. Didn't you know?

        1. Allan George Dyer

          Public Health Warning

          Please us appropriate head-gear when visiting Ilkley Moor.

        2. Pedigree-Pete
          Thumb Up

          Everybody now....

          "Where was thee since I last saw thee, last saw theeeeee, on Ilkley Moor bar taaaaa-at, where was thee since I last saw theee...." Join in you'll love it. :) PP

          1. Allan George Dyer

            Re: Everybody now....


            No, no, no, no, NO! It starts,

            "Wheear 'as ta bin sin ah saw thee"

            What are you, a S'thner?

      3. Ejit

        Yes 225 miles

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          Doesn't sound very appetising, does it?

        2. 3G

          You're taking the piss

      4. Captain DaFt

        "Is there a tea bush growing within 3,000 miles of Yorkshire?"

        Actually, much closer than that:

      5. Anonymous Coward

        To the denialists...

        You can grow tea in the UK quite easily...

        ... Yorkshire Tea though...

      6. Borg.King

        Almost certainly

        > "Is there a tea bush growing within 3,000 miles of Yorkshire?"

        Kew Gardens, or perhaps at the Eden project.

      7. raving angry loony

        Is there a tea bush growing within 3,000 miles of Yorkshire?

        Why would there need to be? Although they claim it was introduced in 1886, wasn't "Yorkshire Tea"'s current blend actually created during the rationing years by sweeping up crud and bagging it? Certainly tastes like it every time I've been forced to ingest some. Politeness can be challenging.

        It seems that "Yorkshire Tea" (and several other British "blends") is to tea what tofurkey is to roasted fowl.

      8. This post has been deleted by its author

  2. Jake Fraser

    Absolute sacrilege - tea doesn't brew properly once the milk is added.

    1. Camilla Smythe

      What he said.

      Absolute sacrilege - tea doesn't brew properly once the milk is added.

      The fat in the milk clogs the pores in the Teabag if you are using them and/or otherwise coats the leaves so the water cannot act properly upon them. Either you wait for ages or end up with piss weak Tea. Putting milk in brewing Tea is....

      "Well. I did almost think that it was time to pay them a visit but they seem to have being doing some terribly stupid stuff recently what with the...."

      "My Lord!! We have reports of someone placing milk in brewing tea!"

      "ARGGGGGH. Drop the Quarantine Buoy and get us out of here. Maximum Speed."

    2. Dr Spork

      ...and how the hell does one pour the milk first, which everyone understands is of paramount importance, after some raging psychopath has poured it into the pot?

      Oh the humanity!

      That said, “it’s [still probably] better than the piss brew you get when people don’t dunk the tea bag properly.”

    3. Tim 11

      but once the brewing has completed, I don't see anything wrong with putting the milk in the pot before serving.

      If I'm in one of those tea shops where you get a small cup and a pot of tea, I normally put both the milk and the sugar in the pot.

      1. Pedigree-Pete

        Black Tea...

        Just sayin' PP

    4. alain williams Silver badge


      Some, like me, don't pollute good tea with milk!

    5. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      > Absolute sacrilege - tea doesn't brew properly once the milk is added.

      Or when you use the floor sweepings commonly sold as tea bags.

      Proper tea uses leaves - not powdered dust!

  3. ohmzar

    Tea with milk in it is a abomination anyway, a complete act of sacrilege. If you are going to debase the almighty leaf suspension then who the hell cares when you defile it with bovine lactate.

    You are going to ruin the tea, destroy it's subtle flavours and forever render it to be a shadow of it's former glory, the order and receptacle in which you desecrate it, be it mug, pot or even in the kettle matters not, you are still a monster.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Can't discern between its possessive and it's the contraction: who's the real monster, bud?

    2. hplasm

      No milk-?

      That is fine (and good) for those forrinn teas! Not for a proppa cuppa.

      Apply the teats!

      1. Phil W

        Re: No milk-?

        "That is fine (and good) for those forrinn teas!"

        You mean "forrinn" like Earl Grey? One of the most quintessentially British teas there is?

        If you'd consider putting milk in Earl Grey I'm afraid it will be absolutely necessary to have you killed.

        1. Jagged

          Re: No milk-?

          "Earl Grey"

          - Victorian con trick

        2. Sadie

          Re: No milk-?

          I did once, after finding only Earl Grey at a German Hotel I then went ahead and added milk. Won't be doing that again!

        3. Rich 11 Silver badge

          Re: No milk-?

          If you'd consider putting milk in Earl Grey I'm afraid it will be absolutely necessary to have you killed.

          Then resurrected and killed again. Just to make sure you damn well learn your lesson.

          *slurps from mug of Earl Grey, complete with slice of lemon*

        4. Not That Andrew

          Re: Earl Grey

          > If you'd consider drinking Earl Grey I'm afraid it will be absolutely necessary to have you killed.

          Fixed it for you

        5. Faceless Man

          Re: Earl Grey?

          If you'd consider drinking Earl Grey, then I'm afraid it will be absolutely necessary to screw my face up in disgust.

          Horrible, soapy muck.

          1. Phil W

            Re: Earl Grey?

            "Horrible, soapy muck."

            If you've had Earl Grey that looked/tasted "soapy" I can't even begin to imagine what kind of shite it was. I presume by soapiness you mean that it was excessively oily?

            If it came in a paper tea bag then it was utter shite for certain. Paper tea bags are only acceptable when you're making bog standard tea brewed to within moments of stewing which is so strong you can't taste the paper anyway.

            Also some of the supposedly "good" tea brands are still crap when it comes to things like Earl Grey. Twinnings for example make bloody awful Earl Grey.

            I can highly recommended Tea Pigs or Whittards.

    3. PatientOne

      Considering the milk (full fat) binds the tannin (toxin) so you don't slowly poison yourself (tannin prevents the absorption of iron which can lead to or aggravate anaemia), I'd rather have the milk, thanks!

      Unless it's Earl Grey, or Lady Grey, or Green tea, or Ruibos (naturally lacks tannin) or...

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        "Considering the milk (full fat) binds the tannin (toxin)"

        Don't stew it.

      2. tony72

        Considering the milk (full fat) binds the tannin (toxin) so you don't slowly poison yourself (tannin prevents the absorption of iron which can lead to or aggravate anaemia), I'd rather have the milk, thanks!

        But milk blocks antioxidant absorption, so you miss out on the most important nutrients in the tea if you take it with milk. I would suggest that that far outweighs the tannin effect, unless you are drinking the stuff 24/7 and don't have much iron in your diet. I take it with milk myself anyway, but better to go in with your eyes open.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

      3. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge


        tastes like tea already drunk by someone.

        At least twice.

        1. Fink-Nottle

          Re: Ruibos

          Rooibos, on the other hand, is lekker!

          1. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

            @ Fink-Nottle

            No it sodding isn't, unless you get a kick from drinking piss

      4. Sceptic Tank Silver badge


        That would be "Rooibos", i.e. Red Bush. Rooibos is actually not tea.

        When I was in preschool we had to have tea with lunch every day and the teachers would not hear of you not drinking your tea. (How can you have pudding if you won't drink your tea?!!, Etc.) The tea came with milk already added, which I dispised. Even today I cannot stand milk in my tea. Yucc!

      5. Marco van de Voort

        Ruibos is not thee

        Ruiboos/Rooibos is not tea at all, but some tree's bark.

    4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "Tea with milk in it is a abomination anyway, a complete act of sacrilege."

      Who on Earth was tasteless enough to downvote this simple statement of fact?

    5. Frenchie Lad

      Ruin the Tea?

      Most of the stuff that passes for tea in tea-bags warrants ruining with milk or boiling water. Talking about leaves, look at any teabag you care and you'll see more dust than leaves and the leaves are so finely chopped (cut would not do justice to the process) thereby ensuring that you get a strong brew whatever you throw at it.

      Personally I believe that the Reg person must have been a junior office lackey to have committed such a heinous act: pure sacrilege.

      For the record the water should be 90C for tea, other temperatures between 80-95 apply for the greens & whites or reds.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Tea with milk just tastes greasy

      Been having tea (brown, green, white, Darjeeling, et.) without milk for ages and yes, it makes one hell of a better cup of tea without it. Going back to milk in just makes the tea taste greasy.

      On the other hand, I also fell in love with proper Indian tea on a trip to India, made with an appropriate assortment of spices etc., brewed the Indian way with milk and sugar in the pan and reduced to within an inch of its life to a thick syrupy concoction - wonderful stuff.

      1. James 47

        Re: Tea with milk just tastes greasy

        I make this sort of tea quite often. You need:

        Strong tea leaves (i normally use assam)


        Cardamom pods



        Ginger powder

        Cinnamon (powder)



        A really fine mesh strainer. You can vary the amounts of each ingredient according to your own taste. Boil them in not too much water and add the milk at the end. Don't drink after 10pm

      2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Tea with milk just tastes greasy

        > reduced to within an inch of its life to a thick syrupy concoction - wonderful stuff.

        Unless you happen to be lactose-intolerant or diabetic..

    7. Harrapino

      Couldn't agree more. It should be black, brewed for 15 seconds max with a little squeeze when extracting. If you're feeling naughty, (I always am:)) add a little sugar.

      These brutes, brewing tea for hours and adding milk (which i bet is not even full fat) should be shot.

    8. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Tea with milk in it is a abomination anyway, a complete act of sacrilege.

      The black tea drunk in Britain is not particularly aromatic and requires something to temper the tannin. Try drinking a mug of neat strong black tea – it's almost bound to make you sick because tannin is powerful stuff, which you'd know if you ever saw leather being made.

      I'm not sure of the chemistry (what oxidises what) but the citric acid in lemon juice can help here. Early Grey isn't anything like as strong as the normal stuff.

    9. Glenturret Single Malt

      Re: Milk IN the teapot: Innovation or abomination?

      Agree completely. Mind you, stuff like Yorkshire Tea, Tetley's, Typhoo is such shite that putting milk in it is the only way to make it remeotely palatable.

  4. Lamont Cranston

    Anyone who puts the milk in tea whilst the bag is still in the cup

    might as well just get their tea from a Klix machine.

    1. Dan Wilkie

      Re: Anyone who puts the milk in tea whilst the bag is still in the cup

      Our only tea making facilities in the office are Klix machines :(

      Yesterday I requested a "Starburst Juice" to mix things up and got two teabags in a plastic cup of freezing water. I tried again and this time got a different result, in as much as there was only one teabag. It's the start of the uprising, I'm sure of it.

      1. cosymart

        Re: Anyone who puts the milk in tea whilst the bag is still in the cup

        @ Dan Wilkie - Our only tea making facilities in the office are Klix machines :(

        Doesn't that amount to constructive dismissal? Does Jeremy Corbyn know about this callus attack on the working man/woman, almost enough to make me vote Labour.

        1. Glenturret Single Malt

          Re: Anyone who puts the milk in tea whilst the bag is still in the cup

          I like the idea of a callus attack on a working man. Would he be a horny-handed son of the soil by any chance?

    2. Captain Scarlet

      Re: Anyone who puts the milk in tea whilst the bag is still in the cup

      Why, if left brewed for the proper 3 minutes adding the milk with the bag in doesn't matter or are you are who squeezes the teabag?

    3. Alan Edwards

      Re: Anyone who puts the milk in tea whilst the bag is still in the cup

      > might as well just get their tea from a Klix machine

      or 'a cup of a liquid that is almost, but not entirely, unlike tea', as Douglas Adams put it.

      No-one's that sadistic are they? That counts as 'cruel and unusual punishment' as far as I'm concerned :)

      You can count me as one of the weirdos that puts milk in Earl Grey though. I heard of Earl Grey from ST:TNG, and it was tea so put milk in it - never knew any different.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Anyone who puts the milk in tea whilst the bag is still in the cup

        >You can count me as one of the weirdos that puts milk in Earl Grey though.

        Likewise :o)

        Anon for obvious reasons

        1. Gideon 1

          Re: Anyone who puts the milk in tea whilst the bag is still in the cup

          >You can count me as one of the weirdos that puts milk in Earl Grey though.

          Likewise ;o)

          ...and proud.

      2. SimonL

        Re: Anyone who puts the milk in tea whilst the bag is still in the cup

        "Tea, Earl Grey"

        Second only to "Engage!"


      3. Smilin' Stan

        Re: Anyone who puts the milk in tea whilst the bag is still in the cup

        Somewhat related: "It was the kind of place where you got your coffee out of a machine, and having done that, couldn't get it back in." (Kingsly Amis, I believe.)

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    and the heretic too

    1. Helldesk Dogsbody

      Burn the pot in front of the heretic first, being sure to let them know that they're next. Then purge their name from history for such heathen vileness!

    2. Just Enough

      Incineration not required

      Not necessary on two counts.

      Firstly; the "tea" in question here will naturally be spurned by all decent, civilised people. It therefore poses no threat or danger to them.

      Secondly; the heathen who spawned this devil's brew is already going to hell.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Two teabags are essential if your workplace decides to buy crap tea that won't reach the desired strength in a normal amount of time (under 5 minutes).

    Milk should only be added after the tea has reached the desired strength, with two exceptions. 1) You've beaten the afternoon rush to get a cuppa, but only just, and notice there's only enough milk in the fridge for one cup, and if you don't claim it now by putting it in the mug the person you narrowly beat will take it (and not out of vindictiveness as a result of you shoving them into a photocopier so you could get there first) 2) Masala chai, where you heat the tea, sugar and spices in the milk.

    Anon for probably obvious reasons ;-)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      An upvote for...

      Masala chai. Very nice cuppa there.

      1. Swarthy

        Re: An upvote for...

        Another upvote for Masala Chai. Although...

        I did have "tea" that was even more of an abomination than anything on these hallowed pages. A tea that was so wrongfully prepared that it has scarred me for life - Spiced "Dirty" Chai using a jasmine tea as the base. Imagine the flavors of ginger, clove and cinnamon blended beautifully with a well-pulled espresso, and clashing brutally with a cloying, over-perfumed, sickly floral jasmine tea.

  7. AndyS

    Does the anonymous staff member also add ketchup (or, shudder, mayonnaise) to chips before serving them? What about cream - (s)he doesn't add it to the crumble before it gets to the table, I presume? Jam on scones likewise - what sort of cafe would sell scones with the condiments pre spread?

    No, all these things are up to the diner to decide.

    I presume the member of staff's plan was never to be allowed to make tea again, and in that respect, presumably, they were successful.

    1. Phil W

      "Does the anonymous staff member also add ketchup (or, shudder, mayonnaise) to chips before serving them? What about cream - (s)he doesn't add it to the crumble before it gets to the table, I presume? Jam on scones likewise - what sort of cafe would sell scones with the condiments pre spread?"

      I was with you until the crumble. Crumble, especially of the apple variety, should be served with custard surely?

      Also as for serving scones with condiments pre-spread, while it does seem odd I have been to at least one or two establishments where they do exactly that. My theory on the reason for this is that it prevents them becoming offended by your choice of order for the jam and clotted cream. I'm a butter/jam/cream sort of chap, but I understand there is a bizarre fashion for butter/cream/jam or in acts of clear insanity just cream/jam or jam/cream and no butter at all.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I'm from the westcountry, and could never see the point of using butter. I probably just use twice as much clotted cream though.

        1. Phil W

          "I probably just use twice as much clotted cream though."

          This is probably an acceptable reason not to use butter.

      2. Nick Ryan Silver badge

        In order to offend both the Devonish and the Cornish I take care to put cream on one half of the scone, jam on the other and then ram them together and eat them like an atypical upcountryer.

        Quite why you'd pollute such a delight with butter is beyond both myself and the straw poll of emigrant locals I've found to quiz on the matter.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          "In order to offend both the Devonish and the Cornish I take care to put cream on one half of the scone, jam on the other and then ram them together"

          I find you get a much better effect if you put the jam on first, then the cream on the bottom half only then put the cream on first then the jam on the top half then bring them together and munch down on it.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "In order to offend both the Devonish and the Cornish"

          You already had me offended at "Devonish". Just as bad as calling a scot "scotch". For what it's worth the proper term is "Devonian".

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > Does the anonymous staff member also add ketchup (or, shudder, mayonnaise) to chips before serving them?

      Wouldn't be surprised if (s)he adds those to their tea.

    3. AndrueC Silver badge

      Does the anonymous staff member also add ketchup (or, shudder, mayonnaise)

      Bloody hell! I thought for a minute you were still talking about tea then. I've got a case of the dry heaves now thank-you-very-much.

  8. Dan 55 Silver badge
    IT Angle

    Sounds a bit foreign to me

    Is El Reg hiring cheap EU residents who are on borrowed time?

    This is what happens when you don't invest in workplace training.

  9. Hollerithevo


    Never. Never.

    That is to presume that everybody likes the same amount of milk, so rude. It cools everyone's tea, so not welcome. It scums up the teapot with milk residue, so a shape hard to wash now needs to be scrubbed.

    In every say, so so wrong it falls off the scale of wrongness.

    1. Tom Wood

      Re: Never.

      Actually, it scums up the coffee pot.

    2. NP-HARD

      Re: Never.

      Never. Never. Never. Again? Sounds like the voice of guilty experience.

      Shameful you did it even once.

    3. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: Never.

      > teapot with milk residue, so a shape hard to wash now needs to be scrubbed.

      Scrubbing a tea pot? That's almost as bad a crime as using a brillo-pad on a wok!

      Texture and history dear boy, texture and history!

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    According to the science:

    Tea bag in a cup, you add milk last after leaving it at least several minutes to brew as the complex flavonoids need the heat of boiling water.

    Tea leaves in a (pre-warmed) tea pot, add milk to the cup first before pouring .

    Anyone who adds milk to the cup, then a tea bag and water should be taken outside and shot.

    Either way, making a cup of tea isn't difficult but very few folks can make a GOOD cup of tea.

    I make crap coffee but fantastic tea, or so I'm told.

    1. gv

      Re: According to the science:

      If you add milk to the cup before pouring, you run the risk of having it too milky. Always add milk after the tea. Orwell agrees with me.

      1. Scunner

        Re: According to the science:

        The way I heard it was this; Tea was originally drunk without milk - if you've got really good tea it's still the "best" way to drink it (personal preference aside - it is the best way to be able to really taste the quality of the tea). The fashion for tea drinking brought with it a fashion for using very delicate porcelain cups to drink it from (fine china - named as such as that's where both tea and cups came from). These had an unfortunate tendency to crack when very hot tea was poured into them. Someone came up with the bright idea of putting milk in the bottom of the cup, which behaved as a heat sink for the hot tea, and reduced cracking in the very expensive cups. It also changed the flavour of the tea, which many preferred - and hence the British custom of milky tea was born.

        In a historical sense Orwell was wrong on this one. In practical terms I'm with you both though - modern ceramics are cheap and robust, so thermal damage isn't a problem any more.

        In my experience black tea brews better with freshly boiled (not reboiled) water that's still bubbling, and milk should only be added after the teabag or infuser has been removed. Adding the milk when the bag is in situ brings out all sorts of awful flavours, probably due to the milk interacting with the tannins in the leaves. I'll make an exception to this rule for masala chai though.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: According to the science:

      "add milk to the cup first before pouring"

      Wasn't that practice introduced to avoid cracking your inferior china? With good quality china you pour the tea in first. Then, if you really must add milk, pour it into a separate cup. Both are excellent liquids but you really shouldn't mix your drinks.

  11. Doctor_Wibble

    Abomination! Why is this even a question?

    Everything that could have been done wrong was done wrong. If two wrongs don't make a right then why would three or four?

    I've only ever seen milk pre-added to tea in a klix machine (instant tea mentioned above) and a clearly labelled industrial Ern* back in the days when there was no such weirdness as black tea. If you wanted a hot drink without milk you had coffee.


    * ref. E.Morecambe passim.

    1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: Abomination! Why is this even a question?

      > I've only ever seen milk pre-added to tea in a klix machine (instant tea

      Said 'milk' bears as much resemblance to real milk as Hersheys does to proper chocolate. Vile, vile stuff. And contains lots of glucose.

  12. Peter Prof Fox

    Warm the pot!

    + Do not use round or, heaven forfend, tetrahedral bags

    + Wash the pot after use

    + Wash cup or mug after use

    The making of tea and the ancillary actions is an essential alls-right-with-the-world chilling out time. Bag-in-a-mug merchants are too busy for their own good. I despise them.

    Remember many 'acquired taste' teas don't have milk at all.

    1. Teiwaz

      Re: Warm the pot!

      "Remember many 'acquired taste' teas don't have milk at all."

      Three points.

      - I quite like Earl Grey or Lady Grey with milk...

      - I draw the line at 'those fruit teas', never ever add milk to those...

      - I'm a black coffee fanatic mostly, so, my taste buds are pretty well desensitized.

      My coat, 'cause, might as well be prepared...

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Warm the pot!

        "I'm a black coffee fanatic mostly, so, my taste buds are pretty well desensitized."

        So that explains " I quite like Earl Grey or Lady Grey with milk"

    2. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

      Re: Warm the pot!

      Cups or mugs do not make proper tea without enough deposit to warrant wire brushing.

  13. MrDamage Silver badge


    How dare he sully a coffee pot with tea!

    Thwow him to the gwound, Wegturion. Woughly!

    1. 0laf Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Heathen!

      F'kin A Bubba!

      1. dnbattley

        Re: Heathen!

        You find something wwwisable?

  14. psychonaut

    dear god what are we teaching the kids?

    the only proper way to make tea is in a pint glass.

    2 tea bags.

    two sugars.

    leave to steep until you remember that you started making a cup of tea. could be 5 minutes or sometimes 4 hours. shit ! i was making tea!

    take out tea bags. scrape off tannins and other crap. put in microwave to heat to desired temperature.

    THEN, and only then, do you add the milk.

    the advantage of the pint glass is that

    a) you can see exactly how much milk to put in as you can see the lovely colour change allt he way through the liquid column

    b) it freaks people out because they assume the glass will explode when you put boling hot water in it.

    c) it means you dont have to make tea as often as in a cup

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: dear god what are we teaching the kids?

      Then pour out the contents, rinse the glass in water, decreasing the water temperature until it is ice cold and then refill with beer.

      1. Karl Vegar

        Re: dear god what are we teaching the kids?


        If you've had milk in a glass, it needs to be thouroughly cleaned before you add beer. If there is any milk fat left on the glass it messes up the formation of a good head (in turn leading to your beer going flat before it's time.)

        Basically, never serve dairy products in anything you want to serve beer in later.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: dear god what are we teaching the kids?

          Flatmates kept throwing away milk because it had curdled in the coffee. Then one day it was noticed that it didn't happen to everyone's coffee serving.

          The reason was that people often washed their cup in Fairy Liquid - and just left it to drain dry. They didn't rinse it. When adding milk to their next coffee the detergent residue de-emulsified it - the resulting coagulation making it appear curdled.

          Once tried to make a flavoured cold milk drink with Rose's Lime Cordial. Unfortunately that also de-emulsifies milk.

        2. Truckle The Uncivil

          Re: dear god what are we teaching the kids?

          Same with detergent

      2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: dear god what are we teaching the kids?

        > decreasing the water temperature until it is ice cold and then refill with beer.

        Then pour away and refill with something drinkable. Red wine, port or cider are all acceptable.

    2. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

      Re: dear god what are we teaching the kids?

      Hot tea in a heatproof glass! In the West Indies that is referred to as . . . . . .

      Wait for it. . . . . . .

      Pyrex of the Carribbean

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: dear god what are we teaching the kids?

        Beer glasses are for beers.

        How many times do I have to tell you? The right tool for the right job, laddie!

        1. psychonaut

          Re: dear god what are we teaching the kids?

          dont panic....i have way more than 1 pint glass....

    3. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: dear god what are we teaching the kids?

      > the only proper way to make tea is in a pint glass.

      At which point the bottom of your prized dimple pint mug separates from the rest of the mug and your nephew[1] is left looking slightly sheepish..

      [1] OK - so it was lemsip in this case - but the same applies. Dimple mugs are fine if the boiling water covers them but can't stand having boiling water just poured in the bottom. Or at least, mine couldn't.

  15. Pen-y-gors

    No brainer shirley?

    Transport caffs back in the fifties and sixties mixed a large pot of strong tea with milk and sugar added, just how builders like it, and poured all the teas from that.

    Apart from that one specific, nay unique, situation, other posters have it right. Tea must be made with boiling water. Tea + milk is not boiling.

    Milk should be added to taste, once the desired strength has been achieved.

    One nasty thought - it wasn't UHT milk as well was it, to really compund the offence?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No brainer shirley?

      IIRC any large catering situation in the 1950/60s used to have a large urn of tea with the milk added. In those days tea was always strong with milk and lots of sugar. Usually Typhoo, P.G. Tips, or Brooke-Bond. As a bonus there were often collectable sets of picture cards on educational subjects like wild flowers or stars.

      Memories of after-school hobby clubs - and our school canteen serving a cup of tea for 1d - and a slice of custard jam tart for another 1d.

    2. Chris G

      Re: No brainer shirley?

      I think most of those transport cafes in those days learned their tea making skills in the military. When I was in the army ( much later), when out on exercise, sometimes the catering corps would come out with 'lunch' ( stuff in large aluminium trays), the tea that came with lunch was in a bowser that was was heated to boiling then a large bag of army strength tea bags was thrown in with a bag of sugar and a bag of army powdered milk.

      After having been run aroung the British countryside carrying a rifle, lots of blanks and smoke grenades, spare ammo for the machine gunners and anything else a training sergeant could think of to load you up, for 24 or more hours without proper sleep, army tea tasted good and in those days I was a coffee drinker.

      For normal times and places though, anyone who mixes the ingredients all together in that way should be lightly killed and told not to do it again.

      1. Tony S

        Re: No brainer shirley?

        During the 30s, 40s & 50s, the army used to have tea made in huge dixies; no tea bags in those days, loose tea leaves. The water and tea would be boiled, then they would add evaporated milk and a couple pounds of sugar. When ready, men would be allowed to dip their mugs into the brew and this meant that relatively few leaves would be taken up as those would settle to the bottom.

        Many ex-service and a lot of national service men actually developed a taste for evaporated milk in tea; and in some of the former service base areas, they do still make tea with either evaporated or condensed milk from a tin.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No brainer shirley?

      Go to pretty much any cafe in Canning Town and you can relive those fifties transport cafe moments; tea that would decoke a vintage two stroke back to bare metal in seconds.

    4. PhilipN Silver badge

      Re: No brainer shirley?

      And don't forget to line up all the cups on the counter and fill them in a single pour from side to side moving down at the end of each row. Quickest way to serve 20 cups of tea and you only had to wipe down the counter once.*

      If you don't remember then you're making it up.

      *Obviously the cups were not square. Only heathens drink from anything apart from round cups with sides on a shallow gradient - so the tea cools faster. Taking time over a cuppa is for matrons and old maids entertaining the vicar.

  16. Paul Woodhouse

    milk? in tea?... savages...

  17. JimmyPage Silver badge

    and the tea was

    Earl Grey, wasn't it ?

  18. MarkB

    University Hall of Residence late 1970s

    Two huge pots of tea on each table in the dining room.

    Both contained a catering tea bag, hot water and milk.

    Pot at one end had sugar, pot the other didn't...

    My group of friends used to aim to be in for meals fairly promptly, so that we could drag the tea bag out of our pot before it stewed to undrinkability.

  19. Simon Harris

    I say we take off and nuke the entire pot from orbit...

    ... you know the rest.

  20. m0rt

    Innovation or Abomination?

    Milk in the pot is the equivalent of:

    spraying Febreze on your undercrackers because you haven't a clean pair.

    eating the bread, then eating a spoonful of butter, then eating a block of cheese because you can't be arsed to make a sandwich.

    using Windows Me.

    drinking instant coffee.

    pressing down hard on a biro because it has run out of ink, and you will just run a pencil over it later.

    thinking Boris should be PM.

    1. Winters

      Re: Innovation or Abomination?

      I think "Windows ME" might be taking it a stage too far!

    2. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: Innovation or Abomination?

      spraying Febreze on your undercrackers because you haven't a clean pair.

      Rubbish! There's nothing wrong with a quick waft of Febreze if you've got a hot date and no time to do any washing. At all.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  21. stucs201

    I don't even like tea...

    ...but even I know milk in the pot is wrong.

  22. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

    "... the “pot” was not a tea pot, but a coffee pot. To make tea. With milk in it."

    There is no emoticon that adequatly illustrates the infuriation I am experiencing right now. There are athings that simply are not done, period.

  23. Winters

    Why is this "person" still an employee?

  24. Alister

    A B O M I N A T I O N !

    as above.

  25. TRT Silver badge


    That's disgusting. Only acceptable tea that can be poured with milk added already is flask tea.

    The best tea is leaf tea, using water drawn from the tender and boiled in a pot on the boilerplate next to the firebox, the leaves having been spun down and out through centrifugal force by swinging the pot on a rope out of the side of the cab on the long stretch between Crewe and Derby where there isn't any lineside to foul the can.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: WTF?

      "Only acceptable tea that can be poured with milk added already is flask tea."

      That had its own peculiar taste if it was made at home in the early morning before catching a train to the seaside. It was then drunk to wash down soggy tomato & cheese sandwiches on the beach in the afternoon.

      IIRC later flasks had a separate container for the milk.

      1. Shedman

        Re: WTF?

        Ah, flask tea. What we always referred to in Kent as, "Hop picking tea."

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sorta like a Latte

    Heating milk releases sugar from the milk into the brew, sweetening it naturally.

    As to how much milk to add, how many teabags to use, and for how long, is up to you, but if you like sweetened tea and want to use less or no sugar,

  27. Jay 2


    I know full-on (loose) tea purists will moan about milk in tea full stop, but this isn't about them.

    Anyway back to the question at hand, adding milk to tea in a pot is just plain wrong (to put it very mildly).

  28. Andy Taylor

    What if you don't drink milk?

    I'd say milk *in* the teapot is just plain rude.

    In my experience, any particular blend of tea tastes pretty much the same regardless of how it is made.

    Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall's tea method is genius though.

    1. NP-HARD

      Re: What if you don't drink milk?

      Whittingstall is an abject bag-botherer who should be physically restrained from doing further harm

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: What if you don't drink milk?

        > Whittingstall is an abject bag-botherer who should be physically restrained

        Indeed. I wasn't aware until I read the article just how deviant Mr Firmly-Whippingstool[1] was!

        [1] I defy you to get that out of your head now.. I have problems remembering his real name now..

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: What if you don't drink milk?

      After half an hour of messing about with two mugs, water of differing temperatures, the milk, and so on I'd have decided that a cup of Mellow Birds would have been preferable to that palava.

      1. Pedigree-Pete

        Re: What if you don't drink milk?

        Have an upvote for introducing palava. PP

  29. sandman


    There is a certain existential beauty in getting everything so wrong simultaneously. Either that or they were asking to be put n the Darwin Award shortlist courtesy of the editorial team.

  30. HaeryDhann

    Intelligence ... is optional

    One need only refer to BS 6008:1980 (ISO 1839).

  31. DailyLlama
    Thumb Up

    British Standard 6008 is all you need to know.

  32. Stumpy

    Utter Sacrilege!

    The only, and I repeat, ONLY, time it is ever acceptable to add milk to the steeping leaves is when you're breing up a nice pot of Cardamom Chai, where the leaves, spices and sugar are added to the heated milk and there's no water anywhere near the whole concoction.

  33. Fortycoats

    Ye Gods!

    Tea in a coffee pot????? Blasphemy! And milk in there, too? That's a paddlin' !!

    Did anyone dare drink the stuff? Probably tasted of coffee..... bleugh!

    Think I need a strong cuppa after the shock of reading that.

  34. WaveyDavey

    Ahh, memories

    I was about 9-10 and was in Tracy Bywater's house on Seymour Street, and her dad made tea - large aluminium teapot, boiling water, leaf tea, a digger-scoop of sugar and half a bottle of sterilised milk. Left to fester for 10 minutes, then drink.

    I am now 50_ and I don't think my tastebuds have recovered yet.

  35. FuzzyTheBear

    Slow ?

    Must be a hell of a slow day at the office to stir a storm about milk in a teapot.

    Solve this by having several teapots

    a) carries straight tea

    b) tea and milk

    c) tea milk and sugar etc etc ..

    The End . J.C. i need a drink .. sunglasses on .. let's get the hell out of here

    Have a good weekend

  36. DubyaG

    I'm from the US, but...

    Milk in the teapot, ick! But I must confess, I do use a double bag of tea when making mine in the work cafeteria. I like it strong, no milk for me.

    The Yank will leave now.

    1. Alan Edwards

      Re: I'm from the US, but...

      First time I went to the US, I had to get some tea bags out there. The only ones I could get was some Liptons stuff from CVS - just about drinkable, but expensive.

      Since then I've taken my own with me.

      1. Ol'Peculier

        Re: I'm from the US, but...

        Same here. Last year I took tea bags as gifts for the people I was staying with.

    2. Blank-Reg

      Re: I'm from the US, but...

      To be fair, the US just don't take tea seriously and everytime I've had US tea, I've had to use 2-3 teabags. I recommend that, should you visit, you should try builders tea.

      1. Chris G

        Re: I'm from the US, but...

        Blank-Reg you bastard, you have just forced me to recover valuable tea from my keyboard.

        Plus I have tears in my eyes due to laughing out loud while snorting tea.

  37. chivo243 Silver badge

    Easy solution

    don't use the pot... We have big "coffee" mugs* and use them for tea. I prefer only some sugar, the missus likes her milk and sugar.

    I would think it a bit presumptuous to add milk to the whole pot as I find milk with tea like adding a mixer to my scotch, one small ice cube is the absolute limit there.

    *Cuts down on refills ;-}

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Easy solution

      I was with you until you put ice in Scotch. The only thing to put into a whiskey is another whiskey.

      1. David Robinson 1

        Re: Easy solution

        "The only thing to put into a whiskey is another whiskey."

        Only if you're Irish or American.

        Me, I prefer whisky in my whisky.

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: Easy solution

          A drop of water helps release the aromas of a good single malt.

          1. chivo243 Silver badge

            Re: Easy solution

            hence the small ice cube...

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Easy solution

            A drop of water in a single malt is acceptable. An ice cube (of whatever size) is not.

        2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Easy solution

          "Only if you're Irish or American."

          You need to add a few more OR terms to that set. Such as "or you've lived in Ireland", "or you drink Black Bush" etc.

          1. TRT Silver badge

            Re: Easy solution (Black Bush)


  38. Dabooka

    Why is this being debated?

    Just flog them already, fecking heathens

  39. beerfuelled

    Tea in the kettle?

    I was recently attending an occasion at a village hall and went to pour some water from the kettle into my cup to make a coffee, only to discover that someone had brewed tea in the kettle (just a normal plastic kettle). Someone obviously thought it was a very efficient idea (presumably there was no teapot around or something). I wasn't so impressed.

    I don't really understand tea. However you make it it tastes horrible (weak brown leaf water) so I don't know why people get so uppity about it. Making tea is a strange game. The only winning move is not to play (and make some nice coffee instead).

    1. Faceless Man

      Re: Tea in the kettle?

      I've had the opposite problem in airline lounges, hotels, and catered gatherings where they provide pre-brewed filter coffee and hot water for tea drinkers in urns. The labels sometimes get swapped around, so you put your piddly little tea bag in your cup, and add hot water that turns out to be coffee.

  40. Blank-Reg

    Milk in the teapot? Clearly drinks coffee as his main beverage and thought "I fancy a go at this tea lark"

    Bloody savage.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  41. rmason


    This has really upset me. I wish I hadn't read it.

    I don't think i'll sleep tonight now.

  42. Alan Edwards

    Might work...

    but only if everyone likes the same amount of milk. In my experience, that never happens. I like tea you can basically stand the spoon up in, I have to double the amount of milk for some people.

    There were some people in the last office that I could re-use my tea bag for and they'd still want more milk than normal.

  43. Karl Vegar

    Milk in a teapot, massiv NO.

    A: Not everyone will want milk, or the same amount of milk.

    B: Getting the pot clean again is going to be .... a suitable punishment for the miscreant.

    That being said, I must confess: I have, on occation, brewed tea directly in milk (heated in the microwawe no less...) To my defence, this was some spicy variant, I'm usually a coffee drinker, not much of one for tea, and I'm not a Brit.

  44. Lee D Silver badge


    I just shove the pod into the Tassimo, hit the button, and pour a UHT milk capsule into it while it does it.

    Anything else is honestly faffing about and taking away from valuable self-congratulating "Haven't we got a lot done today" talk.

    1. GrumpenKraut

      > ... UHT milk ...

      No, no, and no.

    2. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge


    3. Swarthy

      @ Lee D

      I think you dropped this -->

  45. AndrueC Silver badge

    A chap I used to work with did that, or almost. Damned infuriating. He'd put the tea bags and milk into the cups then switch the kettle on. Now being somewhat temporally challenged he'd often forget what he was doing ("concentrating on my work" was often his feeble excuse). So fifteen minutes later he'd go back to the kitchen and pour the hot water in. Then he'd bring my cup over to me containing a pale grey, but hot, drink of something that was almost but not entirely unlike a cup of tea.

    What I could never fathom was that occasionally we'd have coffee and he'd never put the milk in first whether it was filtered or instant.

  46. Andus McCoatover


    Milk-in-first? Lowest form of terrorism ever!

    Even my gardener doesn't do that!

    Orf with their heads!

  47. Custard Fridge

    And what of using a coffee pot to make tea? SPECIAL DISCRETION REQUIRED

    Since when did tea ever taste like tea when brewed in a works coffee pot?

    Or does El Reg have a working dishwasher? Really? That gets loaded? Ever?

    A deeply disturbing article this. Needs one of those Channel 4 'Special Discretion Required' badges on... now those where the days...

  48. Jamie Jones Silver badge

    coffee in the kettle...

    I've been known to shove milk, coffee, and water into the kettle, and boil the lot together (I was busy and thirsty, and didn't want to keep getting up to pour another cup!)

    1. Custard Fridge

      Re: coffee in the kettle...

      For the love of God, remember you're British! Snap out of it man!

      1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

        Re: coffee in the kettle...


        You are, of course, correct Sir!

        Thanks for the advice... I feel so ashamed now (even though it was damn fine coffee!)

  49. Come to the Dark Side

    Think it's probably a "western" outrage thing as eastern tea (chai) is made by adding the milk to the tea mixture and bringing back to the boil (with a shed (4x6) load of sweetening) iirc.

  50. Richard 120

    Oh Dear god!

    Won't someone PLEASE think of the children!?

  51. You aint sin me, roit

    What's the problem?

    A good slug of rum and everyone's happy!

  52. Richard Gray 1
    Black Helicopters

    Back in my day

    For years we have devalued the induction of the "new boy"!

    Back in my day they were someone who did the errands and made the tea \ coffee (up to 12 people mix of coffees teas, strengths,sugars etc and God help you if you got it wrong!!).

    These days ask the tattooed, pierced youth to go fetch a pencil from the stationary cupboard they look at you like you have beaten them to an inch of their life then asked them to shovel a wagon load of AOL CDs (or excrement whichever you think worse).

    Where are the tea making trainees?

    Why are the schools not teaching these valuable life skills?

    It's a conspiracy by St@rducks and Costalotta and co !!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Back in my day

      "Where are the tea making trainees?"

      In the 1980s our IT company took on students for a year as the work part of their Poly/Uni course. In our department they were given real work and responsibilities. One had to be offered a job later because he was running the marketing section so well.

      When they met up with their peers again - they were surprised that many of them with other companies had only been allowed to do tea making and photocopying all year.

      When we had kids for a school's work experience week they were usually given to me after the first day. They had quickly become bored with shadowing a production line role. So I had to find them things that were interesting to do. One lad reported that he had started and finished his Year 10 IT project in the week he spent with me. In return he erased the pile of floppy disks that were due for scrapping.

      Another lad was not so lucky. Being assigned to an IT company raised his expectations. A week working in the canteen was a great disappointment.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Back in my day

      "fetch a pencil from the stationary cupboard"

      In our day they had to fetch it from the cupboard whilst it was still moving. Kids today. Don't know they're born. etc. etc.

    3. Ol'Peculier

      Re: Back in my day

      go fetch a pencil from the stationary cupboard

      The problem here is you aren't been specific enough. All our cupboards are stationary in my office as well.

      I'll get mi' coat...

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Something not quite unlike tea...

    Tea is simple... yet so many get it so wrong.

    Please forward these simple instructions to your hapless (now ex-) employee

    Breakfast / Black Tea in a Mug:

    1)Tea bag in2) Sugar / sweetener in (if you take it) 3) Freshly boiled water in *BREW* 4)Tea bag out 5)Milk in to taste (whilst still hot). Variant: Sugar may be added at other points in the process, but I prefer to have it dissolve entirely.

    Breakfast / Black Tea in a Pot:

    1) Warm TEA pot with hot water then empty (ideally) 2)Tea leaves / bag(s) into POT 3) Freshly boiled water into POT *BREW* 4) Tea leaves/bags out (or leave in for bitter 2nd cup) 5) Sugar into CUP 6) Milk in CUP 7) Pour tea from POT into CUP. Variant: Leave tea/milk and/or sugar out of cup for others to make their ideal cup at will.

    Chai (Massala Chai):

    1) Tea, Sugar, Spices, Water & Milk (~1/2 each, vary to taste) into saucepan/ chai pot. Brew carefully on low heat (to avoid milk spilling over the top) until strong. 2) Serve. Variant: Brew tea for a while before adding the milk for extra strong tea flavour.

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    “It’s better than the piss brew you get when people don’t dunk the tea bag properly."

    It took a while to learn the correct timing for a colleague's cup of tea. You literally dunked the teabag in - then out again almost immediately. A second too long and it was declared to be unacceptably strong.

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Abomination, without question

    To put milk in the pot (debates on how much that affects the brewing process aside) is to assume everyone wants the same tea:milk ratio which is unbelievable arrogance. My view is a splash of milk to give it a colour resembling a manilla envelope, my mother on the other hand prefers what is basically a glass of milk that's been in the same room as a teabag for no more than 4 seconds.

    Interestingly, I recall this debated on radio once - Chris Evans once argued (on the R1 breakfast show I think??) that if you put milk/sugar in coffee or tea, then you don't like tea.

    Equally, Frank Skinner recalled a tale of someone's response to an adult requesting sugar in their tea - "what are you, 12??"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Abomination, without question

      The point of adding fat to tea is to counteract the bitterness.

      We are hard-wired to avoid bitter tastes - which in the wild could indicate poisons.

      People have genetically determined different taste buds - and different teas vary in their taste and strength. Adding sugar can become self-defeating - people can become inured to the sweet taste. Some people are genetically unable to taste certain artificial sweeteners.

  56. A K Stiles

    No no no no no no no no no no no no no!!!

    You never allow milk and tea (bag) to contact and you certainly never use something that has held coffee to make tea!

    I sincerely hope the individual concerned has been roundly chastised, trained in the correct procedure, taken outside, flogged and returned to the kitchen until such time as they can present you with a proper cuppa.

    I'd say nuke them from orbit, but they'll never learn if you do that for a first offence - even one as severe as this!

    1. Scott 53

      Re: No no no no no no no no no no no no no!!!

      There's a circle of hell set aside for those people who do a mixed tea and coffee round in the office, stir the coffee and then stir the tea without rinsing the spoon first. Looking at you, Paul.

      1. A K Stiles

        Re: No no no no no no no no no no no no no!!!

        Right alongside the foul beings that stir sugar into their tea and then straight in to my cup with the spoon... about the only evidence for homeopathic efficacy I've ever witnessed - yes I can taste the sweetness!

  57. Kev99 Silver badge

    We were working in Tanzania for several months and every day precisely at 10:00 AM we broke for "chai" (that's "tea" in Swahili, mates). And the chai was always prepared with the cream already mixed in. Whether it was brewed that way I don't know. You didn't go into the cook's kitchen if you planned on seeing another sunrise.

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Carry on

    Reminds me of Carry on up the Khyber 1:05:08

    'but put the tea in before the milk and they go beserk'

  59. Lord of Fries

    Mix tea with milk? WTF?

    I never mix tea with milk, I think they're mutually exclusive. But then I'm Portuguese so let me get my coat .

  60. maribert
    Thumb Down

    Milk in the thermos? Yuck!

    First off: Don't use teabags, use a tea filter and loose leaves. Second: Milk in the thermos you brew your tea in? YUCK! How would you ever clean that completely? Tea has no fat or other stuff that could grime up your thermos (the patina tea leaves is innocuous), but milk?

    And -- do you know everybody wants milk in their tea? I, for one, do not.

  61. AndrueC Silver badge

    I'll tell one thing not to try adding - soluble aspirin. I tried that once when I was a young lad and aside from the look of it (orange with white flakes) the taste was abominable. Almost enough to cure my headache on the first sip.

  62. Scott 53

    Unhappy memories

    In my student days I lived in one of the less salubrious areas of Birmingham. Our Asian neighbours kindly invited us round for a cup of tea, but I was more than a little surprised when it came out of the pot not only already sweetened but with sterilised milk added. Not a happy experience, but definitely memorable.

    1. ThePhantom

      Re: Unhappy memories

      Hmmm... they must have been Thai, because Chinese, Japanese, Singaporean, and Korean all drink their tea "black."

      1. A K Stiles

        Re: Unhappy memories

        "Hmmm... they must have been Thai, because Chinese, Japanese, Singaporean, and Korean all drink their tea "black." "

        Or, as I suspect the OP was talking about Birmingham, United Kingdom, it was probably 'Asian' meaning of Indian / Pakistani / Bangladeshi origins, or thereabouts.

    2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: Unhappy memories

      > In my student days I lived in one of the less salubrious areas of Birmingham

      Otherwise known as "Birmingham". In the spirit of full disclosure I must reveal that I was born in Birmingham. But my parents had the good sense to leave before I had time to aquire the special accent..

  63. cosymart

    NSFW Icon

    This entire article needs flagging as NSFW. Enough to get grown men groaning. I do hope that no one of a delicate nature reads this. <Shakes head...>

  64. Dwarf

    More practice needed

    Clearly the graduate needs a little more education in how the world brews tea outside of student digs. I believe they term it work experience.

    I propose regular practice to build up the required skill level. Perhaps a brew performed correctly at the same time every day for say the next 6-12 months would do the trick.

  65. earl grey

    Tea - in bags?

    what is the world coming to?

    now get off my lawn!

  66. Paul Woodhouse

    hah... shameless plug and I know its farcebook, but I do give instructions on how to make a proper brew here...

  67. Sequin

    An absolute travesty! No tea needs milk, and teabags should only be used in emergency when the tea leaves have run out! But then, anyone who lets the leaves run out should be hung by their knackers until they learn their lesson.

    Making anything in a coffee pot is an abomination, as they retain the taste of the noxious liquid that is nowt but the devil's diarrhoea!

  68. davenewman

    Standard Indian tea-making

    In India, if you ask for tea from a stall, you get tea that has been boiled with milk and spices long enough that all the bacteria in the water and milk are dead. It is a lot safer than what you get at post hotels. And it actually tastes quite good.

  69. G R Goslin


    Personally, I loathe the teabag. It's leaf tea only for me. Unfortunately, unless I pay a fortune for real leaf tea, all I get is the dust that they put in teabags. The teabag was a real boon to the tea suppliers, no longer would they have to throw away the dust from the leaf tea manufacture. However, I eschew the traditional teapot, and use the standard filter coffee maker, using the normally supplied permanent filter. That way I get perfect tea, without the leaves being overlong in contact with the hot water. Too, the keep hot heater maintains the tea at drinkable temperature for a long period with no deterioration in taste. The milk, however still goes in the cup. Try it, it really does work. Disposal of the tea leaves, too, is a doddle, simply upend and tap the filter over the bin. There's no need to wash out the dregs, such as there are.

  70. Brian Allan 1

    Definitely "an insult to years of British tea making"! I'm sure we'll never see the Queen destroying a good cuppa in this fashion!!

  71. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Thumb Down


    I'm actually greatly impressed with the amount of restraint the other commentards have shown.

    Now I need to go and have a few glasses of wine to recover from the shock.

  72. cortland

    Here now

    I've been long away from Blighty but *I* thought one had to boil tea until the spoon either stood up in it or dissolved.

    Or was that Army coffee.... not sure: I think COFFEE came by the slice. US Army coffee, that is.

  73. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This sort of thing would never have happened before Brexit !!

    (Brexit icon required)

  74. MatsSvensson

    Mmmmslow news day....?

  75. Anonymous Coward

    Hot, strong, and black

    Since I can no longer use the title as the opening to a joke, let me just say that you Brits are beginning to sound like American coffee hipsters. Next someone is going to start talking about "hotting the pot", something that only makes sense with an East Asian [please bring back the term 'Orient' as a geography term] cast iron pot.

    For the office tea, you should have a French Presses. Use loose leaves and dump the resulting brew into an insulated pot if it's not going to be drunk immediately. Let people add milk or sugar to their cuppa to taste.

    If there's anyone in the office who worries about temperature or brewing time, you're overstaffed.

  76. Mad Chaz

    what if ...

    What if I didn't wank milk in my tea? Can't exactly take it out. now can you?

    1. JulieM Silver badge

      Re: what if ...

      Typo of the Month award right there, I think .....

  77. Richard Scratcher


    Tea contains polyphenols, which give it a bitter flavour that some people prefer. Milk binds to some of the polyphenols making the tea taste less bitter.

    Pouring a small quantity of cold milk to a large volume of hot tea will "scald" the milk and denature it before it has time to bind with the polyphenols.

    Pouring tea into a cup with milk in will slowly warm the milk and result in a less bitter drink.

    So, putting milk in the teapot will give you all the disadvantages of milk with none of the benefits, which is why it's just not done old boy.

    1. JulieM Silver badge

      Re: M.I.F

      Um, no. The temperature change seen by the milk is the same, whether you add the tea to the milk or the milk to the tea.

      The temperature change seen by the cup, however, is less severe when adding hot tea to cold milk in the cup than when adding hot tea to an empty cup. Which can, in some cases, be enough to make the difference between the cup remaining intact versus undergoing what mobile phone manufacturers term "spontaneous rapid disassembly".

      But people like to make up all sorts of stories to kid themselves it's nothing to do with their cheap china .....

      1. A K Stiles

        Re: M.I.F

        Um, no, it isn't. Half litre of tea at 95°C, add small dash of milk at 4°C temperature of the mixture is now 94.5°C. Repeat until all the milk is added and the mixture is now at about 75°C. (all depending on initial starting temps and relative volumes)

        Or quantity of milk at 4°C, add a splash of tea at 95°C, temperature of mixture is now 5°C. repeat until all tea added, mixture is now at 80°C. In the second instance the hottest the milk ever gets is the 75°C. In the first instance some of it gets up to 95°C and denatures more and tastes 'funny' - like using UHT milk in your tea tastes 'funny' vs. the pasteurised stuff.

        (Icon with a dash of irony, added at any stage of the reading you like!)

  78. Anonymous Coward

    A warning from history

    Milk in the pot is fine, just dont accidentally pour it into a cup containing instant coffee.

    Te'coffee tastes awful.

    Cheers !! (Thats my pint glass of Rooibos tea)

    1. Am

      Re: A warning from history

      I used to work with someone who drank a mix of tea and coffee together, and said it was very nice.

      I choose to believe they actually did like as I could;t stomach trying it myself.

      1. Swarthy

        Re: A warning from history

        I will admit to having dunked a tea bag into some particularly egregious coffee - low-quality grounds, over-extracted, and left on the heat for too long - Just nasty. The addition of tea actually reduced the amount of "bitter".

  79. Captain DaFt

    Is it acceptable to add the milk to the tea pot?


  80. C. P. Cosgrove

    No way !

    If you are a Squaddie coming off stag at 0 dark hundred cold, wet, miserable and, in a combat area, terrified then so long as it is hot, wet and sweet you will drink it with gratitude and without asking any unnecessary questions.

    Otherwise - tea should not have milk in it at all !.

    Chris Cosgrove

  81. Curtis

    Since I'm on the wrong side of the pond ('Merica, Eff Yeah!) I only drink Twinnings Earl Grey and a loose leaf "Russian Caravan" both of which don't take kindly to milk or sugar at all.

  82. dshan

    R U Surprised?

    Another thing Boris amd Nigel forgot to mention about the glorius post-Brexit future -- the tea will be shite and made by lunatics armed with fscking coffee pots!.

    Now you know, are you going to sit there like stunned mullets or take to the streets and demand a return to simple human decency? I think we all know the answer to that question...

  83. Greg Fawcett

    The French Connection

    Every good Briton knows that adding milk to the pot (or even worse, to a tea-bagged mug) lowers the water temperature which prevents release of all the mystical goodness locked in the tea leaves.

    The French, on the other hand, believe tea should be made with lukewarm water. After too many putrid experiences with "le cuppa", I now take my own travel kettle with me when venturing onto the continent.

    I would launch an urgent HR investigation into said staff member - s/he may be harbouring secret Francophile sympathies, in which case they should immediately be stripped of tea-making duties - and put in charge of lunch.

    1. Faceless Man

      Re: The French Connection

      That might explain why it was harder to find somewhere to get a decent cuppa in France than in the US. I suppose I should have been suspicious when the waitress was polite.

  84. rsole

    Is this what is called taking the piss.

    Is it possible to be more wrong?

    Coffee Pot

    No cosy

    Tea bags


    Mugs not tea cups

    Milk in the pot is the final straw - perhaps a straw is the only solution to this.

    Did someone mention Brussels?

    Did anyone actually drink this?

  85. itzman

    I never drink tea.

    Count me out

  86. Ripper38

    Tea or milk first?

    Yes, yes. As one who remembers tea ladies and trolleys both in the office and on the trains, there's no doubt about it! Question is though, tea or milk first?... Oh, and it better not be any of that arty-farty Starbucks stuff!

  87. iRadiate

    tea first.

    You get the best cup of tea when you pour on boiling water or water with a temperature of at least 96 degrees C. Adding milk first will not allow the tea to come in contact with boiling water so you'll get a crappy cuppa.

    On the other hand coffee should be made with water at less than 96 degrees which is why you get a good cup off coffee if you add the milk first.

  88. Bronek Kozicki


    A simple question about a method of making tea gathered some 180 comments in the space of 23 hours. That's what I like about El Reg! BTW milk in the teapot is very bad idea, especially for those few who like their tea black.

  89. Adrian Midgley 1

    Mess tin tea

    where it is cold outside adding milk over the flame may be reasonable.

  90. JulieM Silver badge

    Different kind of tea

    I've had a few very nice cup of tea in a seedy dive of an Indian restaurant in Birmingham; made by boiling up teabags, sugar and spices in a pan of milk.

    This alarmed my inner tea purist, who obsessively insists that the teabag be removed from the cup before milk be added, at first; but in the end it was found to have none of the unpleasant taste that usually results when cold milk is added to hot water and tea leaves. It was very nice, really.

    Nothing like tea made with hot water and tea leaves in a teapot, though, mind. More like a hot, sweet, spicy tea-flavoured milk shake.

  91. Vince

    No No No No No.

    That is enough said.

  92. pyite

    Where can I get one of those vulture cups?

    Title says it all.

  93. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

    And this kind of article and the resulting comments, dear friends

    Is one of the reasons I love The Register.

  94. ThePhantom

    ROFL - On my first trip to India, I asked for and got a cup of tea - but it had milk in it. I asked again for a cup of tea without milk, and the tea boy (yes, they have tea boys in India and tea girls in Japan -- go figure) was totally confused.

    It turns out that at least where I was in India, they tea is brewed with milk and not with water. ewwwwww.....

    1. djr36
      Thumb Down

      Not just India. Also in East Africa

      It turns out (maybe because of Indian influence) that East African tea is usually brewed not just with the milk in the pot but actually just with teabags in boiling milk - no hot water involved. Unfortunately I like black tea.

  95. JassMan

    Better hope that no teabagging was involved

    On the grounds that the culprit was obviously a deviant one should be worried if any teabagging was involved in the adulteration of this classic drink. That white stuff may not have been just bovine lactate.

    As for using a coffee pot for making tea, this should be grounds for instant dismissal. It may or may not change the quality of the tea but it sure as hell changes the flavour of the next coffee brew.

  96. J.G.Harston Silver badge


    Putting the milk in *with* the tea reduces the temperature of the water below the level neccessary for steeping the leaves and releasing the 'tea'-ness into the water. This is also why you don't do that satanic abomination of pouring milk over a teabag in a mug. You're killing the delicate temperature-based chemistry.

    For those wot want tannin-flavoured milk, then let them go ahead. But for a proper cuppa, the tea needs to be in near-boiling water *before* flavoured with addative-of-choice.

    Obwhich, for the last few months I've been doing IT upgrades in in-house catering outlets. It's amazing how many of them offer me a cup of something almost but not entirely unlike tea. They pass it off as "that's how I like it". But that's utterly irrelevant. You're running a canteen, *YOUR* tastes are irrelevant. You make tea to suit the tastes of your *CUSTOMERS*, ***NOT*** yourself.

  97. Brian Miller

    Milk is used when the product is wretched!

    The use of milk means that the main beverage of choice is wretched to begin with. Both coffee and tea should be had without milk. The milk is for killing the "flavor" of a wretched tea or coffee.

    I roast my own coffee at home, and I grind it, then brew it and drink it black. Good coffee has an inherent sweetness to it. It isn't grossly bitter, and it gently rests on the palate. It's a nice, gentle pick-me-up,

    The person who brewed tea in milk in that beast of a pot you have has never had good tea or coffee.

    Tea bags, indeed!

  98. Jeffrey Nonken

    Disclaimer: I'm actually a colonist, so my opinions may not count.

    I grew up on Lipton tea. Pour boiling water over the bag, steep, add milk and sugar just prior to serving.

    Since then I have reduced my sugar intake (multiple times), learned to take tea without; to me it tastes wrong with only milk, so now I take it black.

    Meantime I also discovered better teas. I now buy my tea online from Harney and Sons. Their English Breakfast blend is my go-to, but I mix it up a bit sometimes. Bridgette's Blend is one of my favorites. But I digress.

    Now that I've re-trained my palate, Lipton tastes abominable to me.

    I still make tea the same way, except it's usually loose now, but boiling water brings out the flavors. I only make a cup at a time because it's just me. I use a Chef's Choice electric kettle to boil the water. (I keep one at home and one at work.) Microwaved water is an abomination. I use bottled or filtered water; tap water here in Sacramento is an abomination all on its own.

    I use one of these for my loose tea:

    Does the coffee pot brew the coffee or merely warm it? If the latter, it seems like it would be too cool for proper tea. But I don't know much about brewing tea in a pot, so maybe it's not that bad. Brewing tea like coffee sounds completely wrong.

    Adding milk while it's steeping would cool the water prematurely, that sounds wrong too. But I'm still of the "pour boiling water over dried leaves and steep" camp.

    How long to steep is a matter of taste. You Brits seem to like your leaves ground, which goes bitter after a few minutes. I prefer whole leaves, but I'm careless about the timing. Consequently I've gotten accustomed to a touch of bitterness.

    My own opinion, for what it's worth, is that making it in a coffee pot with milk already added is an abomination. I would also be annoyed that somebody would decide for me that my tea should have milk, and not give me a choice, quite aside from the issue of proper steeping.

  99. OliP

    I don't even drink tea and know this is all kinds of wrong.

    New intern required.

    Their lucky the bofh wasn't around to witness this debarkle

  100. redpawn

    Quick Brew

    Mug, tea bag, water, milk, 1:20 zap, ready to drink.

    Swapping the order of milk and water clogs the bag. Watch it burst.

  101. hugo tyson
    Thumb Up

    Perfect optimisation

    We did exactly that - but in a proper teapot, I'll grant - at (later to be troubled) Cambridge micro-maker Acorn Computers in the early 1980s.

  102. Old Tom

    Beaker, tea leaves, boiling water is all you need

    Pinch of tea leaves* into the beaker, pour on boiling water, drink when it's cooled enough.

    You do not need:

    • Teapot
    • Tea bag - they're full of crappy dust, and seem to be formulated to need milk/sugar to mask their awful taste
    • Straining mechanism - virtually all the leaves will sink
    • Milk
    • Sugar
    • Stirring device

    *If it's the first brew of the day, then use Oolong if you can, then your second brew just requires a top-up of hot water.

  103. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No because lots of people don't like tea in their tea and many others like varying levels of milkyness.

    Maybe if you're the only one whose going to have the tea then it could be fine.

  104. Omgwtfbbqtime

    Sounds Like Tea - NATO.

    Take a green norgie container, add a large handfull of NAAFI teabags, a bucket of sugar and half fill with boiling water. top off with milk (So about 50:50).

    Leave to stew for 7 or 8 hours (while still maintaining the near boiling temp).

    Serve on a cold, wet gun position.

    Absolutely vile but its hot and wet.

  105. raving angry loony

    British "tea" isn't.

    Seems to me that many British love what they call "tea". Unfortunately, it bears little to no relation to what anyone else would call "tea". The "tea" they drink must have been developed during the rationing, and seems to consist of some sort of waste swept up from the streets then bagged. This fact is probably the reason so many prefer to hide the horrible taste of their bagged waste with sugar and milk.

    Real, good quality tea does not require milk or sugar. However, as elReg is probably a fairly typical British office, they'll be using the cheapest available bag of sweepings. In which case yes, it's proper to put the milk and even the sugar in the pot, since it's not really tea in the first place, and something needs to be done to hide the awful taste.

    Anyone who enjoys real tea should probably just bring their own.

    1. Fink-Nottle

      Re: British "tea" isn't.

      >Anyone who enjoys real tea should probably just bring their own.

      Agreed. There are a couple of tea merchants that sell 'posh' loose leaf tea in 50g packets online at reasonable prices. For a couple years I've been using the inevitable Xmas Amazon gift vouchers to educate my pallete and brighten up my tea time at work.

  106. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

    What about ...

    ... us tea drinkers who don't like milk?

    Brew the tea in a teapot with loose leaves in a tea ball. Leave the condiments on the side and let people add to taste. Or we'll throw your tea in Boston Harbor. Again.

  107. GrapeBunch

    I apologize in advance. I wanted to upvote an existing post, but couldn't find just the right one. As I understand it, tea requires really hot water (86 ?) on the leaves themselves to bring out the proper flavour. But if you heat milk to that temp, you will ruin / curdle it. And if you gain any time, some poor sod will lose it by having to scrape the crud (the correct scientific term) out of the pot. Or the sod will omit to clean, and you will be left with an even worse return engagement. Conclusion: "list it".

    Following Edgar Cayce in this matter, I take coffee black, and by extension, tea without milk. I also prefer the stuff made in glass or ceramic, because metal may impart an off-taste.

    1. raving angry loony

      re: Water temperature

      The temperature of the water depends on the type of tea being brewed. All tea is not brewed the same way. A very basic introduction can be found here:

      You're quite correct about having to scrape even more crud out of the pot though. I'll bet that work is probably not being done by the person adding the milk in the first place.

      However, I'm pretty sure that what many British call "tea" doesn't care much about the water temperature, since it's not really what anyone else would call "tea" in the first place.

  108. bombastic bob Silver badge

    I use a Mr. Coffee, but no milk/cream

    Whenever I brew tea, I use a Mr. Coffee, with 3 bags in a coffee filter [it holds the water longer], dripping through the bags. It works pretty well, though milk NEVER goes into the pot! Tea comes out STRONG. If I want cream (not milk), I add it to the cup. It helps prevent tongue-scalding that way.

    (though I admit, it's slightly better, but more time-consuming, to pour hot water into a cup and dunk an individual bag for each cup - it also uses more bags that way)

    1. Pedigree-Pete

      Re: I use a Mr. Coffee, but no milk/cream

      For prevention of scalding when making Black Tea just add cold water. Simples! PP

  109. Paul J Turner

    That takes me back about 50 years!

    Ha, this reminds me of when I was a kid and sometimes went out with dad on a Saturday doing line testing as the 'navvies' (Irish labourers mostly from the term 'navigator' for ditch digger etc) laid new telephone cables.

    I got to help make tea in a teapot about 400mm (16") across with stout handles at the front and back so that you could pick it up and pour it.

    Full of water bought to a seething boil, a packet of tea (Typhoo iirc) half a bag of sugar and a lot of milk.

    Everybody had strong, sweet tea with milk and liked it! :-)

  110. razorfishsl

    It ruins the teapot, plus it does nto take into account the people who don't have milk

  111. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "forced to launch an investigation into the question that has split the editorial team down the middle"

    So... half the editors have taken up trolling as a sport?

  112. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    For all the commentators who made rather grand assertions about tea not properly brewing if in milk: consider that in Central Asia brewing tea in milk is considered to be the usual way of preparing it. Mind you, it often is not cow's milk, but horse's milk, yak milk &c.

    After trying it several times, it is my preferred style of tea.

  113. Winkypop Silver badge

    As a non tea drinker

    No one cares what I think, however, adding the milk to the pot does seem rather odd.

    I wouldn't do it with coffee.

  114. Oor Nonny-Muss

    What are these tea bags of which you speak?

    Loose leaf tea allows so much more control & the tea tastes better.

  115. Unep Eurobats


    Just ... no.

  116. Mr ATM
    Thumb Down

    P45, instant dismissal

    You must act swiftly!

  117. HAL-9000


    Tea should be drank black or with lemon. Choice reduction is unacceptable.

  118. Mateus109

    Done in India for years

    in massive urns. Tea, milk & loads of sugar all boiled up together. Found at every good truck stop.

    1. Triggerfish

      Re: Done in India for years

      Yes that was what I was thinking off, also Chai Massala's you always brew them with milk in.

  119. I am Weasel

    Tea in a coffee pot actually works

    I have an insulated stainless steel "coffee" pot that I use solely for tea (it has never been used for coffee). No need for a tea-cosy, and simply push the plunger to effectively stop the brewing process when it is strong enough. If I am feeling posh and want loose-leaf tea, I use my thetiere which works on a similar principle

    But milk in the pot - NEVER!!!!

  120. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They've broken what didn't need fixing!

  121. Sherrie Ludwig

    No, just, no

    Even if the entire office liked milk in their tea (I don't) scrubbing the mold and rot-inducing remnants of milk out of a teapot spout would be difficult and not undertaken often enough to mitigate horrible taste and possible staff health problems. Not efficient.

  122. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Absolute desecration of a time honoured method of wasting time away from the desk. Anything to save time, it seems. Nothing worse than curdling milk. Bromide to be added next?

  123. Pal

    Do not add milk to your tea pot, because it is hard to wash. If you love to add milk to your favorite tea, you can use Glass Cup to instead of tea pot, i think this would be a good choice for you. Or you can try the tea which is already scented with milk essence, like

    As for me, i like the natural taste of tea, without any other things like sugar or milk or....whatever...

  124. skalamanga

    I take my tea without milk, I'm not going to stew the crap out of it, then water it down with milk!

    Everyone knows the original line on star trek was “computer, tea, Yorkshire, stewed“, but it was changed for the American audience

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