The British Standards Institute has long considered itself the authority on tea preparation.
It especially has strong opinions on a topic that divides tea drinkers of the world like few others: whether the milk goes in before or after pouring.
And its definitive answer to the question is: milk goes in first.
According to the BSI's wonderfully-titled report, "Preparation Of A Liquor Of Tea For Use In Sensory Tests", first published in 1980, a panel of experts ruled that the milk-first rule was the best practice "in order to avoid scalding the milk".
Furthermore, the BSI report issued some specific guidelines for making the ideal cuppa.
It's best to make tea in a pot "of white porcelain or glazed earthenware, with its edge partly serrated and provided with a lid, the skirt of which fits loosely inside the pot."
There should be 2g of tea for every 100ml poured into the pot, and it should be filled to within 4-6mm of the brim.
By rights, you should then let the tea brew for six minutes before pouring.
But if you insist on clinging to your tea first/milk second ways, it's not a total calami-tea: just make sure the tea is brewed at a temperature of 65-80 °C.
Well tea lovers, what do you think?
vote votesTea first, then milk. I'm not an animal!
vote votesMilk first, then tea. I'm not a barbarian!