As you may already know, tea is the most famous beverage across the world. Undoubtedly, black tea is the most popular variety. Now, I am pretty sure you have indulged in a cup of black tea with milk and experienced its authentic flavor and aroma.
Can You Drink Black Tea With Milk?
Though drinking black tea with milk is quite common worldwide, its health effect has been debatable. According to most recent findings, the relaxing effect of blood vessels when you drink plain black tea will recede by adding milk into it. However, the conclusion has not been made.
Customarily black tea with milk is called ‘milk tea.’ It is frequently consumed in different regions of the world, namely, Asia, Europe, and it spans all the way to Tibet and many more.
Way back in time, in the 1600s, even before tea was introduced to Great Britain, adding milk has been a common or cultural practice in certain suburbs of China and Tibet.
So, while sipping in this phenomenal beverage, have you ever wondered if it is good for you? How about its health beneficial properties? Well, spare a moment and dive in to find answers and explore more!
Is black tea with milk good for you?
It is a well-known fact that black tea is associated with health-beneficial properties.
At the same time, you may agree with me when I say milk is a nutritious food rich in protein and calcium. So, on a surface level of understanding, the combination of black tea and milk seem health beneficial.
In reality, it is unclear if adding milk into black tea provides extra health beneficial properties. On the contrary, the health beneficial properties given when consuming black tea alone are reduced.
All in all, the silver lining is, black tea with milk is not considered bad or harmful for your body.
So don’t stop reading now! You are about to find why,
How do you make black tea with milk?
I am pretty sure you know how to make a cup of ‘milk tea.’
Just in case you don’t know, here’s a quick guide for you.
However, did you know that ‘milk tea’ can be referred to in many cultural beverages made with tea and milk?
The best part is that you can also taste a totally different cultural cup of milk tea without much effort at home. It is often slightly more complicated than pouring milk and a lump of sugar to infused tea leaves.
But fortunately, now, the recipes are just a few fingertips away. You can simply search them if you know the names of cultural milk teas. Well, give it a small try! You will thank me later!
- World-famous bubble tea, known as ‘Boba tea,’ is a famous Taiwanese cultural tea.
- ‘Masala chai,’ a tea beverage originated in India, is made with boiled black tea in milk and water with a mixture of aromatic herbs and spices.
- Hong Kong’s milk tea is served with a splash of evaporated milk.
- Famous Malaysian ‘Teh Tarik’ milk tea.
- Shahi Haleeb
- Doodh Pati chai
- Suutei Tsai
are several cultural milk teas found in different regions of the world.
Other than milk alone, these milk teas might contain a few ingredients such as heavy cream, yak milk, butter, evaporated milk, or condensed milk, sweetened with sugar, syrup, or honey.
Sometimes a hint of spices and herbs is what is essential to give that interesting taste and aroma.
Well, I believe I did you a help mentioning the names of some very famous cultural teas!
Can you drink black tea without milk? Or should you drink black tea with milk?
Is there a rule with tea???? No, there are no rules for this! Drink what tastes good to you! May it is plain black tea or milk tea, the choice is up to you!
Generally, robust black tea is comparatively bitter and astringent due to different tea compounds (theaflavin, thearubigins) present in black tea.
Proteins in milk make complexes with these compounds. So, when you add milk, you can soften its astringency and bitterness of black tea and create a flavorful, balanced, and palpable cup of tea.
I am not stopping there. Keep reading! Well, interestingly, there is also a little science behind adding milk into black tea.
We found some studies showing that drinking black tea daily leads to a moderate intake of soluble oxalate. However, high oxalate levels in the blood are a risk factor for developing kidney stones in some people.
Fortunately, there is a simple solution. Drinking black tea with milk reduces oxalate absorption. As a result, the risk of developing kidney stones also decreases. Now, that is good news, right?
Which black tea is good for milk?
Milk does not usually add to more subtle tea varieties like green, white, or oolong. Milk tea is flavorful with robust, full-body, and strong tea types like Assam, Ceylon, Nilgiri, English breakfast, Irish breakfast, or Matcha.
Does black tea taste good with milk?
Now, this is important! The stress relieving and relaxing effect gained by indulging in a cup of plain black tea might not be the same for milk tea.
It might be the reason why most of the connoisseurs suggest, drinking tea without adding milk or sugar is the most suitable way to have the best experience.
However, it all boils down to this. All in all, whether you like it creamy, sweet, milky, strong, or just as it is, it really is up to you.
Adding milk is a personal preference, and one can always taste a strong cup of black tea without milk.
How about knowing a bit about the scientific aspect of milk tea?
Well, there’s no harm in having a little evidence-based extra knowledge, right?
Let me walk you through it!
Does adding milk to black tea reduce health benefits?
Well, this has been a controversial topic for the past few decades. Though much research has been conducted in this regard, the jury is still out.
The main reason for considering tea as a healthy beverage is, it contains a high amount of healthy, beneficial plant compounds, called flavonoids. These are not nutrients. But, they are well known for their beneficial properties in the human body.
These flavonoids have antioxidant properties that will prevent cell damage caused by reactive molecules generated in the body called free radicals.
If it is a little more to take in, simply, these plant compounds in black tea such as; theaflavins, thearubigins, catechins help reduce high blood pressure, reducing high glucose and cholesterol levels in the blood, and preventing cancer.
Now, what is the problem with milk tea?
This is where most people run into trouble. We found that certain research studies explaining, adding milk into tea are not beneficial in a health aspect.
Here’s the reason why! Milk proteins interfere with the activity of tea compounds like theaflavin, thearubigins, and catechins in your body.
As a result, beneficial health effects such as reducing glucose and cholesterol levels in blood or cancer prevention effects are decreased, compared to drinking plain black tea.
On the other hand, contradicting the above, there is research evidence that concludes the weak or non-existence of any effect to tea compounds by adding milk into black teaKyle J.M, Morrice P.C, Maneil G, Duthie G.G. Effects of Infusion Time and Addition of Milk on Content and Absorption of Polyphenols from Black Tea. J. Agric. Food Chem. (2007), 55; 4889-4894Hollman, P. C., Van Het Hof, K. H., Tijburg, L. B. and Katan, M. B. Addition of milk does not affect the absorption of flavonols from tea in man. (, 2001). Free Radical Res. 34(3):297–300.Rashidinejad A.E, Birch J, Waterhouse D.S, Everett D.W. X. Addition of milk to tea infusions: Helpful or harmful? Evidence from in vitro and in vivo studies on antioxidant properties. (2017) Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 57:15, 3188-3196, DOI: 10.1080/10408398.2015.1099515.
Stay with me now! We further found a different argument,
Polyphenols in black tea are responsible for the relaxing effect of blood vesselsDeanfield JE, Halcox JP, Rabelink TJ. Endothelial function and dysfunction: testing and clinical relevance. (2007) Circulation. 13; 115(10): 1285-1295. DOI: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.106.652859.. Now, that is a health beneficial effect. Most recent findings say, adding milk to black tea recedes the relaxing effect of arteries compared to drinking plain black tea.
In 2018 a research stated regular consumption of black tea with milk has counteracting beneficial health effects on vascular functionAhmad A.F, Rich L, Koch H, Croft K.D, Ferruzzi M.G, Kay C.D, Hodgson J.M, Ward N.C. Effect of adding milk to black tea on vascular function in healthy men and women: a randomized controlled crossover trial. (2018) Food Funct., 9; 6307-6314.
So, does milk tea have the same, lesser, or beneficial health properties similar to plain black tea?
Well, there is no proven conclusion, and obviously, a lot of further research is needed. So, for the time being, the healthful effect of black tea with milk will remain unknown.
What’s to Get…
Fortunately, none of the above evidence briefs that black tea with milk has a bad or harmful effect on you. Whether drinking milk tea is less beneficial than drinking plain black tea or not.
On a side note, keep in mind that excess of everything is bad.
Finally, here’s a happy thought to cheer you up! If you are highly keen and concerned about the health effects, I suggest you try green tea or lemon black tea with honey.
On the other hand, I can assure you there is no harm in indulging in a cup of black tea with milk every now and then to satisfy your taste buds.
|↑1||Kyle J.M, Morrice P.C, Maneil G, Duthie G.G. Effects of Infusion Time and Addition of Milk on Content and Absorption of Polyphenols from Black Tea. J. Agric. Food Chem. (2007), 55; 4889-4894|
|↑2||Hollman, P. C., Van Het Hof, K. H., Tijburg, L. B. and Katan, M. B. Addition of milk does not affect the absorption of flavonols from tea in man. (, 2001). Free Radical Res. 34(3):297–300.|
|↑3||Rashidinejad A.E, Birch J, Waterhouse D.S, Everett D.W. X. Addition of milk to tea infusions: Helpful or harmful? Evidence from in vitro and in vivo studies on antioxidant properties. (2017) Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 57:15, 3188-3196, DOI: 10.1080/10408398.2015.1099515|
|↑4||Deanfield JE, Halcox JP, Rabelink TJ. Endothelial function and dysfunction: testing and clinical relevance. (2007) Circulation. 13; 115(10): 1285-1295. DOI: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.106.652859.|
|↑5||Ahmad A.F, Rich L, Koch H, Croft K.D, Ferruzzi M.G, Kay C.D, Hodgson J.M, Ward N.C. Effect of adding milk to black tea on vascular function in healthy men and women: a randomized controlled crossover trial. (2018) Food Funct., 9; 6307-6314|