Do you put milk in green tea?
Green tea with milk – yea or nay?
What is green tea?
Tea that is green… and dizzy with sweet, fresh flavours!
Green tea is a health-boosting tea with a mild grassy taste. Its history dates back 5,000 years, most probably to China, and it is grown today in countries such as Japan, India and Taiwan. It’s stood the test of time – tea-lovers like you can’t get enough of its sweet green goodness!
But where does green tea come from? Both green and black teas come from the same plant: the Camellia sinensis. It’s the later processing stage that determines what the tea leaves will become. Leaves destined for black teas such as English Breakfast are left for longer in the oxidation stage. This gives them time to develop a malty flavour and darker colour.
With green tea, there’s just a smidgen of oxidation. Love that just-picked freshness of a good green tea? It’s because their leaves have barely been processed! This is au naturel – tea style!
Do you put milk in green tea?
Can you have green tea with milk? Of course you can! You, tea lover, should enjoy every cuppa just the way you like it – whether that’s with milk, honey, lemon or 24 digestive biscuits…
Purists will be shaking their heads because, yes, green tea is traditionally served without milk or sugar. While we often add milk to black tea to give a smoother, more balanced brew, many feel that earthy green tea doesn’t lend itself to milk. Green tea is subtle, so can easily be overpowered… but can also be scrummy with milk!
So, if you are wondering whether you put milk in green tea, the answer is simple: it depends on who you ask!
Ask us, and we say YES, if that’s how you like it best!
How milk affects the taste of green tea
Green tea has a mild, grassy-sweet taste that milk can quickly overwhelm. Those super-traditional about tea (tea-ditionalists?) will say that adding milk makes green tea too weak, with too much ‘milky’ flavour.
BUT, milk in green tea isn’t unheard of. No way! Matcha lattes are everywhere, right?! Matcha is a form of green tea made by grinding fresh tea leaves into a fine powder. The flavour is stronger and more concentrated (because you are consuming the whole tea leaf), and delicious with milk!
What is the Best Milk to Pair with Green Tea?
If you’ve read our guide to adding milk to coffee, you’ll know that whole milk tends to be best. It’s the same with green tea. A little splash of its creamy flavour will dilute your green tea less than, say, skimmed milk.
In a matcha mood? Try an alternative milk like almond – its sweet nuttiness pairs well with the earthy notes in matcha. Oat and coconut are also top matches for matcha.
Does adding milk to green tea alter the health benefits?
Green tea is overflowing with health benefits. I mean, we know greens are good for us, but this good? It’s crazy.
Green tea health benefits
- High in antioxidants, especially flavonoids (these help the body fight off free radicals and protect it against toxins)
- Boosts metabolism, so can help with weight management
- Reduces the risk of heart disease
- Can boost brain function
- A top source of the amino acid L-theanine, which has a relaxing effect
But does adding milk to green tea alter the health benefits? Does it take a red pen and cross out all that goodness listed above? Nope!
The idea that milk makes green tea less healthy comes from the reaction between milk proteins and green tea catechin. Green tea contains catechins, a type of natural antioxidant that helps protect cells from damage. Milk, meanwhile, contains caseins. These proteins react with the catechin and reduce some of the health benefits.
Cue another BUT….
BUT, you can keep enjoying green tea with milk if that’s how you like it! Why? Because the overall benefit of green tea far outweighs the effects of adding milk. So a cuppa green tea with milk? It’s still super healthy!
Try green tea with milk – soya milk!
Soya milk is a good shout for green tea. It has a neutral taste, so won’t faff about with the green tea flavour, and no caseins to cause reactions with the green tea structures. Soya contains lecithin, a fatty acid important for lots of body functions including liver health. Lecithin has a different molecular structure than casein, so doesn’t react with the catechins in the green tea. This means you get the full monty of green tea health benefits plus your fave milky taste!
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