Tea aficionados have lots of unspoken rules about what teas go with milk and what teas it would be a sin to pour milk into. Then, you also have to worry about how much milk or sugar is too much without being judged.
So to save you the frustration and guesswork, we’ve compiled a list of what tea goes with milk and what tea most certainly does not. If you want to play it safe, a good old cup of black tea always pairs well with milk, while most herbal teas are out of the question.
1. Black Teas
For those that like a bolder flavor, black tea is an excellent choice! Unlike other teas that will dilute heavily when mixed with milk, black tea will change its flavor profile and enhance the malty notes. Some great options include English Breakfast, Assam, or Earl Grey – all of which pair well with a splash of cream.
Why is it that black tea goes so well with milk? This is due to the tannin content of black tea. The addition of milk can soften the astringent flavor of the tannins. Tannin is actually also found in coffee and chocolate, giving these foods their bold and bitter flavor.
By far, black tea is the best option for those looking to enjoy a cup of tea with milk.
2. Chai Tea
It’s worth mentioning that one of the best tea and milk combinations is chai tea. This can either be made from a concentrate or with real spices such as cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Perfect for those cold winter days, the creamy texture of chai tea pairs well with the natural sweetness of the milk.
Add a teaspoon of honey to take it to the next level!
Many people think chai tea is a class all on its own. However, chai tea is actually just black tea with spices added to it! So, if you’re not a fan of the boldness of black tea but still want to enjoy a cup with milk that is incredibly flavorful, then chai is your perfect option.
3. English Breakfast
As mentioned earlier, English Breakfast is a great option for those looking to enjoy tea with milk. This malty black tea comes from India, Sri Lanka, and Kenya. The flavor profile of English Breakfast is light yet robust – making it perfect for adding a splash of cream or milk.
In fact, the addition of milk to this particular blend helps bring out the underlying notes of malt and sweet honey and cinnamon-like undertones. While milk was originally added to English tea to help cool it down and prevent China cups from shattering, the flavor combination has become incredibly popular over the years.
4. Rose Milk Tea
For those looking for something a bit sweeter and more fragrant, rose milk tea is a great option. While the combination of flowers and milk may sound strange at first, the resulting drink is actually quite delicious! Rose milk tea is made from black tea, which gives it its base flavor, plus added rose petals or rose syrup and milk.
The sweetness of the rose petals pairs nicely with the nutty flavor of black tea, while the addition of milk helps to soften the flavors both visually and taste-wise. Rose milk tea is also a great way to add some antioxidants to your diet, and you can easily find it in boba shops or make it at home!
5. Green Teas
If you’re looking for something on the lighter side, green tea is an excellent choice. Not only does it have less caffeine than black tea, but it’s also the perfect option for those who want to enjoy a milder flavor.
Green tea is known for its mild flavor, and the addition of milk helps to bring out more subtle notes in its profile. This is why it’s a great choice for those who want to enjoy a cup of tea without any bitterness or strong flavors. All green teas are made of the camellia Sinensis plant, but the leaves are picked at different times as well as processed differently.
This is why there are many types of green tea, ranging from mild to bolder flavors, such as matcha.
Overall, green tea makes an excellent choice for those looking to enjoy a relaxing cup of tea with milk! Try experimenting with different types of greens and see which one you like.
6. Jasmine Tea
Jasmine tea is a fan favorite due to its beautiful flowery aroma, and it pairs perfectly with milk. This is because the addition of milk will soften the flavor of jasmine tea and bring out its natural sweetness. Jasmine tea is also known to have calming properties, which makes it especially enjoyable with a splash of cream or oat milk.
I personally like mine as an iced latte!
Of course, we can’t forget about matcha! Known for its strong, grassy flavor, matcha pairs surprisingly well with milk. Adding a dollop of cream to your cup will help to mellow out the bold flavors and make it more enjoyable.
Matcha is also a great source of caffeine, so if you’re looking for a quick pick-me-up that won’t give you the jitters, this is a perfect choice. You can buy it in a powder, making it convenient as well. You can enjoy a dash of milk in a cup of matcha tea or brew a matcha latte.
Check out our guide on how to make an iced matcha latte with oat milk.
What Tea Doesn’t Mix With Milk?
There are some teas that don’t mix well with dairy. White tea, for example, is extremely delicate, and adding milk to it can overpower its flavor. Herbal teas are also less likely to pair well with milk because they tend to have more robust flavors, such as chamomile, hibiscus, or peppermint.
Rooibos tea is a herbal infusion made from the South African red bush plant, and it has a unique flavor that doesn’t pair well with milk. If you’re looking to enjoy this particular blend of tea, it’s best to drink it on its own or with a little honey. If you’re sick of milk, check out our list of the best alternatives to milk in tea.