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Scientist controversially claims adding milk first to tea offers ‘superior flavour’
Milk contains proteins which lower the water’s mineral content, making your tea taste better
A scientist has shocked British tea-drinkers by claiming that milk should be added before water when making a cup of tea to ensure the best flavour.
According to Alan Mackie of Leeds University, professor of colloid chemistry in the department of food and nutrition, adding milk to the cup first prevents flavour loss caused by hard water.
Prof Mackie said the minerals found in hard water prevent flavour compounds forming.
But milk contains proteins which lower the water’s mineral content, making your tea taste better, according to research the scientist conducted with boiling water tap manufacturer INTU
"Flavour by and large is produced by the different compounds in tea including tannins in particular," Prof Mackie said.
"The more minerals present in water the more difficult it is for these compounds to develop the flavour - resulting in the dull cuppas you get in hard water areas.
"Making tea the traditional way - steeping a bag in hot water before removing it and adding milk - results in the tannins turning into solids before they can develop the flavour properly, according to the Independent.
"But, if the milk is added at the start of the steeping process then its proteins can bind to the tannins and other minerals in the water - preventing them from turning solid - which in turn gives you a far superior flavour."
Hard water is found in areas like London and contains higher levels of minerals including calcium and magnesium.
Hard water can sometimes make clothes wear out more quickly and leave white mineral stains on glass.
Soft water, on the other hand, has a higher sodium content.