Consuming green tea without the addition of milk or sugar has plenty of benefits, however, milk tea isn’t far behind if you brew it right.
Picking a Tea Camp
We have travelled far and wide to study tea drinking habits and pick the best ingredients to blend our teas. And what have we learned on our journeys? There are two types of tea drinkers in this world: those who love their tea blends sans milk and the other half, who cannot imagine tea without milk! Research has shown the benefits of drinking green tea everyday. So are milk teas not as good as green teas and should you ditch your morning chai for a herbal or wellness tea blend?
Goodness of Teas
All teas are brewed from the Camellia sinensis tea shrub. Tea leaves come loaded with antioxidants, catechins, flavonoids, caffeine, and other compounds that are known for a range of health-enhancing properties. Drinking green tea and other blends such as matcha tea, black tea, rooibos or white tea can help boost heart health, improve your circulation, help reduce inflammation, keep your skin healthy, and aid sleep and digestion. So the good news? All teas have health benefits!
Morning Cup of Tea
Most of us also drink tea first thing in the morning or take it along with our breakfast. Here’s the not-so-great news: adding milk to tea makes it acidic and cuts down on the value of the antioxidants and other compounds. Basically, milk tea can cause acidity and increase inflammation. Milk also interferes with the work of some of the compounds in tea, reducing the potency of tea. Having milk tea on an empty stomach can lead to bloating as well. Adding full fat milk and sugar to your teas also increases the calorie count in your cup of tea. A cup of tea with 30ml milk and 2tsp sugar contains no less than 40 calories. Multiply that by the number of cups you consume in a day, the quantity of tea in each cup and the amount of sugar you add - the health benefits steadily start reducing.
Elevating Your Milk Tea
Your black tea, rooibos tea, ayurvedic chai, gur cha, or masala chais can be savoured plain, with the addition of honey or jaggery or can be brewed with a bit of milk as per your preference. Instead of drinking tea first thing in the morning, consume it after your meals and definitely not late at night (herbal tea blends an hour before bedtime is great). In the interest of health, we don’t encourage you to brew teas with full fat milk and sugar, however, there are ways to elevate your milk tea without compromising its flavour, aroma and taste. In fact, if you brew it right and be mindful about the kind of milk you add to your tea (think vegan milk options), you can enjoy its wellness benefits.
Tips to Brew Milk Tea
Each tea comes with its own steeping and brewing process.
There are also steeping options for a lot of teas, maintaining a temperature of 85-100 degrees celsius.
Pouring milk after the water boils causes uneven heating, affecting the taste of the tea. On the other hand, pouring milk directly into a cup where you have placed the tea bag doesn’t give the tea leaves enough room to brew properly.
Below are tips for brewing different kinds of teas.
- Oolong tea, white tea and green tea: These tea leaves are delicate and boiling them in water “burns'' the tea leaves, turning it bitter.
- Black teas can and should be boiled in water to get a wholesome flavour and texture. It can be boiled, with or without milk, depending on personal preferences.
- Matcha Tea
- Rooibos Tea
Here’s our recommendations for 6 black teas that go well with milk:
Trust the English to come up with terms to describe their specific tea drinking habits. If there ever was a tea that fit the description of elevenses - tea consumed after breakfast and before lunch, usually with a light snack - perfectly, it would be the English breakfast tea. This classic blend combines the best of black tea blends, creating a robust and rich flavoured tea to refresh you. A perfect huge breakfast spreads as well as a cozy breakfast in bed.
This organic black tea masala chai gives you just that. Blended with a super set of organic spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, clove, fennel, mace, nutmeg, and bay leaf, as well as organic botanicals such as rose petals and safflower, Benares gives a complex yet refreshingly energizing brew.
This flavour will remind you of Assam. Assam teas are known for their brisk and robust flavours and typically pair well with milk. Anybody coming to Assam for a visit, would want to visit Kaziranga. Similarly, anyone who has heard of Assam, should definitely try this brew!
This organic exotic spiced chai is a spin on chai with the inclusion of Thai spices such as lemongrass, pandan leaf, kaffir lime, and chilli. The Chilli Chai’s aroma features oriental spices and coconut and has a nice chilli kick at the end. Adding milk to it would cut that overpowering chilli kick and balance the flavour for you.
Ayurvedic Chai With Ashwagandha
This organic chai with ashwagandha and brahmi is packed with the goodness of organic tulsi, ginger and turmeric - ingredients which are rich in antioxidants and possess anti-inflammatory properties. Paired with milk, the infusion is bound to soothe you.
Paan chai is an atypical combination of premium CTC leaves with betel leaves (paan) and assorted Indian spices. Keep this refreshing chai infusion handy to delight your senses with a flavourful experience on days you cannot find betel leaves or the regular paan spices.