When it comes to tea, I have tried (for the most part) to practice tolerance. I won’t say I’ve always succeeded, but over the years I’ve come to realize that the world of tea is vast and there are many types of tea drinkers contained therein, each with their own way of doing things.
So, while I might cringe a bit at the notion of spoiling a good black tea with cream, milk, sugar, lemon, or whatever else it is that people want to dump in there, to be perfectly fair and evenhanded about things, people who drink their tea like this might rightly be horrified by the notion of drinking black tea with absolutely nothing in it.
I’ve also come to terms with those teas I don’t like much (white, puerh, most flavored teas, and especially Earl Grey and Lapsang Souchong, to name a few) and have come to the realization that we all like what we like and there are some people who like those sorts of things just fine, thank you. Just as I know for a fact that there are those people who cringe at the “grassy” taste of green tea, even a high-quality variety prepared in the correct manner.
Speaking of green tea, I’m afraid I have to take off my tolerant guy hat for a moment and engage in a mild rant. I recently ran across an article with the headline Add Milk to Green Tea for a Tasty Drink and I couldn’t help but cringe. The recipe included is actually a variation on the milk tea that’s popular in some Asian countries, but it substitutes green tea for the black that’s normally used.
I’ve heard of this sort of thing before, so it’s not as though the writer of this article was the first person to ever think of adding milk to green tea. And while I don’t care much for milk in black tea, I’ll admit that it makes a certain degree of sense. I’m not sure if there’s any chemistry involved (and that’s a topic for another article) but I can see where adding milk to the more robust types of tea, such as black and perhaps even puerh and the stronger varieties of oolong might be a logical choice.
On the other hand, when it comes to green, white, yellow, and the lighter oolongs, this sort of thing just seems wrong, perhaps because the milk seems like it would overwhelm the delicate and subtle flavors of the tea.
On the other other hand, however, it’s all just a matter of taste and I’ll revert to my old tried and true saying – we all like what we like.
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