Now there’s a question. I used to have milk in my black tea when I was a tea bag ‘teahead!’ But that’s almost a different subject entirely when it comes to Green tea.
I answered a question similar to this on Quora recently which was concerning whether to add Milk first or after – perhaps I’ll tackle that here another day. But that led me to really wanting to provide some more answers to this variation on the same theme.
So Can You Add Milk to Green Tea? Yes, absolutely you can add milk to green tea. It’s largely down to preference. However, if you’re drinking green tea for the benefits, then this will likely alter some of those benefits, as well as the taste. Such as a reduction in the benefit of catechins, which are good for the heart and blood vessels.
Drinking green tea with milk can reduce (or certainly slows down) the benefits of catechins (or flavonols) because, when milk is added, this changes and inhibits the chemical makeup of the catechins, thus reducing their impact in your body
How Do We Know This!
Good question! Well believe it or not there have been studies done on this exact subject. (I do wonder who funds these studies sometimes!)
Nonetheless, a study HERE by one keen Doctor Hursel found that there’s evidence of the potential inhibition of milk on the effects of flavonol and their absorption into the body.
Does Green Tea Normally Have Milk in it?
The answer is no, green tea – in general, does not have milk in it. Having said that, there are some green teas that are now emerging with the addition of milk.
A couple that spring to mind are ‘Matcha Latte’, as introduced by Starbucks into their range of teas. Another potential option might be ‘Matcha Smoothies’, you can even whisk these up at home fairly easily and quickly in your blender.
It’s All About Balance
Like many things in life, it’s about getting a balance between what in your diet is good for you and what will encourage you to continue with it. That might sound confusing, let me explain a bit better.
If you decide you simply must have milk in your green tea, then darn it go ahead and have milk. If drinking green tea without milk means you won’t have green tea at all, then you’re losing out on lots of other benefits from green tea
I should reiterate the point that the benefits of green tea overall far outweigh any bad effects of Milk. And let’s not forget that milk can also bring its own benefits to the party!
And also I should state there are absolutely no negative impacts of drinking milk with green tea. As in it doesn’t produce any bad chemical reactions, so let’s put any myths you may have heard or any concerns well and truly to bed. Nothing I’ve seen supports that.
But you just really really want milk ! …
So How Can You Compromise
The most common compromise you can make is to use better suited, healthier milk. By that, I mean choosing something like Soy milk, which has far more natural ingredients suited to green tea.
Almond milk is also another possible substitute for cows milk that should have less restrictive effects on catechins.
This will inevitably have less impact on health benefits. Soy milk contains Lecithin, which provides a whole different structure on a molecular level to cows milk. This shouldn’t really impede the benefits of catechins at all.
Another might be more around portion size. Try adding less milk then you might do for English Breakfast for example. That way it again reduces the Milk’s impact.
“I should reiterate that the benefits of green tea overall far outweigh any effects of adding Milk”
Another option is to drink matcha over sencha. As Matcha is in powder form and includes the full tea leaves. Therefore the benefits are heavily increased. Any milk is likely to have far less impact than if you add it to loose leaf Sencha, which is simply then a steeped version of green tea.
The exception I would apply to this would be any late evening or night time drinking. Since Matcha also contains more caffeine, it will likely impact your sleep – for obvious caffeine reasons
If you like tea, then you would love my course, impress your friends and family without the need for tea master exams! …
Improve your tea skills with the teahow Tea Sommelier Course
Whether for enjoyment or because you’re considering a career as a tea sommelier. This course has everything you need to enhance your tea knowledge and tea tasting skills.
This course keeps it simple with step by step tea tasting, and easy reference guides
A course for your leisure, or as a precursor to a career in the tea industry. Find out what a tea sommelier actually does, career paths, and what they earn.
I would think in general, many tea sommeliers and uber-tea-heads would likely cringe at the mere thought of adding milk to a loose-leaf green tea.
I certainly wouldn’t, and I would never really want to get all high-brow about it. It’s a preference. But for many, the reason they drink green tea is for both the taste -as it comes, as well as the health benefits.
My advice would be to try a sip of the green tea first, as it is. Then, give it another taste. That’s right, not one taste, but two. For me, that’s when the taste buds really start to absorb and take in all the flavors. Allow the taste and aroma to fill the senses first – before deciding whether to add milk.
Do this each time you have a drink of green tea. I would hope that this test would be sufficient to enable you to begin to appreciate green tea as a drink all on its own.
I hope this has been useful to answer the question of whether to add milk to green tea, or perhaps what type of milk goes best with green tea and how to reduce any negative effects of milk in tea. And don’t forget to check out my Tea Sommelier Course!
Can You Add Cream to Green Tea? Similar to the answer regarding milk in green tea. It will reduce, or delay the effect of the absorption, and benefits that taking green tea without milk or cream would provide. Also, keep in mind it will likely increase the calorie intake of the green tea. Given that is why many take green tea this may or may not be another factor for you.
Can I Drink Milk After Drinking Green Tea? Yes, you can, however, if taken straight after or within an hour of consuming green tea, then the effects of reduced or delayed benefits of catechins – may be the same as taking it with the tea. Ideally, wait an hour after drinking green tea before consuming any milk.
Is Milk in Tea Good For Skin? One thing to keep in mind here is that whilst tea is loaded with water, and water is very good for the skin. Tea in of itself is also a diuretic. This can to some degree cancel out the effects of drinking tea despite the large water content. Yes, some fatty milk can aid toward retaining the fat content of healthy skin. But most of these effects can be canceled out.