I have friends who insist that milk goes in the cup before the tea. I say not. I always argue that one may not always want milk and perhaps would like a slice of lemon instead. Which of us is correct? Daniel Pilcher, SittingbourneI have always thought it the height of presumption to pour the milk for any but the most intimate of friends and close family mewmbers.
This is as old and vexed a question as Swift's Big-enders and Little-enders fighting over which end is correct to crack of one's boiled egg. The silliest reason for putting the milk in first is that this stops the boiling tea cracking your best china. Eh? Impossible. Pull the other tea-bag. The snobbiest reason is that it is "common" (vulgar, Charlie, chav) to put the milk in first. Let us consider what makes life easiest for the tea-drinker. I think that he should be allowed to put the milk (cream, lemon) in himself, because he knows how much he wants. So I agree with you. Let us not even suspect that your friends are "common" (Charlie). In fact the question seldom arises for me these days. None of my young female colleagues drink builder's tea any more. They go for exotic rhubarb and parsnip brews that need no supplements of milk. Only a strong stomach and a superstitious susceptibility to New Age hogwash.
Monday, December 19, 2005
An issue of the utmost importance...
From the Times Modern Manners section: