Friday, November 26, 2010

Milk in tea: You busted!

A funny addendum to my recent post about milk in tea: Bill Todd, of the great tea merchants Todd & Holland, told this tale recently during a tasting at their Forest Park, Ill., shop.

The trick of pouring milk into the cup first in order to prevent the porcelain from cracking, he said, was common among lower classes in Britain — those who didn't have access to the good china. Rich folks poured the tea right into the cup partly to show off that they had the good, expensive porcelain. Thus, afternoon tea served as one of many tests for suitors or the suited: a gentleman would invite his girl to tea, and the parents would watch carefully in which order she added the milk ... to see if she was a maid masquerading as a lady!

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