Have a seat and make sure your socks are definitely in place, because they may be blown off by this revelation.
Science has made many important discoveries in recent years, but perhaps none will be as ground-breaking as this: the perfect cup of tea has a scientific formula. The perfect cup has long been a source of constant conflict for families on a Sunday evening, be it the amount of time the teabag should be left in or the right temperature for the water.
All of that debate can finally be put to bed, however, as The Guardian report that there is now a scientific formula for the perfect cuppa. In fact, the forumla dates all the way back to1946, and a team of scientists got together a few years ago to put that hypothesis (from none other than George Orwell himself) to the test.
Scientists at Loughborough University found that if you add the milk in after the boiling water, then you've ruined a perfectly good cuppa. The problem is that it causes the milk to heat unevenly, while if you instead add the milk first and then the boiling water, you get a much better heating process.
"This uneven heating of the milk causes the proteins in it to denature, meaning they lose their structure and “clump”, affecting the taste and contributing to that skin you get on the top", apparently. Wait now though, we're not done yet, there are more things to consider. If the tea is in the milk before you add the water, then this too will have an effect and cause the water to cool differently, so making it in a pot and a cup are two different practices.
All of this information comes with one proviso: Dr. Stapley, who performed the study, said that the denatured proteins that result in adding the milk after the water made for a 'less pleasant taste', which is of course, a subjective opinion and not a demonstrable fact. With that in mind, it's important to remember that if you like your tea a certain way, then that's the prefect tea for you, science just disagrees with you, that's all.
Via The Guardian