Entretanto, os Ingleses já discutem há séculos se o leite se deve servir antes ou depois do chá. Antigamente, as pessoas que deitavam o leite primeiro – ‘milk in first’ – eram duma classe ‘baixa’… os aristocratas diziam sobre este hábito inferior: ‘MIF, I say!’ (MIF = milk in first).

Mas recentemente os cientistas concluíram que afinal, é mesmo melhor pôr o leite primeiro…

O mundo está em guerra, e os “cientistas & upperclass” da sociedade inglesa discutem esta questão de grande importância :-)  Ler

How to make a perfect cup of tea: put milk in first

* Maev Kennedy, arts and heritage correspondent
* The Guardian, Wednesday June 25, 2003
Half the population of Britain will take this as a declaration of war. After months of research the Royal Society of Chemistry has announced the answer to a question that for generations has shattered households, sundered friendships, splintered relationships: the milk should go in first. It is all to do with denaturing milk proteins, according to Dr Andrew Stapley, a chemical engineer from Loughborough University.
There are other contentious points at issue: microwaves come into the perfect cup of tea, and the recommendation that the tea itself should be loose Assam will certainly be taken as blatant provocation by the Darjeeling and Lapsang Souchong factions.
Above all, the society could be seen as spitting on the grave of George Orwell, having commissioned the research to celebrate today’s centenary of his birth – and concluded that he was quite wrong in his own recipe, published as A Nice Cup of Tea in the Evening Standard in 1946.
The chemists and the author of Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty Four are in agreement on Indian tea, and a china or earthenware teapot. There is a minor divergence over warming the pot: Orwell recommended placing the pot on a hob, Dr Stapley defends a microwave as a 21st century equivalent. But on the issue of milk the gap is unbridgeable.
Orwell wrote: “By putting the tea in first and stirring as one pours, one can exactly regulate the amount of milk, wheras one is likely to put in too much milk if one does it the other way round.”
Dr Stapley is adamant. “If milk is poured into hot tea, individual drops separate from the bulk of the milk, and come into contact with the high temperatures of the tea for enough time for significant denaturation – degradation – to occur. This is much less likely to happen if hot water is added to the milk.”
Veteran tea drinker Tony Benn test-drove the perfect cup of tea yesterday, at the London headquarters of the society. He calculates that he has got through 27,375 gallons in 60 years, and is a tea first, milk second man. The milk went in first. The tea was poured in. He sniffed. He sipped. He pondered. “It’s very tasty, I must say,” he said. He sipped again. “Oh, it’s delicious.”
The chemists purred – and then last night the physicists waded in and said all that matters is the water temperature, not the milk. “Trust chemists to make things complicated,” Institute of Physics chief executive Dr Julia King said. “When it boils down to it, the physics is more important than the chemical side of things.” Putting the milk in first was a cultural quirk that “has nothing to do with taste”, she said. “It is a habit we have retained from the times when only the rich could afford porcelain which, because it isn’t as porous as china, could withstand the hot tea being poured in directly.”Those of us with cheap china had to put the milk in first to cool the tea slightly to prevent our cups cracking.”