For a classic-tasting cuppa, even if you don’t drink milk

By Rebecca Firkser
Updated February 23, 2018
Credit: Wanwisa Hernandez / EyeEm/Getty Images

PG Tips is preparing to launch a line of teas designed to complement dairy-free milks. After reviewing comments from customers, the nearly 90-year-old UK-based tea brand has decided to become the first company to create a blend of tea exclusively with non-dairy milk-drinkers in mind.

While regular tea doesn’t necessarily react poorly with non-dairy milk, PG Tips found that their consumers didn’t like the taste of their tea when it was mixed with plant-based milks, and that the non-dairy milk often overpowered the natural taste of tea. PG Tips hopes to solve both of these problems with the new line of teas called “Dairy Free.”

“When the PG tips team spoke to tea drinkers and heard that they weren’t able to get their hands on a… tasty cuppa if they drink dairy alternatives, the PG tips master tea blender, Joyce, got hard to work,” the company said in a statement. “She tasted teas from over 20 origins in hundreds of different combinations.”

Finding a tea that goes with non-dairy milk is of great importance in the United Kingdom, where milk is a common addition to tea. There isn’t one commonly agreed upon reason for the milky tea practice, but there are a few theories, most dating back to at least the 18th Century in Britain. Some believe milk was added first to a china cup (while tea steeped in a teapot) to prevented the hot tea from cracking the delicate cup when it was poured in. Others think milk was added first to a cup of tea to avoid staining the white china. And some believe that milk simply makes strong black tea less bitter. Another theory suggests the British picked up the practice via inspiration from Tibetan butter tea (tea mixed with yak or cow butter and salt), which dates back as far as the 7th Century.

Whether you’re lactose intolerant, vegan, or just into non-dairy milk, “Dairy Free” by PG Tips is expected to be available in March.