Milk jug or a creamer – a must-have for tea and coffee lovers
Milk jugs and creamers are small jugs used to serve milk or cream for your coffee. They often come as part of a larger set including a matching sugar bowl and sometimes also a teapot.
The history of a creamer
The history of the creamer, also known as a milk jug, dates back to the 18th century when tea and coffee became more widely consumed in Europe. As these beverages grew in popularity, people began to use milk and cream as a complement to the flavours of tea and coffee.
Early creamers were simple and practical, made of ceramic or porcelain, and designed to hold a small amount of milk or cream. They were often part of a larger tea or coffee service, which included a teapot, a sugar bowl, and other accessories.
Over time, creamers became more elaborate and decorative, with intricate designs and patterns. They were made of a wide range of materials, including silver, glass, and other metals, and were often adorned with elaborate handles, spouts, and other ornamental features.
In the 19th and early 20th centuries, creamers became increasingly important as a status symbol, particularly in wealthy households. They were often part of an elaborate table setting and were made from the finest materials, such as silver and crystal.
Today, creamers continue to be an important part of a well-appointed tea or coffee service, and they are available in a wide range of styles and designs to suit different tastes and occasions. Modern creamers are often made of glass or ceramic and are designed for ease of use, with simple and practical shapes that are easy to clean and pour.
Why do some people have their tea with milk?
The practice of adding milk to tea is believed to have originated in England in the 17th century. At the time, tea was an expensive and exotic beverage that was imported from China, and it was often served in small cups without milk or sugar.
However, as tea became more widely available and affordable, it began to be consumed in larger quantities, and people began to experiment with different ways of preparing and serving it. Adding milk to tea was one such experiment, and it quickly became popular among the English, who began to add milk to their tea as a way to make it more palatable and less bitter.
In addition to improving the taste of tea, adding milk was also believed to have health benefits, as it was thought to neutralize the tannins in the tea, which could be harsh on the stomach.
Today, adding milk to tea is a common practice in many countries around the world, including the UK, India, and many other parts of Asia and Europe. However, the way in which milk is added to tea can vary widely, with some people preferring to add it before the tea, while others prefer to add it afterwards. Additionally, some types of tea, such as green tea, are generally not consumed with milk, as it can overwhelm the delicate flavour of the tea.
What other accessories do I need to serve a cup of tea?
A few necessary components are required to serve a cup of tea such as:
- Kettle: Used to bring water to a boil, kettles are available in stovetop and electric versions and are made of various materials like steel, plastic or glass
- Teapot: An essential element of the tea-brewing ritual, indispensable if you like loose-leaf tea and want to brew and serve more than just a cup of tea.
- Teacups or mugs: They are usually made of glass, porcelain, or ceramic and are used to serve tea or coffee.
- In addition to a creamer, you may need a sugar bowl and a set of teaspoons to serve tea. You can quickly prepare and serve a cup of tea to yourself or your guests if you have these supplies on hand.
If you want to know more about accessories and tea-making rituals, read our tea-making shopping guide.