Why does coffee taste better (to me) when I add milk before pouring the coffee, instead of the other way around?

Why does coffee taste better (to me) when I add milk before pouring the coffee, instead of the other way around?

You can check the answer of the people under the question at Quora “how to make coffee taste good with milk

0 thoughts on “Why does coffee taste better (to me) when I add milk before pouring the coffee, instead of the other way around?”

  1. Adding the coffee last leaves it on top, so the fragrance of the coffee is stronger. Our ability to taste flavors depends more on our sense of smell than our tongues.
    By adding the coffee last you keep more of that scent and flavor close to your senses than of you put it at the bottom and cover it with milk.

  2. Hi, I know this is long ago but yes the difference is distinct. I went to a coffee appreciation class and the speaker actually demoed both method (equal amount, one milk first one milk last and it does have a significant difference. The one with milk first have a more acidic taste to it and the other one is milder (or the other way round I forgot but I have 2 cups and the difference is huge).
    PS: This was my reply to one of the answers but it was recommended to be posted as an answer 🙂

  3. I think it’s psychological but, “somehow,” you’ve convinced yourself this is true.
    Once you mix the milk with the coffee, you wind up with exactly the same mixture either way you’ve poured it.
    Try this, just for fun: Pour four cups of coffee with the coffee before the milk. Pour one cup with the milk before the coffee. Taste all five, after a friend mixes up the order as you turn your back. Make sure the level of coffee and cream are equal in all cases. Your chances of picking the ‘better tasting’ coffee will be 20%. See if you can ‘really’ taste the difference. I doubt if you can.

  4. Contrary to another answer given here, in the famous Lady Testing Tea experiment performed by Ronald Fisher (using “Fisher’s exact test”), his subject, Dr. Muriel Bristol, was able to correctly identify all eight cups of tea, half with the milk poured first and half after.

  5. I doubt you can actually tell the difference. You could do an experiment.
    This would be very similar to an extremely famous experiment in statistics. A woman claimed she could tell whether the milk was added to the tea or vice versa. Ronald Fisher tested it. She failed. The story (and its meaning) is told in The Lady Tasting Tea.
    EDIT: See Joanne Beer ‘s comments, my memory played me false.

  6. If you are like me, then you are not really mixing coffee and milk in the same ratio in both cases.
    When the cup is empty, I inevitably put somewhat more milk in it, than if I fill it with coffee first and try to leave the right amount of room for milk.
    Humans are generally not very good at estimating volume of space in containers!

  7. Milk first or after, it will be very different for espresso based milk drinks.
    The Flat White
    is to float the brown Crema to the top when pouring, preserving all the aromatic flavours in the Crema. Hence more espresso reference to taste.
    The Original Caffé Latte the to have the milk in the glass first, and pour a shot of espresso after it, which washes away all the nice the aromatic flavours. A microwaved iced coffee from the supermarket would taste better.
    These days, most Café Lattes, and Flat Whites are poured with the milk after.
    If you want to try this at a café, don’t get the take away, but a have it in a real cup. And if the first café didn’t give the results, you may need to experiment with a few more cafés around town. And once you found the café that can do it, you have found the place for your coffee ritual.
    I am also curious about the speed on the milk pouring with that experiment, do you pour it slowly, or dunk it in fast. Are the dose of coffee and milk measured with a kitchen scale, to ensure consistency, and not 20% different.

    Eight O’Clock

  8. I’ve experimented and it depends on the quality of the coffee. Very cheap powdered or granulated instant coffee it makes a huge difference. For freeze dried higher prices instant coffee it doesn’t make much difference. And it’s completely unrelated to fresh coffee extraction.
    I’d say that certain components of instant coffee can react with hot water and that adding milk first lets them dissolve into the milk fat and be protected from damage or evaporation.

  9. Flavour changes depends on how you make it including the order of adding the ingredients
    what is YOUR preference is entirely up to YOU

  10. Well, there are reasons for adding ingredients to recipes in the order they are presented. It may be likely that there’s a little tweak of chemistry – that the milk sitting in the cup and being added to has it’s chemistry changed in a slightly different way than the reverse. Perhaps the lactose in the milk being warmed a bit more slowly by adding the coffee to it than the reverse does make it a bit sweeter.
    Now, this is stretching the idea a bit, but perhaps it is that way to you. I do know that the way a person eats and Oreo cookie makes a big difference in how it tastes to them.
    EDIT: Oh, it just popped into my mind after I’d answered that I’ve read there are tea purists who will say the same thing, that the milk/cream placed in the cup first makes for a difference. And in checking online I found another answer on Quora that may help. I’ll quote one of the answers here, credit to Nickolas Fotopoulos –
    Does pouring the…

    Victor Allen’s


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