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I am a big fan of tea. I hail from Punjab, India. I like it with cardamom and milk and water in 1:1 proportion. And I like to boil everything together (this is the way its done in majority of Indian households). Recently, I noticed that the tea tastes much better if I put sugar in my cup after pouring the tea in it, rather than boiling the sugar with everything. It tastes so fresh this way that I have altogether stopped putting in the sugar while boiling. Is there anyone who shares this taste with me and can give me some scientific explanation on what is the difference?

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I can't answer your question because I've never done it any other way, but in the US (barring family custom otherwise) sugar is always added to hot tea in the cup after the spent tea is removed. –  Jolenealaska Sep 25 '13 at 23:00
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I'm assuming it's the milk and water that are in 1:1 proportion, not the cardamom and anything? –  sourd'oh Sep 25 '13 at 23:18
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OK, Mister Smartypants –  Jolenealaska Sep 25 '13 at 23:29
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I don't want to write an answer as this is mostly conjecture... I have seen a lot of other opinions agreeing with you on adding sugar. The only things I can think are that having the sugar already dissolved in the water change the solubility of the tea, or perhaps that the tea matter ends up absorbing some of the sugar. –  sourd'oh Sep 26 '13 at 23:08
    
@sourd'oh Thanks for correcting the grammatical mistake. edit -- I like it with milk and water in 1:1 proportion and a little cardamom. :) –  Pankaj Oct 4 '13 at 0:06

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Yes, it would taste different- Sugar chrystals are made of sucrose saccharose(glucose combined with fructose), if you boil sugar with an acid (milk is slightly acidic[ph 6.5-7]) your sugar splits into its monomers-fructose and glucose(invert-sugar). Fructose fits into your taste receptors better than sucrose or fructose causing it to taste sweeter(1.73 x sweeter).

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What are the kinematics of this reaction? Does it occur at a significant speed at culinary (tea) concentrations and pH? –  SAJ14SAJ Sep 29 '13 at 11:58
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I disagree with this theory. In candy making, one can add acid to sugar syrup to invert the sugar in order to prevent crystalization, or work very carefully without adding acid. To me, the final product tastes the same in terms of sweetness, no matter which technique was used. –  rumtscho Sep 29 '13 at 12:17

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