Do you add the water (or liquid) first or ...

When preparing a bowl of cereal, do you add the milk to the bowl first, or the cereal?

When making powdered drinks (like coffee, tea, hot chocolate etc.), do you add the water first, or the powder to a cup with water?

When making instant noodles, do you add the water to the bowl first, or the instant noodles and then pour the water over the noodles?

If you take anything with your coffee, do you pour the coffee into the cup and then add whatever add-ons (e.g. sugar, cream, etc.), or do you put the sugar, cream, etc. into the cup first and then add the coffee?

Cereal, then milk
Powder, then liquid
Noodles, then water
Coffee, then cream (and sometimes sugar)

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Cereal - cereal first

Powder - powder first

Noodles - don’t eat instant noodles

Coffee - only drink instant coffee at home (see powder above)

What an odd question… but for just about everything, I combine all dry ingredients first, and then add the liquid(s). This allows better mixing by not having to deal with the surface tension of the liquid(s).


Cereal first.

I make hot chocolate with chocolate, not cocoa. :chocolate_bar: Made with cocoa it would be hot cocoa.

Add-ons, by definition, are added after. :crazy_face: I judge the amount by color.

Cereal then milk, powder then liquid, coffee then half & half, milk then tea.


Why milk then tea when all the other are usually liquid followed by add-ons.

Milk, then heat milk in microwave, then froth milk, then coffee.

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Habit?, my dad was from Ireland. He would tolerate a tea bag in a cup with boiling water poured over it but preferred a pot of tea. He would add his milk first then his tea from the pot. I have a couple of friends from England and SA and they do the same. I don’t drink tea often, usually its a pot when I do, so stuck with it.
I do like the cream in my coffee first, kind of froths up a bit when I pour the coffee in. But usually forget early in the am.


Milk first dates back to when Britons started to drink tea, so I believe. The cups were quite fragile china and it was considered safer not to pour boiling hot water into them. Hence milk first which cools down the incoming hot water.

I don’t drink tea but even when making instant coffee (which is several times a day in this house), my running order is coffee, sugar, milk, water. On the other hand, my partner who does drink tea first thing in the day has a running order of teabag, sugar, water, milk and, for coffee, milk also goes in last.


In the examples where there is a solid or powder involved I would add the liquid second. However, with coffee I pour half and half into my cup first, then coffee. This eliminiates the need to stir. I use the same size cup for my coffee every day so its easy to judge the correct amount based on how far up the side of the cup the dairy reaches.

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Cereal, then milk, then sugar if needed
Powder, then liquid (dry before wet)
Noodles, then water. If dried seasonings, after noodles & before water
Coffee, then cream, then sugar

If putting milk in tea, tea, milk, sugar.

  • Cereal, then milk
  • Usually the powder, and then the liquid for those sorts of beverages
  • I usually make instant noodles on the stovetop. So, water and then noodles and packet go in together. Then the finished thing goes in a bowl.
  • Half and half, then coffee. Tea has been without dairy for a bunch of years now, but usually I put milk in after the tea (for black). Sugar first, so it would dissolve. But I haven’t done sugar in my tea since I was a kid.

Cereal, then milk.
Powder or teabag, then liquid. If it’s hot chocolate, it’s hot milk. With tea, I add honey or sugar after the tea has steeped and the teabag has been wrung out and set aside.
I don’t do instant noodles.
Sugar and half and half into the cup, then coffee.

I don’t eat cold cereal. I like steel cut oats with salted butter. I put the butter in the bowl first.

I make my own cocoa mix and I like Milo chocolate/malt powder. I put either in the cup before I add hot milk.

I rarely add anything to my coffee. When I do, I put the dairy and/or sweetener in the cup before I add the coffee.

In my view, my method is more effective in ensuring even mixing. In fact, I don’t understand the recipe instruction to sprinkle yeast over lukewarm water; I put the yeast in the bowl, then pour the water over for as it works better to get the yeast and water thoroughly mixed.

For those who add, for example, milk or sugar before pouring the coffee, do you worry that the milk/sugar will not mix properly – as in there will be more sugar/milk in the bottom than in the top half?

By pouring in the milk (for example) into the milk, you’re more guaranteed that the milk will be more evenly distributed (which we can thank gravity for).

Just curious.

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I use a tiny amount of splenda, which goes in the mug first. Then about half a cup of coffee, then half & half, then more coffee. I also shake the half & half like a mofo so it’s frothy.


Nope, because then I stand in the kitchen stirring to mix everything up.

Always milk first for cereal and tea, coffee - if I’m not drinking it black I’ll cream after to gage the color, instant noodles are added to boiling water.

So gravity pulls milk down into coffee, but not coffee down into milk? Huh.