NewsAn American recipe for tea sparks diplomatic tensions with the UK

An American recipe for tea sparks diplomatic tensions with the UK

Tea became the cause of the dispute.
Tea became the cause of the dispute.
Images source: © Getty Images | Arkadova

21 June 2024 13:47

An American researcher has concluded that the best tea contains... a pinch of salt and a bit of lemon juice. Her controversial theory has caused quite a stir in the British media, even involving the US embassy in London.

Can tea lead to an international "incident"? Apparently so, especially if it involves the United Kingdom, where this beverage is considered a national treasure. In this instance, the change in tea brewing methods became the cause of diplomatic confusion, and the British media treated it almost as an insult.

Tea became a reason for international conflict

Earlier this year, American researcher Professor Michelle Francl from Bryn Mawr College revealed her recipe for the perfect tea. According to her, simply adding a pinch of salt to the brew effectively suppresses its bitterness. Francl also suggested adding a few drops of lemon juice to avoid sediment and more intensive dipping of the tea bag to neutralise tannins.

These recommendations are particularly hard to swallow, especially since the researcher shared tips on choosing the right cup and preheating the teapot. There was also advice about warming milk for those who enjoy milk tea. Francl considered that Americans drink poor-quality tea, so she wanted to educate them on how to prepare it correctly.

What do the British think about this tea idea?

Her advice caused a massive stir in the media, which began widely commenting on the "American way of brewing tea." Newspapers such as the Daily Mail and The Guardian wrote about the professor's unconventional recommendations, almost leading to a diplomatic crisis. Some decided to test Francl's assumptions, but their reviews were negative.

The US ambassador in London also got involved. Her reaction was humorous, suggesting the researcher was driving a wedge into the special relationship between the USA and the UK. She also noted that tea should not become a bone of contention between the nations. On the other hand, American officials stated that they would continue to brew tea in the "only proper way" – in the microwave. This referenced an earlier incident when TikTok again caused a stir around tea in the microwave. Americans laughed at the situation, while the British were outraged.

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