A US scientist, Dr. Michelle Francl, claims to have discovered the perfect recipe for brewing tea, sparking a debate between the US and the UK, known for its strong tea-drinking culture.
Dr. Francl, a chemistry professor at Bryn Mawr College, suggests adding a pinch of salt to tea to reduce bitterness and adding warmed milk after pouring to prevent curdling.
She recommends using a short, stout mug and opting for tea leaves over teabags. Dr. Francl also suggests adding a small squeeze of lemon juice to eliminate scum, and removing the lid when drinking from a takeaway cup for a better aroma.
Dr. Francl, in her book 'Steeped: The Chemistry of Tea,' claims to have derived this recipe from analysing numerous research papers and ancient texts spanning over 1,000 years.
Her unconventional tea-making method has ignited discussions on cultural differences and tea habits between the US and the UK. The US embassy in London distanced itself from the claims, emphasizing that adding salt to Britain's national drink is not official US policy.
The professor, a tea enthusiast, explains her findings, stating that her goal is to make the very best cup of tea.
She criticizes the quality of tea in the US, emphasizing her preference for tea over coffee. Dr. Francl's suggestions include using a specific mug, choosing leaves over teabags, and addressing issues like bitterness and scum. She believes her findings will enhance the tea-drinking experience.
The controversy over Dr. Francl's claims has caused a stir in Britain, a nation deeply passionate about its tea culture.
The US embassy in London intervened, reassuring that the unthinkable notion of adding salt to tea is not official US policy and will never be.
An important statement on the latest tea controversy. 🇺🇸🇬🇧 pic.twitter.com/HZFfSCl9sD— U.S. Embassy London (@USAinUK) January 24, 2024
The embassy emphasized the importance of tea as a symbol of camaraderie between the two nations, concluding with a humorous remark about the US continuing to make tea in the proper way—by microwaving it.
In Britain, where tea is a significant part of daily life, the traditional method of brewing involves using a kettle, a practice less popular in the US.