Salt in tea creates controversy between America and England

Bryn Mawr College chemistry professor Michael Frank says one of the secrets to a great cup of tea is a pinch of salt.

The tip was included in Franklin's book “Steeped: The Chemistry of Tea,” published Wednesday by the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Associated Press (AP) reported.

After the “Boston Tea Party” political struggle in that North American city against British rule, Anglo-American relations were not as intense.

The salt recommendation sparked outrage among tea lovers in the United Kingdom, where a popular stereotype sees Americans as lousy coffee drinkers who make tea in the microwave.

“Don't even say the word 'salt' to us…”, wrote Debrett's etiquette guide on social network X.

The US embassy in London intervened in the 'storm' with a social media post assuring the good people of the UK that “the unthinkable idea of ​​adding salt to Britain's national drink is not official US policy”.

“United in our deep unity, we will show the world that we are one when it comes to tea,” the US embassy said ironically, adding that “the US Embassy will continue to prepare tea properly — keeping it.” Microwave.”

The embassy later clarified that its statement was a “light play on shared cultural links” between the two countries rather than an official press release.

But the American book, by contrast, is not a joke. The result of three years of research and experimentation, the book examines more than 100 chemical compounds found in tea and, according to its publisher, “uses chemistry with advice on how to brew a perfect cup”.

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Adding small amounts of salt — not enough to add flavor — makes tea appear less bitter because “the sodium ions in the salt block the bitter receptors in the mouth,” says Michael Frank.

The scientist recommends making the tea in a preheated pot, shaking the bag briefly but vigorously, and serving in a low, sturdy mug to retain heat.

Frankl says milk should be added to the cup after tea, not before — another issue that often divides infusion lovers.

The author was surprised by the reaction to his book in England.

“I noticed that it caused a lot of interest. I didn't know we would start a diplomatic conversation with the US embassy,” he told the AP.

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