Salt in tea? A chemist’s advice sparks discord between English and Americans

Salt in tea?  A chemist's advice sparks discord between English and Americans

What if you put salt in your cup of tea? This recommendation was put forward by an American scientist in order to reveal a secret: salt would be used to control the bitterness of the hot drink. Advice that provoked the ire of the British.

In the kingdom of His Majesty Charles III, an afternoon tea without tea would be like couscous without semolina or paella without rice… Deeply anchored in British habits, the consumption of tea goes hand in hand with rituals, such as that of add milk. We can therefore imagine the surprise of the English population upon reading the freshly brewed work of a chemistry professor at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania, who extols the merits of the pinch of salt in the cup of tea.

Between England and the United States, exchanges become salty

In this work published by the Royal Society of Chemistry, entitled “Steeped: the chemistry of tea”, researcher Michelle Francl draws on old Chinese manuscripts dating from the 8th century to support the thesis of the importance of salt in tea . If we are to believe its scientific demonstration, the sodium contained in salt would have the capacity to block a receptor located on our tongue and detecting bitter flavor. In other words, by adding a little salt to your cup of English black tea, you will succeed in reducing that astringent touch on the tongue.

No less was needed to arouse the ire of the British people, and in this case Her Majesty’s press like the Guardian, which quite simply described this “advice” as a scandalous recipe. Worse, this publication became a matter of state to the point that the United States Embassy in London needed to issue a press release to assure the British people that this recommendation was not approved by the country. of Uncle Sam. Tea is thus presented as a bond of “camaraderie” uniting the two nations and that the United States wishes to show its support in this “controversy”.

NO to diets, YES to WW!

Microwave, maxi-sacrilege?

However, the American body could have further scandalized the English by attempting reconciliation. Because the Embassy ends its communication by “reassuring” them that it would continue to prepare tea in the most respectable way, that is to say… by heating the water in the microwave!

Already in 2020, a TikToker attracted the wrath of British tea drinkers for presenting the so-called way of making English tea without using a kettle. The American researcher Michelle Francl, however, advises using this type of device and even recommends adding a squeeze of lemon to remove the foam that can form when there is an interaction with the chemicals contained in tap water.

@jchelle36 Americans making hot tea 🍵 #americanintheuk @mleemaster10 ♬ original sound – jchelle28

Let us point out that the American scientist spoke about her work and her advice on adding salt to the cup of tea in order to clarify her position, ensuring that she did not want to create a diplomatic incident with her research.