People Are Outraged That an American Scientist Suggested Using Salt to Make a 'Better' Cup of Tea

"This feels like a crime"

<p>Jakub Porzycki/getty</p> Stock image of tea being poured into a cup

Jakub Porzycki/getty

Stock image of tea being poured into a cup

An American scientist's suggestion to add salt to tea has promoted a response from the U.S. Embassy in London.

Bryn Mawr College chemistry professor Michelle Francl published a book titled Steeped: The Chemistry of Tea on Wednesday, offering research-based advice on making the best cup of tea.

"Beginning with the leaves, Steeped explores the chemistry behind different styles of tea, from green teas to pu-erh. It tackles the age-old question of when, or even whether, to add milk. And it puts the chemistry to use with advice on how to brew a better cup," an official synopsis reads.

The Associated Press reported that one of the suggestions Francl offers in the book is to add "a pinch of salt" to tea.

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Francl explained that tea becomes less bitter by adding a small amount of salt because "the sodium ions in [the] salt block the bitter receptors in our mouths," per the Associated Press.

She also suggested serving tea in "a short, stout mug to preserve the heat" and pouring milk into the cup after the brewed tea, but her salt recommendation was what got the internet buzzing.

Good Morning Britain discussed the recommendation on air and shared a clip from their broadcast on X, formerly known as Twitter, writing, "According to a U.S. expert, adding a pinch of salt is the answer to the perfect cup of tea. This feels like a crime."

The U.S. Embassy in London also responded on X, writing, "Today's media reports of an American professor's recipe for the perfect cup of tea has landed our special bond with the United Kingdom in hot water."

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"Tea is the elixir of camaraderie, a sacred bond that unites our nations. We cannot stand idly by as such an outrageous proposal threatens the very foundation of our special relationship. Therefore, we want to assure the good people of the U.K. that the unthinkable notion of adding salt to Britain's national drink is not official United States policy. And never will be," their statement continued.

The embassy wrote that it would continue to show "steeped solidarity" regarding tea and joked, "The U.S. Embassy will continue to make tea in the proper way – by microwaving it."

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The response prompted the government of the United Kingdom's account on X to share their statement, writing, "We must disagree wholeheartedly... Tea can only be made using a kettle."

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