Will you like salt in your teacup? US embassy also weighs in

American scientist’s unconventional recommendation to add “a pinch of salt” to tea that has set the stage for a unique controversy

Representational image by Unsplash.
Representational image by Unsplash. 

Have you ever considered adding salt to your tea? 

The idea, proposed by American scientist Michelle Francl, has not only stirred the tea leaves but has also prompted a response from the US Embassy in London, creating a captivating tale of public interest.

In her newly released book, “Steeped: The Chemistry of Tea,” Bryn Mawr College chemistry professor Michelle Francl explores the intricate chemistry behind crafting the perfect cup of tea. From unraveling the secrets of diverse tea styles to addressing the timeless question of when to add milk, Francl’s research-based advice promises a heightened tea-drinking experience.

However, it’s Francl’s unconventional recommendation to add “a pinch of salt” to tea that has set the stage for a unique controversy. 

According to Francl, the addition of salt diminishes bitterness by blocking the bitter receptors in our mouths with the sodium ions in salt.

The controversy didn’t stay confined to the pages of Francl’s book. Good Morning Britain took the discussion to the airwaves, expressing incredulity at the suggestion. 

On the digital stage of X, formerly Twitter, the broadcast clip circulated with comments like, “According to a US expert, adding a pinch of salt is the answer to the perfect cup of tea. This feels like a crime.”

The intrigue deepened when the US Embassy in London wittily responded, “Today’s media reports of an American professor’s recipe for the perfect cup of tea have landed our special bond with the United Kingdom in hot water.” 

They assured the UK that the notion of adding salt to Britain’s national drink is not official United States policy, injecting humour by pledging to continue making tea “the proper way – by microwaving it.”

As the banter continued, the UK government’s X account joined the conversation, firmly stating, “We must disagree wholeheartedly… Tea can only be made using a kettle.”

The age-old tradition of tea-making finds itself at the centre of a spirited global discussion. 

So, would you like to savour salty tea?

Or, do you stand with the traditionalists defending the sanctity of the classic brew? 

But, we say,

With or without salt, keep savouring your tea!

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