News

From garlic bread to a pinch of salt: The weird and wonderful ways people like to liven up their cups of tea – as a US scientist suggests adding a squeeze of grapefruit juice


An American scientist continues to threaten diplomatic relations with Britain due to her controversial suggestions of what to put in your tea

Michelle Francl, a professor of chemistry at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania, says the addition of grapefruit can keep caffeine in the body for longer. 

The expert – who already suggested adding salt to tea – claims grapefruit can prolong the effect of caffeine and keep you feeling awake for longer. 

While this sounds sacrilegious to the majority of Brits, strange combinations in Britain’s national drink are not as unusual as we may think. 

From butter to maple syrup and even pepper, these are the weird and wonderful additions people make to their cuppas. 

From butter to maple syrup and even pepper, here's weird and wonderful additions people make to their cuppas

From butter to maple syrup and even pepper, here’s weird and wonderful additions people make to their cuppas

SUGAR

Brits tend to be divided on whether to add sugar to tea, with some arguing that it destroys tea’s subtle flavour and others claiming it masks the bitter taste. 

But experts are in agreement that it’s an unnecessary source of sugar intake that can be avoided – and can slow the onset of the likes of diabetes and tooth decay. 

And according to a 2019 study, removing sugar does not make one less fond of the drink.

Scientists at University College London and the University of Leeds asked participants to remove sugar from their cuppa and found that their likeness for the drink didn’t change. 

In their study, they wrote: ‘Reducing sugar in tea doesn’t affect liking, suggesting long-term behaviour change is possible.

‘Excess sugar intake is a public health problem and sugar in beverages contributes substantially to total intake.’

However, a 2023 study found no link between sweetening tea or coffee and a heightened risk of diabetes and early death. 

MAPLE SYRUP

Aside from adding a kick of sweetness, the nutty, almost woody notes of maple syrup are said to complement the flavour of tea.

Maple syrup is of course made from the sap of the maple tree, which is not a world away from the leaves of the tea plant (Camellia sinensis). 

Aside from adding a kick of sweetness, the nutty, almost woody notes of maple syrup are said to complement the flavour of tea (file photo)

Aside from adding a kick of sweetness, the nutty, almost woody notes of maple syrup are said to complement the flavour of tea (file photo) 

Michelle Francl, a professor of chemistry at Bryn Mawr College, sent British tempers rising by suggesting the perfect cup of tea contains a pinch of salt

Michelle Francl, a professor of chemistry at Bryn Mawr College, sent British tempers rising by suggesting the perfect cup of tea contains a pinch of salt

Taking to Reddit, one person said: ‘I recently bought a jar of Maple sugar to use in my tea. It flavors the tea in a very mild way.’ 

Another posted: ‘I have tried maple syrup as a sweetener in both black tea and in masala chai. 

‘It rather overwhelms black teas, but it’s an interesting note when added to a masala chai.’  

BUTTER

Believe it or not, butter in tea is a thing – and it hasn’t caught on recently either. 

This version of the drink, which is luxurious and rich in fat, originates from the Himalayan region between Greater Tibet and the Indian subcontinent. 

Historically, drinkers used yak butter, but cow’s butter has become a common alternative due to its availability, especially in the western world. 

Tibetan restaurants in the UK serve butter tea, often at the end of the meal, but the practice occurs in British homes too, especially to increase calories in the cold months.

Unfortunately it can turn the drink an unappetizing pale colour, not unlike baby vomit.

A tendency to add butter to tea may stem from Asia. 'Butter tea' (pictured) likely originated in the Himalayan region between Greater Tibet and the Indian subcontinent

A tendency to add butter to tea may stem from Asia. ‘Butter tea’ (pictured) likely originated in the Himalayan region between Greater Tibet and the Indian subcontinent

Pepper in tea has been shown to offer a whole host of healthy benefits, unlike sugar and salt

Pepper in tea has been shown to offer a whole host of healthy benefits, unlike sugar and salt

PEPPER 

Others admit they have been adding pepper to their tea to give it a spicy tang. 

Unlike the pointless addition of salt, pepper has been shown to offer a whole host of healthy benefits. 

The spice is known to help with weight loss and colds and has an invigorating taste to it that allegedly imbibes each sip with a cool buzz. 

One nutritionist posting on Quora said: ‘You can add black pepper, preferably in powdered form, to tea, it gives a peppery taste to your tea.

‘We use black pepper powder/fresh ginger crushed in tea mostly during rainy and winter season.’ 

A blogger for Food Hacks also admitted to his love of peppery tea, especially with the peppercorns added whole. 

‘Brewing black peppercorn tea is a delicious way to drink some of your daily value of Vitamin K, iron, and manganese,’ he said. 

JAM

It seems daring foodies are combining the best elements of a classic afternoon tea in one cup.  

On Reddit, one user said: ‘I usually drink British tea with milk and I tried tea with some strawberry jam and it wasn’t bad.’ 

In Britain, jam and tea are two elements of a classic afternoon tea, but not eaten while combined

In Britain, jam and tea are two elements of a classic afternoon tea, but not eaten while combined

The perfect cuppa, according to Professor Francl

  1. Add a pinch of salt to reduce bitterness
  2. Use warm milk to reduce the chance of curdling
  3. Use a short and stout mug to keep your tea hotter
  4. Use tea leaves over teabags
  5. Heat up your cup (or pot)
  6. Only use your tea leaves or teabag once
  7. Never microwave your tea
  8. Don’t steep for too long 

Apparently the tradition stems from Russia, where drinkers are also prone to putting a blob of jam in their mouths first before sipping the liquid through it. 

About a decade ago, the craze of adding jam to hot tea swept the US, according to Today

It reported: ‘Jam brings out the natural flavors of tea, without overwhelming it with sweetness, making it a nice alternative to sugar or even honey.’ 

According to another user on Reddit, jam mixed with tea makes a good summer drink when served cold. 

They posted: ‘Strawberry perseveres with black tea (cooled before hand), thoroughly blend, and then ice. Its my hot summer go to.’ 

ORANGE JUICE 

Some have admitted adding orange juice to tea – combining two elements of breakfast in one. 

However, this one you have to be careful with because milk curdles when you mix it with orange juice, due a reaction between the acidic juice and the proteins in milk. 

One Reddit user said: ‘You don’t need to add sugar to your tea, because the orange has that sweetness, combined with the tartness and acidity of lemon.

Some people claim that the perfect cup of Rosie Lee involves a healthy dash of orange juice

Some people claim that the perfect cup of Rosie Lee involves a healthy dash of orange juice

‘It’s honestly delicious, but whenever I bring it up everyone thinks I’m insane.’ 

Another said: ‘Milk or no milk, it’s still tea. Even with orange juice.’ 

LEMON

Lemon has long been added to tea – it’s thought for hundreds of years – but many still make the mistake of adding milk as well which can also cause it to curdle.

As long as there’s no milk in the mix, lemon seems to be the most socially-acceptable addition to tea in Britain, other than milk and sugar. 

Lemons are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and also give a boost of vitamin C, although the sourness and the bitterness make it a totally different drink.

EGG

Egg in tea as an alternative to milk dates back to at least the 19th century, when it was drank by Lord Byron prior to his famous duels. 

The English poet, who suffered from bulimia and anorexia, allegedly believed it would fortify him prior to the fight. 

In a 2008 episode of the BBC series ‘Supersizers Go…’, food critic Giles Coren tried the concoction and described it as ‘quite strange’.

While it successfully whitened the tea, it left the liquid with eggy strands that caused Coren to gag. 

Even today, recipes for egg tea without milk are found on the internet, although it seems to be an acquired taste. 

RUM 

Perhaps unsurprisingly given the country’s relationship with alcohol, some Brits say they enjoy adding a dash of rum to their cuppa – although this is more of a cocktail and doesn’t seem to be served with milk. 

Rum has always been a popular addition to tea as part of a cocktail, although it doesn't seem to include milk

Rum has always been a popular addition to tea as part of a cocktail, although it doesn’t seem to include milk  

Falling into the maple syrup category of senseless indulgence, there are next to no health benefits from adding rum to tea. 

Practitioners of the method, which is known as jagertee in Europe, report feeling warm and somewhat sluggish after taking the potent mixture. 

GARLIC BREAD 

Yes, you read that correctly – someone has admitted that they’ve been adding garlic bread to their tea. 

On another Reddit thread, a user wrote: ‘My friends say dipping stuff in tea is a poor move usually because it crumbles and you get a strange mix of crumbs and debris and tea. 

‘They tend to draw the line at biscuits but I tend to go a bit further.

‘Garlic bread and tea is great, I also make grilled cheese and tuna sandwiches with ketchup and mayo and dip that into tea as well, doughnuts, pizza crusts, croissants, pain au chocolates. 

‘So redditors, is this weird?’ 

SALT 

It was last month that Professor Francl caused widespread British outrage when she suggested the ideal cup of tea contains a pinch of salt. 

The sodium ion in salt blocks the chemical mechanism that makes tea taste bitter, she said. 

It is woven deeply into the fabric of British culture. But now a scientist from the US claims to have found the secrets to a perfect cuppa

It is woven deeply into the fabric of British culture. But now a scientist from the US claims to have found the secrets to a perfect cuppa

Dr Frankl's recipe for a 'perfect' cup of tea has proven so shocking that the US embassy in London even made a joking post on X (formerly Twitter) about the recipe

Dr Frankl’s recipe for a ‘perfect’ cup of tea has proven so shocking that the US embassy in London even made a joking post on X (formerly Twitter) about the recipe 

MailOnline put the professor’s recipe to the test and found that it produced a very hot and unpleasantly salty brew. 

Professor Francl’s tea recipe – namely the suggestion of adding salt – caused such an uproar on social media that it was even addressed by the US Embassy in London. 

It said adding salt to Britain’s national drink ‘is not official United States policy’ and ‘never will be’. 

In response, Typhoo Tea said tea would be ‘better off dumped in Boston Harbour than a microwave’, in reference to the Boston Tea Party of 1773. 

At the time, American patriots sank barrels of tea into Boston harbor in protest of King George’s taxation. 

GRAPEFRUIT

Professor Francl said grapefruit makes caffeine last longer in the body and so is a good addition to tea for those who need keeping awake. 

‘Grapefruit blocks an enzyme that breaks down caffeine (and other drugs, like some cholesterol-lowering drugs) in the liver,’ she told MailOnline. 

‘It can do the same for other drugs which is why some people are told not to eat grapefruit when they are taking those medications.’ 

However, she doesn’t suggest adding grapefruit to your tea if you have milk, which will lead to curdling. 

You’ve been dunking your biscuits WRONG! Scientists reveal the optimal dunking times for 10 popular varieties 

Dunking a biscuit into a cup of tea has to be one of life’s great pleasures. 

But the sweet snack can turn into an unpalatable slurry at the bottom of your mug if you don’t time your dunk properly. 

To help us out, scientists have revealed out the ‘optimal dunking time’ for 10 popular biscuits, including the Digestive, Rich Tea and even the controversial Jaffa Cake.

They’ve also estimated the ‘dunking danger zone’ – the point when the biscuit becomes ‘over-dunked’ and begins to break or fall apart. 

Most biscuits need only be dunked for a fraction of a second – known as ‘the micro-dunk’ – and most of us have been immersing our biscuits for too long, they say.

Read more  



Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button