There have actually been more severe transatlantic bust-ups over a brew, such as the American Revolution, however few can have been quite so twee. Almost 250 years after the Boston Tea Celebration, the British ambassador in Washington and her United States counterpart in London are going at it over how to make a decent hot drink. And by Wednesday night, the dispute was spilling over into mainland Europe.
Like lots of tense diplomatic standoffs, it began with a purposeful provocation. An American TikTok user going by the name of Michelle from North Carolina published a video demonstrating how to make what she describes as “hot tea”, which involves blending milk with powdered lemonade, cinnamon, cloves, sugar and Tang, which turns out to be a soda.
As an afterthought she soaked a teabag, and after that put the entire thing in the microwave. Her subsequent effort at “British tea” involved cold water first. The British internet lost its marbles.
Michelle from North Carolina, who really lives in Britain and has shown herself to be a very efficient wind-up merchant with follow-ups including her dish for “UK eggs”– do not ask – quickly generated 5m TikTok likes. Meanwhile, the UK’s powerful capability to get on its high horse about elevenses kicked into equipment.
Phillip Schofield did a bit on This Early morning. Davina McCall explained it as a “call to war”. Inevitably, Dame Karen Pierce, the British ambassador to Washington– who holds an MSc in worldwide method and diplomacy from the LSE, has actually served in the Foreign Office for 39 years and is a previous president of the UN security council – was required to weigh in.
She published a viral video of her own on Monday, discussing that “the Anglo-American relationship is specified by tea”, a recommendation to the Boston Tea Ceremony of 1773 that ultimately resulted in United States independence.
Then, in what Twitter small talk enthusiasts considered as an exhilarating escalation, she threw to 3 branches of the armed forces, who took it in turns to show how to make what one Royal Navy sailor called a “correct British cup of tea”.