US woman sparks transatlantic tea war with brutal online brew | Food | The Guardian

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 a purposeful provocation. An American TikTok user going by the name of Michelle North Carolina published a video demonstrating how to make what she describes as “hot tea”, which involves blending milk 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”.

Christopher Hitchens, the late, great transatlantic writer who published a 2011 piece complaining the impossibility of finding a decent brew in the US– “It’s quite typical to be served a cup or a pot of water, well off the boil, with the tea bags resting on an adjacent cold plate,” he moaned – would certainly have approved. The war, Pierce needs to have presumed, was over.

If so, she reckoned without the cunning of the United States ambassador in London, Woody Johnson, who acknowledged the impossibility of his position on the tea front and quickly moved his forces to a traditional British weak point: coffee.

” I’m going to make an American cup of coffee, the method I make it day, reacting to Ambassador Pierce’s best cup of tea and her guidelines,” he deadpanned, enabling his host country’s collective stress and anxiety about not truly understanding the difference between a cappuccino and a flat white to do its own work.

The perfect cup of coffee, Ambassador @KarenPierceUK https://t.co/oEbSJNE2qw pic.twitter.com/LfGE5w5Dc0

He proceeded to pour a bottle of water into a kettle, stick a spoon of immediate coffee in a mug, splash in some milk and state “have a good day”. If he then told his social networks assistant that no, he didn’t have time for a second take, he had some chlorinated chicken to offer, history did not record the interaction.

Johnson’s intervention appears to have stunned his British equivalent into silence for the time being. However there may now be concerns as to whether he had committed a major strategic error, by making, to put it candidly, what appeared like an awful cup of coffee. On Wednesday evening, a source at the Italian embassy requested for a view on the US video responded: “What he made was American coffee. And I worry … American coffee.” In winning one war, it appears that Johnson may have unintentionally began another.

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