I tried the American ‘British Tea’ that outraged Twitter – it’s as bad as you’d think
It’s not a war crime, but it isn’t great either
The world has been outraged about a lot of things recently. From Trump to JK Rowling, we are fuming. Of all the things to be angry about, the UK is seemingly outraged at a TikTok posted by a woman and her daughter making a ‘British Tea’.
The TikTok was made by @jchelle36 who describes herself as “An american living in the UK” and whose life mantra is: “Love, Laugh and Repeat.” So, essentially live, laugh, love. I don’t see this as a reason to distrust someone though, at the least I too enjoy living, laughing and loving. And, as a barista I have met other baristas from the likes of America and Russia who make a brew better than I ever could.
Jchelle posted her tutorial yesterday, and captioned it: “Ok since everyone wanted me to make British Tea- here you go.”
You only have to look at the replies to see how livid people were, with one woman replying: “This is definitely an act of war.”
After watching the TikTok over and over and over again, I felt for Jchelle. She seemed so confident in her tutorial, and there was not a single hint of praise towards her unconventionality. I was if anything, intrigued. It can’t be that bad can it?
As we saw with the trend of Dalgona iced coffee, the most unhelpful thing about TikTok recipes is how quickly they speed through the instructions. It’s like watching Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares on coke.
I had to watch the TikTok about twenty times, pausing it throughout each viewing to work out exactly what I needed to do and when. After doing so, I employed my dad to be my photographer for the event, I was the outraging barista for approximately five minutes (because that is how long this drink takes to make, by the way.) So, without further ado, this is how you make “British tea”.
Fill the mug with water
Filling a large mug with water is not alien to me. It is something I’m sure most of us do at the end of a night out, when you can’t be bothered trying to find a clean glass from pres and all you want is to attempt to sober up so the next morning isn’t as bad as it should be.
Although, on this occasion I was completely sober and it was around four in the afternoon whilst my dad took photos of me performing my tasks. For a moment, I was allowed to imagine that I was not only boujee, but a proud owner of one of those boiling water taps the Kardashian’s probably own.
Put the mug into the microwave for one minute
Jchelle was lucky because she had one of those microwaves where the doors open upwards, so her shot of this part of the tutorial is more aesthetically pleasing.
I placed my mug into the world of my microwave and slowly closed the door on it, suspicious of my own actions. I clicked quick start (cheat mode for heating things for one minute) and stood back as my father and I watched the microwave tick down to zero.
“45 seconds is a long time isn’t it?” I said to him.
“Well, it’s 45 seconds.”
Pour the milk into the mug
Suddenly, things became evidently criminal. I’m pouring semi-skimmed milk into luke warm water. What good is this for? Do I have any respect for my own tastebuds? How would the self-care gods feel about this act? Will I be allowed into self love heaven?
This line of questioning raced through my head as I poured away my bottle of Cravendale. I mean that literally, there’s no portion sizes advised on the video, she just keeps pouring.
I just accepted that a lot was probably good, all guess work, improvising. I thought of my year 11 leavers’ assembly where we were told: “Acceptance is the key to be truly free.” which I think was originally said by Katy Perry. I had to accept that the amount of milk Jchelle used was probably too much, but in accepting this, I opened myself up to be free from any presumptions I had about tea before now. It was enlightening.
Drop the tea bag in
Splishy splashy, into the docks of milky water drowns my beloved Yorkshire Tea teabag. Rest easy sweet prince.
Disclaimer: Portion size was estimated based on Jchelle’s TikTok. She seriously just pours the sugar jar into the tea, the entirety of it. I wasn’t immediately comfortable with the idea, but after what I had been through with the milky water, anything was on the cards at this point. And apparently, those cards all spelled out America.
There was so much sugar in this I genuinely may as well have just poured the jar straight into my mouth.
Finally, time to give my cauldron a whisk around. Again, TikTok doesn’t tell you how long you should be doing it for, so I just stirred and stirred until a magical ring of milk formed around the outside. I have only ever seen this happen on Cappuccino and Americano coffees before, never ever in the old English brew.
As you can probably read by my face, I’m concerned. This isn’t my near-orange brew. This is tap water with a hint of milk.
The taste test
The milk water is on my lips, swirling sugar around my brain and bursting pain out of my eyes. It wasn’t awful, it was not a war crime. It just was not tea, or coffee. I buzzed around for at least fifteen minutes after, so I can see the appeal. But it is near impossible to rid the taste of it from your betrayed taste buds.
I’m sorry Jchelle, I tried and I cried. I would recommend re-naming this beverage as ‘Hot milk water’ whose only place on this continent is the drains.
“Good riddance”, I declared as the sea of beige dribbled down the plug hole. I felt for a moment like it was my own Boston Tea Party.