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Try adding grapefruit to your tea, as recommended by a chemistry professor, for a unique twist on your usual cup of tea.
Science World News

Try adding grapefruit to your tea, as recommended by a chemistry professor, for a unique twist on your usual cup of tea.

If you notice that the energy boost from your morning cup of tea wears off before the bus arrives, the scientist who suggested adding salt to tea has a more appealing suggestion: have some grapefruit instead.

Last month, Michelle Francl, a chemistry professor at Bryn Mawr College, sparked controversy around the world when she proposed that adding a small amount of salt could enhance the flavor of tea.

She recently shared a suggestion that is less likely to spark a major argument about tea between the US and Europe, similar to the one that occurred during the American Revolution. During an online webinar hosted by Chemistry World magazine, she disclosed that consuming fruits and vegetables can either extend or decrease the effects of caffeine.

According to Francl, consuming a large amount of grapefruit can prolong the presence of caffeine in your body. On the other hand, incorporating cabbage, broccoli, and brussels sprouts into your diet can help eliminate caffeine at a faster rate.

She expressed that the response to the guidance presented in her book, “Steeped: the Chemistry of Tea,” had greatly surprised her. She was especially taken aback by the diplomatic interventions that followed. Additionally, she stated that the American method of preparing tea was not to her liking.

Her advice caused an outcry, and led the US embassy to London to post on X that “the unthinkable notion of adding salt to Britain’s national drink is not official United States policy. And never will be.” However, the otherwise reassuring post ended: “The US embassy will continue to make tea in the proper way – by microwaving it.”

Francl has taken issue with the American habit of using a microwave for their brew. She said the approach promoted the formation of a cloudy material, known as tea scum, composed of organic substances with calcium and magnesium carbonates.

“When tea is microwaved, the rapid increase in temperature prevents the removal of oxygen and carbon dioxide, resulting in a higher concentration of carbonates and the promotion of organic matter, causing a floating residue to form.”

Francl clarified that there was a misunderstanding regarding her previous comment about warming milk, explaining that she did not intend for it to be heated.

According to her, pouring cold milk from the refrigerator into hot tea can cause it to curdle.

According to Francl, the size and material of teabags are significant factors, while their shape is not. Additionally, it is crucial to preheat a teapot before using it to prevent the water from cooling down when poured in.

According to the speaker, the amount of caffeine extracted at 60 degrees Celsius is approximately half of what is extracted at 90 degrees Celsius. If the water used for making tea is not sufficiently hot, the perceived amount of caffeine consumed may be inaccurate.

According to Francl, those seeking a soothing cup of tea may prefer earl grey due to its high concentration of linalool, a substance found in its citrus oil.

According to Francl, linalool has the ability to trigger the same pathways for pain relief as opioids. Studies have demonstrated that inhaling the scent can decrease pain sensitivity in mice and anxiety in humans.

“Drinking Earl Grey tea, known for its distinct aroma, can have a calming effect on humans. Therefore, when my husband sips his cup of tea before his departmental meeting, he’s onto something.”

Researchers have discovered that microbes play a crucial role in creating the ideal flavor in a cup of tea.

A study published in the journal Current Biology found that various types of tea have varying levels of soil microbes. It also revealed that teas with microbes involved in nitrogen processing have higher concentrations of theanine, an amino acid that affects the taste of the tea.

According to Zhenbiao Yang, a co-author from Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University in China, our findings demonstrate that soil microbes can alter the flavors of tea by influencing the amount of theanine.

“Although the microbes are not likely to affect the varieties of teas, as those are primarily determined by cultivars and processing methods.”

Source: theguardian.com