Tuesday 4 October 2016 by Davywavy

Nobel Prize for Chemistry awarded to man who got American to make decent cup of tea


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This year’s Nobel Prize for Chemistry has gone to a man who ‘achieved the impossible’ by getting an American to make a halfway decent cup of tea.

The breakthrough was reached after decades spent on the project by an international team of researchers working in conjunction with the Tea Production Laboratory at NASA.

The first obstacle to be overcome was a difference in terminology, as when researchers referred to “The finest and most refreshing beverage in the world”, their American counterparts inexplicably thought that they meant coffee, or worse, Budweiser.

“It was like the aluminium/aluminum thing, or trousers/pants”, senior research fellow Simon Williams said upon receiving the award. “Their language just didn’t contain the tea concept, which meant we really had to start with the absolute basics.”

“Then we had the significant task of finding the correct materials in the USA. The subjects wanted to use something called ‘half and half’ instead of milk, which was entirely the wrong catalyst for the necessary reaction between hot water and tea bag”, he told us.

“Sourcing actual milk in the United States proved very difficult as most suppliers just wanted to foist some sort of homogenised white goo on us, which is clearly inappropriate for the pour.”

It was only after international suppliers shipped both teabags and proper milk to the USA that Americans were able to make an acceptable cup of tea under controlled laboratory conditions.

The experiment then ran into further trouble when researchers tried to introduce the idea of dunking a biscuit into the tea and the Americans brought out some kind of savoury doughy dumpling.

“We’d bitten off more than we could chew there,” said Williams. “It was disgusting.”

However, the research group warned it will likely be years, if ever, before their results have any practical applications in the real world.

“You can only get Americans to make decent tea if you stand and watch them. If you look away their behaviour becomes unpredictable. We call it the Uncertain Tea principle.”

 

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