A Compendium of Sweet Tea

Yat Fai Ooi/Flickr, via The Salt

Yat Fai Ooi/Flickr, via The Salt

Sugar and tea have a love story that goes way back.

As The Salt’s Maria Godoy has written, they are a “power couple that altered the course of history. It was a marriage shaped by fashion, health fads and global economics,” and, of course, the slave trade.

Tea, especially black tea, is bitter. A lot of people decided it tasted better with sugar and made a habit out of adding it.

“I suspect that sugar has always been added to make the strong tea more palatable and also for energy, especially where milk or cream is added, too,” Jane Pettigrew, a tea historian in the UK and co-author of The New Tea Companion, tells us. “In Britain during the Industrial Revolution, the poorer classes drank very weak tea, but added milk and sugar for sustenance.”

Read the rest on The Salt.

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