A core definition of Britishness, the official six-page specification for how to make a cup of tea, is officially “under review”. But don’t panic. It is standard procedure for the British Standards Institution (BSI) to do a “systematic periodic review” of each of its many specifications which, piecemeal, define nearly everything British.
The cup-of-tea standard, officially numbered BS 6008, has been unchanged since 1980. It does come at a cost: £82 per copy, more than triple the £24 price, in effect, when I profiled it eight years ago….
—So begins this month’s Improbable Research column in The Guardian.
BONUS: The BSI was awarded the 1999 Ig Nobel Prize for literature, for BS 6008.
BONUS: A salute to Smoot.