16 Orange Pekoe tea bags
2 quarts of boiling water
2 cups sugar
1 cup kosher salt
1 cup cider vinegar
2 lemons, quartered
One 8-bone center rib roast of pork, trimmed of all visible fat (about 4 1/2 pounds)
3 tablespoons minced lemon zest
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon finely chopped mint leaves
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon finely chopped thyme leaves
5 bags lemon tea, opened
Cure the pork: Steep the orange pekoe tea bags in the boiling water until the tea is very strong, about 8 minutes. Remove the tea bags and stir in the sugar, salt and cider vinegar until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Pour the tea into a large bowl, add the lemons and 2 quarts of ice water and let the tea cool completely. Add the pork roast; it should be entirely submerged in the brine. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 days.
Make the sweet tea rub: Combine lemon zest, mint, thyme, and lemon tea in a small bowl. Remove the pork from the brine and pat dry. Set the roast, meaty side up, on a rack in a roasting pan and generously coat with the sweet tea rub. Let the roast stand at room temperature until it is no longer cold, about 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 375°. Roast the pork in the lower third of the oven for about 1 hour and 10 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of the roast registers 135°. Let the pork rest for 15 minutes. Carve the roast by cutting between the bones. Arrange the chops on a large platter and serve.