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||We had a vending machine at the large MultiCorp insurance company I worked for - it was your average Blandamatic, it was free, and the tea tasted like diluted worming medicine.|
Then one day I came into work to find that the dreary vending machine had been "re-branded!". No longer would I have to choose "Tea", "Coffee" or "Chicken Soup" (I dread to think what constitutes 'chicken' to these people, and never ever had one of these). Now I could choose from an exciting range of Starburst Fruit Drink, or Original Nescafe, or PG Tips with bags! The bags, by the way, had a little metal strap on them to facilitate removal.
Unfortunately, the machine was still the same example of 1970s British automation, and they had simply changed the buttons. We had a blind taste test with the unaltered machine in Human Resources (busy office, obviously) and no-one could reliably differentiate the 2, leading us to believe it was *just* the buttons that were changed.
PS I swear these vending machines are the sole reason anyone drinks coffee - a quick survey of my friends reveals that none drank or even liked coffee until they had to work somewhere that only provided vending tea. As the coffe is marginally less vile it would seem that we all switched there and then.
Rich Tea Review
|Having read your review of the underestimated Rich Tea, I feel I have to agree with everyone else who has nobly leapt to it's defence. I should also add that it is not only the builders biscuit of choice, but it is also the absolute first choice of the field archaeologist. The only other biscuit that can contend for this prestigious position is the Malted Milk, which is also consumed in large quantities by archaeologists, resting during one of our many long tea breaks.|
Not a lot of people know that!
All this talk of vending machines reminds me of an odd week we had at the online bank where I used to work.
An enormous vertical, black slab appeared in our "break out" area, where previously a humble, yet not overly disgusting, tea/coffee vending machine had stood. It looked like a Cray Supercomputer. Light seemed unable to escape from its surface; there wasn't even a picture of some tea or coffee on the front.
Once I'd finished pointlessly barking "Tea, Earl Grey, hot" at it, I noticed a boilersuited gentleman waiting to show me the delights of the new machine. He promised fresh leaf tea and freshly ground coffee in any number of pseudo-Starbucks varieties. After proudly announcing the virtues of the new machine to all those gathered - me and my mates Trudie and Eva - he opened it up. It looked surprisingly empty, as though it were a little coffee machine wearing a big coat.
The engineer-cum-salesman set the machine off making a cup of tea. Tea leaves dropped into a small holder, were drenched in freshly boiled water and golden-brown liquid dribbled into the cup. It looked magnificent, right up until some crappy powdered milk was added.
It was then that my suspicions regarding vending machine tea were confirmed: it's the powdered milk that ruins it all. You can have all the freshly chopped tea leaves, or two minute brewing processes you like, but tea is utterly vile when real milk is substituted.
The following week the black slab was taken away.
||Forgive my shocking ignorance of British culture (I'm an American, and we are required by law to have shocking ignorance of all cultures, lest we be cast out into Canada), but I was curious if you have Girl Scouts and/or their cookies in your country. The GS yield to none on their Thin Mints cookies, a delicate crunchy chocolate base coated with a minty fudge layer that knocks your socks off at twenty paces. The aroma really grabs you by the lapels and screams, mint!|
(By the way, I asked around, and the leader of the local GS troop tells me that these cookies are in fact "cookies" and must be referred to as such at all times, on pain of the aforementioned casting into Canada.)
|Nicey replies: Our Girl Scouts are called Girl Guides for the most part and they haven't got the enormous door to door cookie distribution business that your lot have. Our leading mint biscuit is the Viscount, and in Australia its the Arnotts Mint Slice.|
Sarah Nelson's Gingerbread Review
|Sarah Nelson's Grasmere Gingerbread, you either love it or you don't It is definitely an acquired taste. I love it, so too does my daughter, her boyfriend, my sister, her husband. He infact take's it into the office and they all adore it too. So whether you are from London, Cumbria, Australia or France, this is definitely a must to try. I suggest you don't make up your mind until you have at least nibble two pieces. By that time you are completely bowled over.|