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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.|
|Minister for creative corporate
Fab site, just right for when I have a nice sitdown with a cuppa (most of the day, if the boss is not looking!)
We used to have a tea lady who trundled her little trolley about the office dispensing the strongest, oldest and most potent pre-historic oil ever pumped from the bowels of the earth. But she was a nice old lady so you just said "Yes please, I'd love a cup of tea" and drank it anyway. One cup provided the concentrated essence of 30-40 cups of "normal" tea, and tended to sting on the way out too.........
We moved site to the new building and we had...... A VENDING MACHINE! Free coffee/tea/cappuccino/choco/etc all day long. Tea lady had to retire and we thought the horrid memory of 98 Octane drinks was going to fade into the past. Horror, when we realised that the stream of evil filth that these output was far worse than any of us could have imagined. We rebelled and a new machine was provided after some months of delicate negotiations, this was reported to brew freshly ground coffee and real leaf tea. Bollix did it. The output was connected directly to the sluices of a nearby old-peoples home and we were being supplied with their effluent, still warm.
I now boil a kettle and pour freshly boiling water over a PG pyramid before sloshing in a good measure of Tesco's bestest semi-skimmed. Stir it with a little silver spoon I pinched from Windsor castle and the job's done.
Keep up the good work.
Lu Mikado Review
|One of the few favourable things I remember about many nights in seedy Tokyo Karaoke bars was the insistence of the management to include bowls of Pocky on each table. Now the Japanese have an odd approach to tea (at least by my Western standards) which always seems to turn out green, maybe they don’t have the knack like we do, but no amount of green tea or Asahai/Kirin beer can do justice to the Pocky. The very idea of dunking a Pocky into a cold glass of beer is odd at the extreme even by Japanese standards. One simply must have a cup of tea with a good splash of milk in order to get the most from the experience and a possible chance to shut out the infernal din from people singing Beatles songs wrongly.|
Now if anyone opened a Karaoke bar that sells a generous mug of PG tips (pyramid tea bags, of course) without Karaoke and kept filling up the Pocky regularly, I predict they would corner the ex-pat market and be millionaires in mere months.
Imagine my surprise when on a recent visit to the World showcase in Epcot Florida, the Japanese store sold Pocky. I spent a pleasant afternoon wandering around Epcot in the sunshine munching my way through a twin pack of Pocky. Lovely.
Pete (currently living in Milan where they have NO IDEA about tea without adding lemons and get rather obsessive about their coffee)