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|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.
||The reason tea from vending machines tastes rank is because the water isn't freshly boiled (as well as the tea being the stuff they swept off the factory floor). Everyone knows you have to actually boil the water and use it pretty much straight away to get a decent brew, but no vending machine or even urn of hot water like we have in our office, can do this. In a world where I have access to the technology to gripe about this problem in an international forum from the comfort of my own home, I have to ask why it is impossible to provide freshly boiled water in a vending machine or hot water urn? Taking a kettle to work would be the answer but I imagine this would contravene health and safety regulations.|
Also this is the reason why coffee will always taste better from machines, as you need water that is just off the boil so it doesnt scald the coffee.
|Nicey replies: Most vending machines that I've encountered use that freeze dried instant tea rather than leaves. Freeze drying anything drives of the volatile bits which are especially important in the taste of something like tea.
I had problems with the foul taste of vending machine beverages until I one day realized that my problem was more one of expectations. Vending machine coffee is actually a quite nice drink, provided you don't expect it to taste a bit like coffee. It's a completely different, warm, caffeinated beverage. Try this. Put a sticker reading "Blop" over the "Tea" label on your vending machines. Expectations become different ("Hey, what is this interesting novel Blop drink? Didn't I see an ad for it on Sky?") and you might actually turn out to like it.
When I moved offices (and kitchens) there was a vending machine in the kitchen! I was quite excited as there wasn't one in my previous building, and I was making tea the proper way, but forever hiding milk and sugar from the people too lazy to buy it. But the vending machine tea was tasteless, and the bag always landed at the bottom of the cup with no spoons provided to fish it out. Other people would order a 'cappucino' and a coffee with milk and we could find no difference between them is colour or taste. Eventually, people boycotted the machine and it was taken away as it was no longer a money maker. It was replaced with a fridge so everyone could keep milk for tea. I should add at this stage, this is a university and most of the people in the building are students. Students are not normally fussy with such things, but I think stirring tasteless tea with folded up plastic lids was too much.
poverty of purse and paucity of choice led me to take on a health threatening job in the mid-80s. I commuted from Camberwell to a factory in Hanger Lane to clock on at 7.30am and clean the insides of the site's vending machines. The growths, the fungi, the smells were more than repellent; they fixed themselves in my clothes and hair. For a four week period, no matter how I washed and perfumed myself, I smelt of the sloppy distress created by the wettened-dried out contents of powdered soups, teas, coffees and hot chocolates. It was an entrance into the underbelly of the universe for which I was not fully prepared and will never forget. Much money must pass my palm or heinous thirst overwhelm me before I sup from such an automatic vendor again.