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Machine tea: the worst tea ever

I’ve tasted many awful cups of tea in my time. Having had the honour of working in a multitude of “wonderful” office environments as a temp, I have experienced the whole spectrum of office drinks setups, from the standard kitchen round system to the notorious vended drink, the so-called “machine tea”. The former, inevitably serving as it did the worst cup of tea I have ever experienced, is “machine” in every sense of the word. From the mechanical process in which it is produced (behind the plastic covering I suspect because being able to see it being made may be enough to put you off it for good) to the robotic, usually metallic, and wholly homogenised taste which one often associates, Pavlovian style, with the working environment, it truly serves up some of the worst examples of tea production the world has to offer.

And so it came to be that I came across my worst ever cup. The tea did not come with the option to include milk, rather a second, more sinister additive called “white”. The white tasted something approaching UHT milk; a foul concoction which couldn’t really be claimed to actually imitate its daily counterpart. Taking dubious advantage of the machine’s ability to offer stronger tea (strength level 4), I was able to mask impact of the white, though this setting brought about entirely new taste issues. Bafflingly, this strength level gave off a slight aftertaste of coffee, almost as if they added a touch of it for its potency properties.

The experience invariably left me searching (in vain) elsewhere for a decent cuppa, to the extent that even putting a tea bag in your mouth and pouring boiling hot water directly in seemed like a viable alternative. Mercifully, the tea was free, although I’m confident that charging for tea of that quality is prohibited under statutory law.

It really was the worst tea ever.

Do you have a worst cup of tea ever? Tell us about it! Send your descriptions of tea foulness to teasup@bluefeathersonfire.co.uk and we’ll print the best ones.