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Machine tea: the worst tea ever
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
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
email@example.com and we’ll print the best ones.