diamond geezer

 Tuesday, October 26, 2004

The tea machine experiment

Hypothesis: The tea out of the vending machine at my workplace is proper tea.

Apparatus: One vending machine, one tongue, one sink, one carefully-positioned waste bin.
Control experiment: Press '90' on drinks machine to dispense small plastic cup of hot water. Cup takes 9 seconds to be filled. Water is steaming very slightly. Cup is very warm but can be carried. Finger can be dipped in liquid without scalding. Estimated temperature: not boiling.
Conclusion: Machine vended tea is not made from boiling water.
Experiment: Press '52' on drinks machine to dispense small plastic cup of liquid resembling tea (white, no sugar). Wait expectantly while machine buzzes and whirrs. Cup takes 27 seconds to be filled. Tea is not steaming. Colour of tea most closely resembles "Autumn Fern" on Dulux pH colour chart. Sip liquid. Grimace. Time between sip and emptying remainder of contents down sink: 3 seconds. Throw empty cup in bin.
Results: Time taken to dispense liquids as follows - hot water 9 seconds; black tea no sugar 23 seconds; white tea no sugar 27 seconds. Machine therefore takes 4 seconds to fill cup with milk powder, 14 seconds to 'freshly brew' tea and 9 seconds to fill cup with water.
Additional hypothesis: 14 seconds is long enough to 'freshly brew' tea.
Additional experiment: Dispense cup of not-quite-hot water (90). Add teabag pilfered from meeting room. Stir water vigorously with long thin plastic stirry thing for precisely 14 seconds. Remove teabag. Tea is not brown. Colour of tea most closely resembles "Muddy Puddle" on Dulux pH colour chart. Time between observation and emptying remainder of contents down sink: 1 second. Throw empty cup in bin.
Additional conclusion: Reject additional hypothesis. 14 seconds is not long enough to 'freshly brew' tea.
Conclusion: Reject hypothesis. The tea out of the vending machine at my workplace is crap.


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