21st Century Tea

The future is going to take some getting used to.

Remember Star Trek, how they went to a machine in the wall to get their drinks?
Star Trek replicator with problems

Well, one cold morning, I took my large mug to the break room and found that the coffee machine and boxes of tea bags were gone! In their place was this new-fangled device calling itself Flavia, and a plastic chest of small drawers.

Flavia drink machine

According to the colorful sign behind the new machine, this would be better for the environment, and taste better, too. Oh, really?

I found the drawer labeled Earl Grey, and pulled out what looked like a miniature food tube from an Apollo mission. This was more environmentally friendly than a tea bag? After pressing a few buttons and inserting the space age tea bag, the machine dispensed a half-mug of hot tea. Half? Oh. Right. It was expecting to fill a special Flavia paper cup, not a reusable mug. No way to tell this device that I wanted a full mug, one that would last me all morning.

With some trepidation, I took a sip of tea. Did it taste as good? Well, it did taste like Earl Grey, but not exactly the same. Is it just a slightly different blend? Is some subtle flavor from the tea bag itself missing? I don’t know.

What I do know is that changing something as traditional as

hot water + tea bag + large mug + a while = large mug of tea


space tube + large mug + hardly any time at all = half mug of tea

isn’t sitting really well with me. Clearly, the future is going to take some getting used to.

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