There's a coffee machine at my office. Not a normal coffee machine, but instead, an instant one. You put in a flavour packet for coffee or tea, press the 'coffee or tea' button, and it brews it for you. (But not as good as Twinings.)
I don't drink coffee anymore. I haven't since the summer of 2000, after Shad and my 6-cup-a-day staple. I do remember the day I drank my last cup of coffee:
I was down in the cafeteria, doing my usual early-morning caffeine run. I got the standard styrofoam cup, filled it with freshly brewed coffee, and escaped back to my cubicle.
I set the coffee on my desk, and went about programming (Java). A few minutes later...
(My Russian cubicle-mate): "Your Javah is leaking on your desk-top."
(Me): "My ... java? On my desktop?" *scans computer*
"Your java... on your desk... top."
So my very last cup of coffee ended up on my desk. And when I went to go get a wad of paper towels to clean it up, I noticed a trail of little brown dots leading the way to my cubicle.
And I never drank coffee again.
But back to the drinks machine. I've been eyeing a little button on the drinks machine for a while. It's marked 'espresso'. The stuff that comes out of the drinks machine can't really be considered tea. More like flavoured water. Although I give full credit to the inventors of this machine, dubbed Flavia, you just can't make good tea in 8 seconds. As a result of this wateryness, I'm stuck drinking about 3 cups of tea a day, just to stay alert.
So I theorized. Espressos are smaller than cups of tea. Less water. Now, if I put a packet of tea in, and hit the 'espresso' button instead, maybe I should get a much stronger tea? But then, some part of me tells me I shouldn't. It's a machine put there for the entire floor -- it wouldn't be nice to use double as many flavour packs as everyone else. Don't want to be greedy.
But this morning I decide to try it. I stick my mug under, pop in a tea pack, and hit 'espresso'. The machine groans and hums, and finally, half a cup of very dark tea spills out.
I'm cheering at the prospect at a very dark tea, so I put in another package, and press the espresso button again. A full cup of dark tea!
I wheel around, elated with this discovery, and look for the sugar. And right behind me is one of the directors, and he's staring straight down into my tea.
"Uhh... it was an experiment... to see if the espresso button works...", I stammer.
A silence. A chuckle.
"Yeah, I like it too. Gives it more flavour. You should also try mixing two different tea packets for a different taste." And he proceeds to do just that.
No wonder we go through so many packets every day.