Your lovable Tea Princess here calling to all you Tea Princesses and Princes out there to hear of my struggle with the Keurig Machine (no, not my own … please! I would never! … but the one at a local office waiting room we had the misfortune to have to sit in for about an hour). You may just avoid being in the situation we were. If so, my good deed for my lifetime has been done.
Coffee making was never the same after the Keurig machine was introduced. For some it was a very dark day and for others the best day of their lives. To each his own. And I had no issue with such machines, not being a coffee drinker, until they invaded my “tea turf.” They introduced those K-cups filled with teas.
Let me interject a note at this point: The company that owns this blog has some of those tea-filled K-cups for sale. They carry British faves like Earl Grey and English Breakfast plus a few others. So, I am trying to keep that in mind. But, hey, as a Tea Princess, I have to do my duty to you all. On with the story…
Setting aside the whole issue of all the excess materials used to make a K-cup (there are now refillable cups, so you at least have the benefit of reusability plus being able to fill them with whatever you prefer), I want to address the tea quality and how it relates to my “tea princess” standards, which is for you reading this the whole issue here.
Our story: We show up for an appointment at this office (it was for a review of our homeowner’s insurance to see if we could get a better deal) and were told that someone had just walked in a minute or two ahead of us so the agent decided to talk to him and the guy at the reception desk asked us to wait. We were exactly on time, by the way, so this was rather rude. But I digress.
The waiting area had a Keurig machine. Not too unexpected these days, especially since we had seen one a year or so ago in a car repair shop waiting room (written about on this blog here). The selection of cups was mostly for coffees, with some cinnamon-flavored tea and a couple of herbal-filled cups. Desperate for a cuppa (yeah, I know, I shoulda brought my travel mug filled with tasty tea from home with me, but that would have made us late for the appointment and we would have had to sit and wait…uh, hey, that’s what we ending up doing even though we were on time… sigh!), I selected the cinnamon-flavored tea (by a fairly well-known tea company out there). The results still make me shudder to think about…oops! getting ahead of myself here.
The way a Keurig machine operates, versus something like a Mr. Coffee and Mrs. Tea or even things like the IngenuiTea, is that hot water is forced through the substance (coffee, tea, herbals, whatever) at a temperature just below that liquid becoming steam and at a fairly high rate of speed. If you know anything about tea, you know that tea needs time to infuse, that is, the tea (whether dust, fannings, broken, or whole leaves) needs time to interact with the water. Some teas need as little as 20 seconds. Others need as much as 10 minutes. The average is about 3 minutes. Well, that Keurig machine blasted out a cuppa in about 10 seconds. For this type of tea, the vendor recommends 2 to 5 minutes. You can just imagine what the results tasted like, but in case you can’t, I’ll tell you that it was like drinking a cuppa cinnamon with no tea flavors there at all. Even that powdered creamer and a packet of sweetener couldn’t help.
If I’d had any idea how long we would have been sitting there waiting for the appointment that got pre-empted by a walk-in, I would have gone back home with hubby to prepare a proper cuppa!
The lesson here: Always bring that tea with you!
See more of A.C. Cargill’s articles here.
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