Having begun working in corporate settings, I’ve found coffee to be a central social tool. Coffee is the beverage of choice in the corporate environment. Not just because it helps tired workers stay awake and busy, also because it’s so quick and easy: You just need to turn the machine on, and it’ll keep the coffee hot and drinkable all day. You can refill your cup and go about your busy work. It’s easy to offer a guest or a co-worker a cup of coffee since it just involves filling another cup along with your own. In this way, you can help co-workers even more since they don’t even have to get up from their work. It’s an easy way to have shared social moment, however short, in the office space.
I’ve noticed this mostly because I don’t drink coffee.
Being half-British, I drink tea. Preferably strong black tea with a bit of milk, as is the English way. But tea is difficult. You need to make it when you want to drink it, otherwise it’ll turn bitter, stale, and lukewarm. Making tea takes time, and since time is in short supply in the corporate setting, it is rarely considered an option. You always end rummaging through the remaining tea-bags in a half-empty box and invariably have to choose between some horrible fruit tea or green tea. Tea is not appreciated as a worthy alternative: It’s slow, messy and inefficient.
But really, that just reaffirms my staunch position as a tea drinker. I take pleasure in taking my time with my tea. So imagine my joy when I came across this short piece by George Orwell on how to make a Nice Cup of Tea. It sums up my sentiments exactly.