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My brother is the MacGuyver of tea...

So apparently my brother’s boss brought back some looseleaf black tea from India. He doesn’t generally keep tea steeping equipment with him at work, so he didn’t have what he needed to make a cup.

Most of us would sigh sadly and take a little bit home and enjoy it there, right?

Not my brother. This happened: http://twitpic.com/70chbi

Here’s his explanation:

“On this little device the Hortons cup sits snugly in the coffee mug, and the tea brews in the coffee filter, held in place with a rubber band. When time is up the assembly slides upward, lifting the tea leaves out of the water. Coffee stirs are inserted into holes in the cup, which hold it in place above the mug to catch the drips :-)

I spend a lot of my day waiting for code to compile ;-P"

So I ask all of you, have you ever done anything like this, in a time of dire tea need? If so, please share?

20 Replies
Uniquity said

I’ve strained through paper towel many a time, but never have I had coffee stirrers inserted in a Timmies cup… : )

The funniest part about the Timmies cup, to me, is that he’s in the US.And hates Timmie’s, but that’s another matter entirely.

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seule771 said

Once long ago when not involved with this tea discovery; i mean years ago when employed, one morning prior to leaving for work I for some reason decided to make tea using this old coffee pot I had discarded in the back of cabinet shelves.

I placed several tea bags on the top of brewing mechanism where you would place the coffee and had the tap water dripping as usual into the coffee pot. This has a timer; so it was set the night before and just flipped the switch in the morning and let it brew while I ran around doing other things.

Once ready to leave, I walked over to the coffee pot and poured myself a cup of tea mind you and kind of let it cool a bit; not that this was necessary since I drink things hot (burnt tongue often). To my dismay the cup of tea tasted like coffee with green tea or some such thing.

I unpluged the machine and took the glass pot and put it in the sink and as for my cup of shame I emptied it into the sink as well and left for work.

The smell and taste of coffee never departs no matter how much time is past during use of the coffee pot. I do not drink coffee, so why have a coffee pot smelling of coffee?

It’s been years and I cannot recall. I plead 5th Amendment.

One Christmas when I was in college, I foolishly asked for a coffeepot and I got it. I got it home and promptly forgot about it, as I got a discount at the local coffee shop, so why waste time trying to make cheap coffee in my own coffeepot? Then I got a job in the campus library. The A/C was based out of that room, so in the summer it was freezing, and in the winter, we melted. My boss had a beta freeze solid one year, that’s how cold it was. So I brought my coffee pot in, and we used it to keep water hot for tea. Because it had never been used for coffee, it worked beautifully. Of course, it was bagged tea at that time, I hadn’t discovered looseleaf, but it worked ust fine on those cold summer nights!

My brother has that coffee pot now, and I’m sure it has been plenty sullied by coffee by now. For all that he loves his tea, he’s a huge coffee addict as well. Too bad.

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DaisyChubb said

haha these are wonderful stories!
I wish I was that creative in a time of need :D

Me too! He cracks me up.

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sigh I broke my double-walled glass mug from Teavana last night.

Oh well. I’m almost out of rock sugar anyway, so maybe I’ll hie me into town tomorrow.

Oh no! That’s why I don’t buy glass, I’m terrified of breaking it :(

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ssajami said

It happened to me at work too – at the beginning of my tea obsession. Of course, nowadays I have the full range of paraphernalia at work AND at home, but in those days I did not. But I had some loose leaf in my bag, which I really wanted to drink.
So small plastic cup it was. I made tiny holes in it with a tack from my bulletin board, and voila a tea filter.

I used it that whole day (multiple infusions of an oolong) and the next day I brought a real filter to work.

Awesome! I’m lucky enough that all three places I work are close to tea options: DavidsTea, Ten Ren, Teaopia, etc. I’m unlucky in that there is nowhere for me to set up my own tea stuff, so I have to buy cups of tea instead of being able to make my own.

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Wow, that’s a crazy setup. I’ve heard customers tell me they use coffee filters or run tea through a coffee/keurig machine but I haven’t heard of anything so inventive.

Inventive is a very good word for my brother. Crazy brilliant mad scientist works too.

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That’s very impressive and complicated!

If I don’t have a brew basket or some other brew/strain device around, I’ll usually just throw leaves into a cup with water. If I wait until the leaves have mostly sunk to the bottom, then the tea is finished steeping and I can just drink around the leaves (straining with my teeth if it comes to that, and blowing any floaters to the other side of the cup). It’s really simple, but it always works for any whole leaf tea of good quality.

But then again, I never get to rig up anything as impressive as that!

See, personally, I couldn’t handle that. I’m weirded out by textures and flossing with leaves would set that off LOL. I always admire people who can, though, the leaves are so beautiful when they steep!

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teataku said

This discussion is hilarious. I have often been in a situation where I wanted tea, but either I hadn’t brought some with me or I didn’t have the right equipment. (And I work at a lot of different places, so it’s kind of impractical for me to just keep supplies at work.) Unfortunately, whenever that happens, I usually don’t make an attempt to jerryrig anything, because I often don’t have the time to be that creative. However, this thread has given me some ideas of how to do so in the future, probably to the skeptical curiosity of my co-workers. X-D

I feel your pain on the not being able to keep tea supplies at your many different workplaces. I’ve settled for taking in 2-3 travel mugs full of tea and I think I’m going to look into a thermos on the next paycheck. Good luck experimenting and let us know what you come up with!

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Amariel said

Ha ha ha! That’s great! And yes, I used a metal mesh strainer and my Pampered Chef Micro-Cooker and I don’t know what else. Measuring cup with steeped leaves? I don’t remember, but my IngenuiTEA was on it’s last legs, leaking regularly, but the straw that broke the camel’s back was when it was in the sink and my DH emptied the vacuum and then the sink backed up, so it was sitting in vacuum dusty murky water. But I went PDQ to DAVIDs for a new steeper after that. :P

Oh my god, I remember when we were having dishwasher problems, and the repair guy came over to put the new one in. The problem with the old one was that it wasn’t draining water, and the water in there had been there for days. He began scooping it out with a bowl and dumping it into the sink…on top of two of my favorite teapots who were soaking and waiting for a good scrub. I about slapped him. I made him stop and went to find him a bucket. The first thing my new dishwasher did was run those pots through three sanitizing rinses.

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Janefan said

I once bought white vinegar at a walmart and ran some in water through a hotel coffee maker a few times to try to de-coffee it enough to make tea. All I got was coffee-vinegary water for my troubles.

Now I just bring a hot pot when traveling (provided I am driving not flying) in case I will be in a hotel room without a microwave and want boiling water for tea, instant noodles, etc.

I’ve never had to make commando tea in an office. I would think a coffee filter with a stirrer or two through it to make a basket-like filter apparatus that sits on the rim of the mug from the would be easiest.

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