Monday, November 23, 2009

"Tea, Earl Grey, Hot."

I was going to ask if anyone, anywhere, ever drank Early Grey tea cold on purpose; it stuck me as wildly unlikely. The people at Snapple, however, seem to have thought it was a perfectly reasonable idea.

Still, that's a drop in the rainbarrel compared to all those who have been drinkin' the pure quill piping hot since 1830 or so and I think I can still say the preferred, indeed, default mode of "Tea, Earl Grey" would be "hot."

That stipulated, why does a certain smooth-headed starship captain inevitably tell the food synthesizer, "Tea, Early Grey, hot?" You'd think "hot" would be understood and it would be "cold" you'd have to specify.

OTOH, I spent over five minutes last week convincing a vending machine at work that A) I had given it money, B) that it was real money and not, say, a good photocopy and C) that it was enough money. Merely having to spell out obvious options of refreshment delivery would be a huge improvement!

16 comments:

Ritchie said...

As a long-time technoid, I have become suspicious of defaults and assumptions.

Ken said...

I make iced tea by the gallon, and I use half regular and half Earl Grey. I picked up the habit when I brought home some "Afternoon Earl Grey" from Whittard's of Chelsea when I went to the UK a few years ago.

For hot tea, I am drinking lapsang souchong these days.

Joanna said...

I wonder if you can body-slam a replicator to make it give you a free snack?

Roberta X said...

Ritchie: and your suspicion is vindicated by the next comment, too!

I was surprised by the Snapple drink. I probably shouldn't've been. Still, a caffeinated beverage consumed while on watch? Aw, what's the Navy come to in the dim, distant future... Betcha they're not splicing the mainbrace no more, neither. Harrumpf.

Roberta X said...

Joanna: ..."And featuring William Riker as The Fonz!?"

falnfenix said...

i agree with Ritchie. defaults are scary. never assume.

Joanna said...

RobX: I was thinking more "Break Room Jiu-jitsu" than "magic juke box", but yeah, I'd watch it.

BobG said...

"You'd think "hot" would be understood and it would be "cold" you'd have to specify."

Might depend on where you're from. Most Americans would think the default on beer would be "cold" or "chilled", but most of the older German people I've known like theirs a lot warmer than I care for. When they would come over to tip a few, I always had to set a few bottles out of the fridge to warm up for them.

D.W. Drang said...

"Team Earl Grey, Hot", as opposed TOS's "Ale, Romulan, Lots."

Rob K said...

I always wondered why he had to even specify "Earl Grey". It's in his office, shouldn't it be programmed to produce that when he asks for tea?

Stranger said...

One of the sales programs here at my business is VERY polite. Anytime you can change a default, it tells how it is currently set - and what your options are. Of course, it was $36,000 in 1990 and only runs on DOS. And if you try to override it says "DON'T DO THAT, STUPID." It also gives you a pained frowney face and a "Are you really sure you want to do that?" whenever you have done something unusual.

On the other hand, the less said about the Win programs the better.

On the other hand, I have been married to a cold tea buff for 55 years. And cold tea and cold coffee are still an abomination. It is unfortunate the maximum temperature is only 212 degrees, 240 would be just about right.

But, everybody to his own taste, "Ez t' goodman said as kissed the pig."

Stranger

Nathan said...

Wife: "It's too hot."

Me: "Of course it's hot. If it weren't, it would be called 'lukewarm chocolate'."

She also drinks iced tea in the winter. This is akin to blasphemy in the Northeast, where her family is from.

Sam said...

I would hope "Expert Systems," would be a lot more "expert" three centuries hence.

Maybe the default is "lukewarm." Or is that "Luke warm?" Sorry, different time and galaxy.

Of course, Murphy's Law still applies.

Ride Fast said...

If Star Trek were science fiction the replicator thingie would work correctly.

It can manufacture foods out of...not food...but it cannot recognize the only bald guy on board who drinks Earl Grey?

LabRat said...

There are a few other scenes that establish the replicator WILL make you specify a temperature; "hot" is the vaguest specification accepted. Most orders seem to have to provide it in centigrades.

As for why, my guess would be comic relief, given the number of times lazy writers used malfunctioning replicators to shorthand for "a negative space wedgie has affected the ship!"

AmericanMercenary said...

My wife and I enjoy Earl Grey made with the sun brew method in the summer.

The flavor is much more delicate and fruity than when hot steeped.

Picked up a 500 gram box of Ceylon Earl Grey to take back with me to the states, after all you don't visit Iraq every year :) In the winter Earl Grey with a touch of honey is a wonderful soul warmer.