On the heels of my being thrust back into the corporate world after a year away, I'm again reminded of a sometimes latent but usually blatant prejudice that still survives to this very day in the workplace. I refer, of course, to the oppression of tea drinkers by those that favour coffee.

Tired am I of so-called "coffee stations" peppered two per floor in every building higher than three flooers. They are aptly named, to be sure, because of the second-class status placed on any other beverage. Wander over to yours right now and tell me what the biggest, most garish device is in that room. Go on, I'll wait. Don't read any further until you come back...

OK, now that we've lost the gullible ones, I can continue on for the rest of you folks who don't automatically obey every command you read on strange websites that hint of inter-breeding.
If your machine is like most I've seen, it can produce your Columbian, your espresso, your dark roast, maybe even a mocha, plus one or two other varieties, give or take a dozen. Plus it can make hot water.

That's what the tea drinkers get. Hot water. Not boiling water, like you're supposed to use. Tepid to warmish water that could barely dissolve a package of Kool-Aid, let alone steep a decent cup of tea.
If you're particularly damned, you're station will have a Flavia machine. The one where you shove a package of your drink of choice into it hoping that the last two people to use it had something similar (although admittedly, green tea with a hint of French Roast will certainly get your attention in the morning).

Seasoned tea drinks have come to accept their lot. They're the ones who take one look at the brown mass on the counter, then bring in their own kettle if one hasn't been provided. They wait patiently for the water to boil while co-workers file by "the machine" in droves, oblivious to the ease with which they can continue on their activities. They are reflective while dipping their tea bag in the water in an attempt to steep it a little faster. They appear lost in thought when in fact they are thinking, "I feel like a dweeb poking this thing up and down in my cup." That is what they, we, are reduced to.

To be fair, most of the coffee-partakers do recognize that the coffee they're drinking is more likely to come from a lab at Columbia University than the actual country. But at least that gives them a common conversation topic. They can make good-natured jibes to each other before the meeting about how bad it tastes and "man, what I wouldn't give for a Timmy's across the street" and "you know it, I can't function in the morning without my caffeine fix."

Sometimes I envy them.

Kyle the British