When making tea at home, I have all the equipment I need to make a fine cup of tea. In the office, however, my options are more limited. It seems my sources for hot water are:
- Straight from the tap
- From the "hot" dispenser on the water cooler
- Microwave in styrofoam
- A Keurig without a K-cup
- A hot water/coffee dispenser (don't know how to describe this--looks a bit like the commercial milk dispensers you sometimes find in cafeterias)
My criteria for evaluating these sources would be:
- Dissolved Oxygen
Oh, and one of the pieces of equipment that I lack is a thermometer.
A couple of observations
- Though there is no shortage of oxygen, the tap was right out for purity and temperature.
- I tried using the water cooler's hot tap for a while, but, based on dead reckoning, it just doesn't seem hot enough.
- I've heard that you're supposed to leave styrofoam out of the microwave, so I've skipped over that so far. Perhaps that is good material for a follow-up question. I suppose I could get it as hot as I want, and lose no more oxygen than would be expected at that temperature.
- The Keurig is what I've been using most recently, which seems closer than the water cooler, but the machine itself claims to max out at 192 F, and I'd prefer something a bit hotter if possible. Additionally, the method the coffee maker uses to heat the water makes me wonder if any dissolved oxygen is driven off in the process.
- Lastly the water/coffee dispenser. These are huge commercial coffee makers, essentially, and one of them simply doesn't get coffee grounds added. They've got to be at least five gallons each, and I doubt they're refilled until they're used up. I imagine a water line runs straight to the machine, but, clearly, there is a lot of speculation here. This is also the one method that I would have to pay for, which I'd be willing to do, but only if this source is better than the rest. It's also farthest from my desk.
So, what's the best option I have for a good cup of tea in the office?