|From (a rather battered) New Scientist|
In the letter, Joan Mascaró points out that the review had said 'that airline tea tastes so appalling because water boils at too low a temperature to make a decent brew.' The writer then goes on to test tea at different temperatures and concludes that too low a temperature is a real problem, but 92 °C doesn't seem to make much difference.
While I could dispute minor details - cabin pressure varies, and can drop boiling point as low as 90 °C - it's unfortunate in a way that the whole thing was based on the review rather than what I said in the book. My actual words were:
Tea enthusiasts like their tea made with boiling water – which means getting the water up to 100 degrees Celsius. That is never going to happen on a plane. Not because the cabin crew can’t be bothered to do it properly, but because it’s impossible get water up to 100 degrees on board the aircraft.
|Definitely not tea|
So taking this assertion (it doesn't have to be true, but it's a nice touch if it is) as a starting point I went on to discuss cabin pressures and its impact on making tea. It was really just what they call in the trade a 'hook' to discuss pressure onboard the aircraft. It seems to have been quite a good hook from the number of times it has got picked up in reviews and interviews... and now in an experiment.
So while I am delighted that the experiments were carried out, I'm not too worried that they change things substantially.