How to Brew Tea in Space

December 20, 2021

How to Brew Tea in Space

My dream from childhood is to go to space.

You have heard that the Japanese billionaire of Zozotown, Yusaku Maezawa has been sharing videos of himself carrying out various activities in the 12 days he and his assistant Yozo Hirano spent onboard the International Space Station (ISS).

Armed with a list of "100 Things You Want MZ (Maezawa) to Do in Space," the two men lifted off onboard the Soyuz MS-20, a Russian spaceflight, on December 8, 2021. This visit to the ISS was done in preparation for Maezawa's flyby around the moon onboard a SpaceX.  This planned adventure will make Maezawa the first commercial passenger to go on a circumlunar flight. 

Tea in Space

One of the listed tasks for Maezawa to perform is to have afternoon tea in space. As expected, the process isn't quite as straightforward as pouring oneself a cuppa. Maezawa and Hirano were living with other astronauts on the ISS, so they had to make sure that they followed safe space-living protocols to avoid issues. In terms of preparing and enjoying afternoon tea, the steps are detailed below. But, first, here are some observations:

  1. Many of the surfaces are lined with adhesive on which items can be stuck so they don't float away.
  2. Everything is stored neatly away. Things cannot be left exposed or lying around for obvious reasons.
  3. When you cut open a bag or packet, don't snip all the way to the other end, or you'll have to deal with a bit of material floating away.

Please note that Maezawa prepared his drink following the Russian module, which is different from the US module. Picking sugar-free black tea and some cookies, this is how he proceeded to make himself afternoon tea.

  1. Cut the top of the vacuum-sealed pouch that's holding the teabag.
  2. Stick the spout of the potable water dispenser's tap into the pouch opening, and then turn on the hot water option.
  3. Put as much water as your preference dictates, depending on how weak or strong you want your tea to be.
  4. Wrap a towel around the opening while pulling it off the spout, and then press the opening shut with your fingers. Doing this pretty much seals it, preventing leaks.
  5. Wait for the tea to diffuse. Maezawa spent this waiting time opening his package of cookies.
  6. Once the tea is ready to drink, cut the opposite end of the tea pouch where the straw is located. You'll notice that the straw is more flat than tubular, but it works.
  7. Suck the tea through the straw and enjoy it.

And here is the video of it!  I hope in our lifetime you and I can do this too! 

Final Thoughts

Space is said to be the next frontier. While not many of us give much credence to the notion, neither can we deny that the idea of humans one day making space an extension of their realm is becoming increasingly feasible. With consistent technological advancements, it's very possible that more and more people may eventually be able to experience afternoon tea in space.

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