This article in the NY Times reports on a $20,000 coffee maker. It looks like a cartoon science kit, with glass jugs suspended halogen lamps instead of flames.
What I want to know is, with the rise in prevalence of coffee aficionados, pseudo coffee aficionados and morons who "just have to have their Starbucks," why the hell can't any of the "baristas" (an annoying moniker if ever there was one) ever make a decent cup of tea? Certainly they are not the same thing, but if they have to be trained to use the fancy contraptions to make grande mocha lattés, they can learn to brew a decent cup of tea.
Tea should be lovingly, gently steeped in hot water, not scalding. A lot of people leave their tea bags in the tea while drinking it - I'm not sure why except perhaps due to ignorance, impatience or maybe even laziness, but if you drink tea this way, it will start out being too weak (and too hot, if you get it from a coffee shop) and then it becomes too bitter as the tannins have over taken the flavour. What's the point?
*Note: Ryan insists that the coffee maker cannot be halogen powered as the NY Times purports it to be as halogens are inert and cannot power anything.