Making Tea The Firtollán Way

Two things inspired this:

  • A few months ago, I had the misfortune of trying to get a Tassimo coffee machine to work;
  • Banging my head off the very finicky JavaScript package managers npm and yarn.

So, here’s the fictional instructions for a tea machine developed by a dwarf-owned firm, meant to be performed by one person. I’m considering a larger piece around this needlessly complicated process.


  1. Load box of East Connacht Tea Capsules into the hopper.
  2. Press the Validate button.
  3. A red light shall twice flash to indicate that this is a valid box. It will flash four times if it is not valid. If the light does not flash:
    1. Remove box of capsules from the hopper.
    2. Press the Eject button to remove the capsule into the Waste Dispenser.
    3. Repeat process from Step 1.
  4. Press the Load button to empty a single East Connacht Tea Capsule into the boiling vessel.
  5. A green light shall flash twice if the boiling vessel is sufficiently full of water for your cup of tea. If the light flashes thrice or more:
    1. Press the Eject button to remove the capsule into the Waste Dispenser.
    2. Remove the box of Capsules from the hopper.
    3. Pour fresh water into the Filling Port.
    4. Repeat process from Step 1.
  6. Adjust the Timer Crank to match your preferred brewing time. East Connacht Tea does not recommend brewing our Tea Capsules for a period of more than five minutes.
  7. Insert an East Connacht Tea Cup into the clearly marked alcove. If the light above the platform flashes twice in rapid succession, please ensure that the alcove is free of debris. If the light does not activate at all, please replace the cup with a valid East Connacht Tea Cup.
  8. Insert your Brewing Key into the marked slot. Turn quarter-way clockwise to the “On” position and press the “Brew” button for a period of five seconds.
    1. Successful activation shall be marked by the activation of the blue light.
  9. Leave the Brewing Key in the quarter-way position until the Brewing Whistle erupts.
    1. If you should at any point in the proceedings turn the Brewing Key back to its “Off” position, repeat the process from Step 1.
  10. Remove your cup of East Connacht Tea from the alcove and press the Eject button to dispose of your empty Capsule.
  11. Turn your Brewing Key back to the “Off” position and remove from the slot.
  12. Retire to a safe distance with your East Connacht Tea Cup and consume it at your leisure.

I think I’ll stick to a kettle and tea bags. Or a French press for my coffee.

EDIT: After posting this somewhere else, somebody shared this (language warning). Some absolute legend of a build engineer created a bunch of shell scripts to automate various parts of his workflow – including remotely brewing coffee!

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