Scientists at the Tocklai Experimental Station in India have come up with a "tea pill" that can be sucked, chewed or dissolved in water, according to the All About Tea tea trade blog. Theoretically--no independent studies seem to have been done--the pills contain all the properties and benefits of tea. The scientists have presented their prototype to the Indian Ministry of Defence and hope to have these tea pills become standard-issue for soldiers.
Tea extract pills are not exactly new items; you can purchase them by the quartful at your local natural foods stores and larger pharmacies. Tea extract pills, however, do not taste like tea; they taste like musty plastic. These new Indian tea pills actually apparently taste like tea.
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Now, while there's something to be said for an easily-portable supply of caffeine, especially for a soldier on campaign who's already got twenty kilos of gear, somehow it just doesn't quite quell the need for a cup of warmth between the hands when it's freezing cold, and the whole idea of a tea pill calls to mind the scene from Douglas Adams' The Restaurant at the End of the Universe where Arthur Dent tries unsuccessfully to get the Nutrimatics drink dispenser to produce a cup of tea and wedges the on-board computer in the process.