Vending machines can be tricky and probably best avoided if you have a dairy allergy. The problem is, that even if the ingredients travelling down their own little tubes are kept completely separate they all meet at a central point – just above your waiting mug – so you can often end up with coffee flavoured tea, or even soup if you’re really lucky!
A recent experience alerted me to the problem that the milk dispenser continues to drip for some time after vending a refreshment, so your black coffee could end up being anything but unless you crouch hawk like ready to deftly whisk your almost filled mug out of the way before it… too late!
This picture here illustrates the problem quite nicely and also rather interestingly shows the next two people in the queue! A very clean vending machine I have to admit!
The only way to attempt a dairy free beverage was to ensure I arrived for coffee before everyone else, and thus dispensed the first drink from the machine. This did work but is probably not the safest solution. Requesting a flask of black coffee and/or hot water seemed like a good idea but in practise never actually materialised.
I stuck to cold water from the chilled water machine and notched another experience into the everyday struggle just to be normal! The vending machine no doubt saves the staff time and effort but the final drink loses a great deal in the taste department – or so I was reliably informed.
It is a great shame that wherever you go, having allergies labels you as the odd one out, which of course you are! Last week I attended a week long course (hence the lack of blog posts) but it was rather maddening to enjoy watching my fellow students enjoying their cappucino, biscuits, cake and even scones on one occasion. Despite alerting the establishment to my allergies at the beginning of a week long course, do you think there were ANY break time snacks suitable for me to eat? I don’t ever expect this and consequently always come prepared, but just for once it would be very nice to be pleasantly suprised rather than disappointingly right! Not even an apple! Lucky I had a bag full or tasty dairy free snacks on hand.
Luckily I discovered a fantastic independent coffee shop just around the corner so I was able to get my guaranteed dairy free coffee fix first thing so I started the day smiling and wide awake.
Has anyone else had vending machine experiences? Would you risk it? Ever had a reaction after drinking something from a vending machine?