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British astronaut Tim Peake demonstrates how to make coffee in space

Let's brew a cup of coffee
When floating in a zero-gravity environment miles above Earth’s surface, it’s the little things that really bring you back home. And what could be more reminiscent of normalcy than a good cup of hot coffee? Of course, it’s these little luxuries that are perhaps the hardest to come by when you’re living large in the International Space Station, but in a new video, British astronaut Tim Peake shows us how they make do. Like most space food (or drink), it’s probably not quite as good as the real thing.

While various contraptions have been developed to better facilitate the actual consumption of beverages (most notably, an anti-gravity whiskey glass), getting the drink into the cup tends to be a little more difficult. And in the case of coffee, you can’t just boil water and pour it into some instant grounds — much less add milk and sugar. So instead, it all comes prepackaged in the now telltale silver container, with a label that reads, “coffee with cream and sugar substitute.” How delightful.

To actually make the coffee, the 43-year-old former army major demonstrates how he places the package into a machine that looks like it would be more at home in a doctor’s office than in a kitchen, whereupon hot water is added to the contents inside. And then, just like any other liquid aboard a spacecraft, Peake is able to drink the concoction through a straw. So no, it’s not a Starbucks frappuccino by any stretch of the imagination, but it gets the job done.

After Peake’s six-month tenure aboard the ISS, there’s no question that a nice, normally brewed cup of coffee will be first on the list of must-haves on good ol’ Planet Earth. Because sometimes, there’s really no substitute for waking up and smelling the coffee.

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