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My Iced Tea came out of Soda Machine...Yuck!

I LOVE freshly brewed ice tea...when dining out, I find myself having to ask if its brewed or out of a machine..the taste for me is a blend of soda, tea, carbonation and a high fructose...gross!
Any Ice Tea lovers that share my pain?

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  1. More than you can imagine! There are restaurants that I refuse to go to, because the only iced tea they have is out of the soda machine. I don't drink soda at all, so if they don't have decent iced tea my only other choice is water - which gets pretty boring after awhile.

    1. If I feel the craving for iced tea, I ask if it's brewed. If not, fugeddaboutit.

      1. I'm with you a hundred percent, Beach Chick. I drink almost nothing else at home or work, and when I'm out, I always ask if it's brewed and unsweetened. And like cycloneillini, I sometimes make my eating out choice based on whether or not the restaurant has brewed unsweetened tea. Sometimes for lunch, if I'm out of brewed tea at work, I will buy my food from wherever I'm craving, then drive through a Wendy's just for an iced tea because theirs is brewed and unsweeted. I just really don't like sodas much anymore. If there's no iced tea, then lemonade might work as a (poor) substitute.

        1 Reply
        1. re: lisavf

          Only real iced tea for me as well, VERY little sugar, just enough to cut the bitterness. I make quick iced tea at work all the time. I fill a cup 1/3 of the way with hot water and add two tea bags, when it is dark enough I remove the bags and add half a packet of sugar and fill it with ice. about half the ice melts and cools the tea. Think I will go get one right now...

        2. Brewed, unflavored and unsweetened is the only way to go. If it comes out of a fountain, it's from concentrate; even the unsweetened variety. And you HAVE to ask. There's nothing worse than asking for unsweetened ice tea and having them bring out some "scented" stuff......blech!

          1. You made me realize how blessed I am to live in Texas, where even the convenience stores have fresh-brewed tea available.

            6 Replies
            1. re: shanagain

              I didn't realize just how much of a Texas thing that was until I traveled to Michigan in the middle of the summer and tried to order an iced tea for breakfast. They looked at me like I had a third eye then told me they don't brew it unti lunch time. When it's 85 degrees and 90% humidity at 6 o'clock in the morning, who wants to drink anything hot?!

              1. re: cycloneillini

                We're indoctrinated early - in our school district you have three choices of drink: Milk, Water, or Tea. We had a major controversy a few years ago when the elementary kids were no longer allowed to get tea, and now, it's actually a "thing" to move up to jr. high so you can get tea.

                1. re: cycloneillini

                  From the opposite perspective: when I visited Texas for the first time two years ago, I was very taken aback when I asked for tea at breakfast and got the question "hot or iced?" My reaction was, Who the heck drinks iced tea at breakfast? :-) (This was NOT in the summer, by the way.)

                  1. re: travelmad478

                    Well, yeah, everyone. LOL It's frankly surprising that you didn't get iced, non-sweet, by default!

                    1. re: shanagain

                      I think I was saved from that only by the fact that my accent makes it very clear that I am not from Texas (or anywhere in the South). I noticed that the waitress did hesitate before she asked the question--like she was thinking, "oh wait a minute, maybe she actually wants HOT tea!"

              2. Yes! I agree totally. I love iced tea, but hate the Nestea crap from the soda fountain. I have a hard time believing that people actually enjoy that stuff, though they must since it's still being sold all over the place. It's like flat soda. No bueno.

                1. I order iced tea infrequently. But I'm picky about it. The OP is right, concentrates and the machines that dispense them do not make "iced tea;" they make some sort of sweet/citric acid-laden gak that's just a chemical cocktail.

                  There are just some times, usually with lunch, that iced tea is a perfect accompaniment (if I'm having a good BLT sandwich, a tall glass of lightly sweetened brewed iced tea is essential).

                  Having worked in the restaurant business for years, I know, however, how filthy and crummy the dispensers get that hold the "brewed" iced tea. Some places leave the same tea in there for a couple of days -- and mold grows on top! At cleaner-looking places, I'll risk asking for a glass of the brewed tea and taste it. Sometimes these bozos fill the dispenser that says "brewed iced tea" with a powdered, sweetened mix!

                  The way I solve the problem is to order hot tea with a tall glass of ice on the side. It's a pain in the neck, but I've been so disappointed in the past, it's worth the effort.

                  In my opinion, unless it's a diner or fast-food, the only way a restaurant really should serve iced tea is by brewing the tea on-the-fly and pouring it over ice in front of the customer.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: shaogo

                    Love your take on things shaogo since you've been in the restaurant business and make us question now, the ice tea brewer container...mold on the ice tea...that is just vile thinking of it!
                    I guess the big question to the server is, How often do you clean your ice tea container?
                    hee hee

                    1. re: shaogo

                      i used to work at a restaurant that served brewed iced tea, and we could barely keep up with the demand, so many people ordered it. Yeah it never got moldy, only empty. We had to buy another brewing machine because we'd constantly run out, no matter how many pitchers we had prepared for the lunch rush. So i wouldn't make that assumption for a busy restaurant

                    2. Amen and hallelujah! I always have to ask. I've lived in Oregon most of my life and you HAVE to ask here. It was true iced-tea bliss to live in North Carolina: no one, not even chains or fast food joints had that horrible fountain dreck. You only had to request sweet or unsweet. My mom lives in New Mexico and I rarely have a problem with iced tea. Maybe it's the climates that have hotter summers that get it.

                      1. Iced tea is my default drink, and I will not touch anything other than brewed. Fortunately, this is more available than it used to be.

                        1. Anyone try hibiscus flowers freshly brewed?
                          It is so good..and you can get the dried flowers at Mexican markets for super cheap and the benefits for lowering blood pressure and may help lower cholesterol..how great is that!