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K S said

Good restaurant tea experience... sort of

Took my wife out for her birthday. She wanted to go to Cheddars (yes again – not that I protested. Mmmm ribs). I ordered unsweet iced tea. When it arrived at the table it was red/orange and very clear.

I took a drink and went “Oh wow”.

Handed it to my wife so she could take a sip. She said, “That’s different. It doesn’t taste like tea.”

I thought to myself, but was smart enough not to say it out loud, no it tastes like tea. What it doesn’t taste like is Lipton, Tetley, or any of the other usual suspects.

This was very earthy, with just a touch of smoke, and slightly malty. I am guessing Keemun or some type Yunnan. I don’t usually drink either of those iced, so who knows.

I started slamming down ice tea and my wife says, “you’re going to embarrass me aren’t you?”


I asked the waiter what they were serving. He told me it was tea. They brew it up in a big container and he pours it out into the glass. (He was serious) sigh. I wanted to stiff him but my wife over ruled me. It’s her birthday so I agreed to play nice.

It was so good. I wish i knew what it was.

13 Replies
Rachel J said

That’s great… I love that he told you it was tea. Hahaha…

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mrmopar said

Looks like “macho man” has struck.

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I had a similar experience at a Japanese resturant. I love their green tea, and in general I’m not a huge fan. I asked the waitress what kind it was and she looked at me like I had a third eye and said ‘the kind we have in the back’ and didn’t know anything past it. I could’ve cried. Finally a green tea I love, and I know nothing about it. Bummer.

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K S said

Our local Red Lobster also makes exceptionally good iced tea. It is more the traditional orange pekoe assam based tea. I once asked the waiter there about their tea and he looked at me funny and said it was just tea… however he went in the back and asked. I looked online and it was not available retail.

My innards cringe when people say “just tea.” :(

K S said

I know. Apparently most people can’t tell the difference between the old soured bilge water they call tea and a fresh well prepared glass worthy of actually enjoying. I try to point out to them when they have done an exceptional job, like my experience at Cheddars and Red Lobster. And on occasion it is so unacceptable I make them bring me something else. At our local Denny’s I take my own – their’s is so bad I don’t even try. They find it amusing. Again, apparently most people can’t tell the difference, or things would change. Maybe it is because most people around here drink sweet tea?

Many Americans seem to be unaware of how intricate tea can be, like wine. And they don’t know what the “good” stuff is like because it’s not easily accessible like Lipton. Truthfully, I didn’t know anything before tea became my passion. I live in the northeast, where people think of tea as iced “tea” or Lipton or some random disgusting bagged green tea.

Keeping up with the topic, I don’t order tea at restaurants because why pay for it when I have tons at home? But some time ago, I drank tasty green tea at a Japanese restaurant. The waiter immediately identified it (genmaicha) when I asked what was kind it was (I knew it tasted familiar…).

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I have a Cheddar’s nearby and now I really want to eat there again! I loooove their catfish. I’m pretty sure I’ve had unsweetened iced tea there before, but now I’m curious to see if they’ve gotten something new! I’ll see if I can get some people to go this weekend and I’ll report back :).

K S said

Please do report back. I’m curious. One possibility is someone accidentally order the good stuff and they will be back to generic next time I go in. That would be a shame… or more of a crime really.

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I did that at a PF Changs. They had an oolong tea that I liked and it says what tea it is on the menu but not the company (another comparison to wine). So I asked who was their supplier and they just looked confused. I thankfully located it online. :-)

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Back! I went to Cheddar’s for lunch today and got some iced tea. It was indeed a reddish/orangeish color! I thought it was pretty tasty but nothing that special…but full disclosure I’m not a huge fan of iced black tea. I asked our waitress what it was. Enjoy!!


K S said

Looks rather unappealing doesn’t it. lol Thanks for asking them – and congrats on getting a response. I have an anniversary coming up in a couple weeks. Pretty sure that’s where we will go. I’ll see if I can get a repeat of last time. Hope it wasn’t a one time experience. It was definitely a worthy glass that day. While I like ordinary everyday iced tea, this was excellent. Thanks for the reporting back.

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ifjuly said

There’s a Middle Eastern restaurant in town that serves the most amazing tea; they offer it both iced and hot (and it’s amazing either way). It’s a black base but it has special honey and ginger in it and it is wickedly delicious. The food’s not bad but the reason we go every time is because we’re jonesing for the tea. It has quite a reputation locally, ha. I love when restaurant tea is actually good!

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