scafativ said

Fast Food Tea

Have others had the sorts of issues that I have had, ordering tea at fast food restaurants? Obviously it is not the sort of place one goes to get a good cup of tea, but likewise, you don’t expect good food, either, just a bit of convenience. When I am home or at a tea shop I enjoy properly steeped cuppas, but sometimes you just want some tea when you are out and about and in a rush, right?

When I have ordered tea at places like MacDonalds, it always seems to throw them off balance. More often than not, they act as though they have never served tea before. When I was in Louisiana once, the young man behind a Wendy’s counter responded to my request for “hot tea” by microwaving iced tea (he gets points for effort).

Over the years, I have amused myself by keeping count of how many people simultaneously engage in dealing with my order- often it is two or more trying to find it on the register while others try to solve the “where are the tea bags?” and “how do you get hot water?” dilemmas. The record was smashed, several years ago, at a Lake Mills MacDonalds, where I counted seven employees simultaneously struggling with getting me a tea.

Have you had similar experiences?

43 Replies
Spot52 select said

I did not know McDonald’s even had hot tea. Lol.

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DukeGus said

Funny post, tea at mcdonalds etc??? ha hahahah

I hate fast foods and I could start a crazy debate on high price/low quality/slower than homecooking. But I won’t do it! I’ll resist :)

I guess coffee suits better the fast food because of it’s overall very strong taste and caffeine kick!

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Haridasi said

Seven employees for getting a tea? Priceless :D

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Tea-man said

The water isn’t hot enough at most Fast Food restaurants and, there is a “scum” floating on the top of the teas I’ve had there.

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Yeah, I avoid tea from fast food restaurants. Hot tea doesn’t taste right, and the iced tea usually has enough sugar to kill a moose. Conversely, my daughter loves iced tea from fast food restaurants.

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I do enjoy Iced Tea from McAlisters its a sandwich shop type deli around here, we consider it fast food here also. Their Tea is awesome Good, just dont give it to your Moose it may kill him its very sweet!

I also regularly go to mcalisters for lunch to get some Iced tea. The one place I go for fast type food that always has hot tea choices is La Madeline. Also, chikfila’s unsweetened tea isn’t bad.

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Wow. This is really hilarious…I guess it makes some sense though, these fast food places run on volume and on procedure, and if no one orders a product, they’re going to be unfamiliar with how to handle it when someone does.

It’s interesting to me that so few people order tea at these places that things this extreme would happen though!

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Azzrian said

I wonder if any of the asian restaurants around here know how to brew a good tea. Bear in mind I am in Kansas so a good asian place is hard to find to begin with. We have one down the street luckily though. I will have to order tea the next time we go eat there. :)

Most of the sushi places ive been to serve hot green tea, usually genmaichas. Yum!

Azzrian said

Indeed I LOVE genmaicha!

Nicole said

Bo Lings in Overland Park does a good jasmine tea. They have bubble tea, but I’ve not tried it.

Azzrian said

Ohhh thank you nicole! Daughter loves bubble tea so two reasons to go now! :)

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When I was in Louisiana once, the young man behind a Wendy’s counter responded to my request for “hot tea” by microwaving iced tea (he gets points for effort).

Oh my god, that’s one of the funniest things I’ve heard in a while! I seriously laughed out loud for a few solid minutes at that one. Will have to repeat it to everyone I know. How did you react? What did you say to him?

For the most part, I haven’t had too much trouble. People often look surprised, and occasionally they can’t find it on the till, but…yeah, mostly I just get “what a kook” looks. Maybe that’s because I’m in Canada, and pretty much everyone is familiar with hot tea here? Dunno.

The best/most awkward experience I’ve actually ever had has been at Tim Hortons. Now, TImmies makes a stupidly big deal out of their “steeped tea” e.g. presumably properly made tea (to the point of having big billboards advertising it). So you’d think they wouldn’t be that surprised when people order tea. Nevertheless, I do get startled looks.

One night I was in a Timmies and decided I wanted to buy a box of their Blueberry White. (I’d been looking for a loose version of a blueberry white locally and couldn’t find one, so I figured, f*ck it, I’ll buy the bagged stuff.) HUGE ordeal. They had to pull a box out of the DISPLAY CASE for me, since the boxes of tea in the cases are apparently the only ones in the whole store – that’s how often people want them, I guess. I figured they might have to go run and grab a box from storage or something, but no – display case. I held up the whole line while the associate first cleared the purchase with her manager (“can we SELL those?!”), then the manager had to find the key, then they had to climb on tables to get the case open… I would have said forget it, but I really wanted the dang tea! At least the people in line behind me were pretty patient.

scafativ said

How did I react? Well, whenever I tell that story, I always say “I would hire that kid in a moment.” He displayed everything you want in an employee; he was trying to please a customer, he was being innovative and self-sufficient. All he was lacking was a bit of training. Honestly, I think he grew up in a house where he had never seen a teabag in his life, based on the look of pure wonderment on his face as he manager helped him out.

What made the whole incident even funnier to me was this- since it happened in the deep south, what he was heating in the microwave wasn’t just “iced” tea, it was “sweet” tea.

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K S said

Personally, if its not on the menu, why order it? Why put yourself and the poor kid behind the counter through it. Fast Food is iced tea territory… Sweet and unsweet, small, regular, and super sized… any size $0.99. If you want hot tea, take your own bag and ask for hot water – they usually have hot water. Our Steak and Shake does have hot tea on the menu and its actually not bad.

My dad tells of a restuarant stop on a fishing trip to Canada where he asked for iced tea, to blank stares. They claimed not to understand what he wanted. He finally asked for hot tea and a glass of ice.

What fast food place have you been to that didn’t have hot tea on the menu? I can’t think of any unless they sell a specific type of non-Western food.

Also, where was your father? Don’t know any places up here that wouldn’t recognize iced tea, but perhaps he was quite far north or something…?

scafativ said

Oh, it was on the menu. I got my tea when the manager came to rescue the kid.

K S said

Ok, my wife agrees that you can get hot tea at fast food places. I do not recall seeing it listed on the wall behind the counter. Sorry, I will try to pay more attention. If it is on the menu and you like Lipton hot, feel free to go for it and enjoy the circus.

My dad was on a fishing trip in upper Manitoba. He is a pretty good yarn spinner but this time he was serious.

Haha, I hate Lipton, who doesn’t? :P Although I think a lot of places around here sell Red Rose, which isn’t much of an improvement.

Upper Manitoba, interesting! I guess it is quite cold there.

Great stories.

Ohhh, the blank stare. A funny related story (not about Tea). I am from the Midwest, where everyone knows what biscuits and gravy is.Years ago, when I was in New England, I asked the waitress at a breakfast restaurant if they had biscuits and gravy. I’ll never forget her response; she paused, looking all confused, then replied, “You mean turkey gravy?”

Not tea-related but I couldn’t resist responding to the “biscuits and gravy” story. It’s definitely an American thing, I’d never seen it on a menu here (Canada). First time I encountered it was a continental breakfast at a hotel in Central Washington – I’d never seen white gravy before

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