Fast Food Tea

43 Replies

I don’t even bother ordering tea at most non-Asian restaurants, because what you usually get is a cup (or small metal pitcher) of hot water and one Lipton’s teabag…all for $2 or more. No thanks. I’ve gotten to the level of “tea snobbery” that I’d rather go tealess than drink Lipton’s (or almost as bad, having to choose from a tea box filled with Celestial Seasonings herbal and flavored teabags).

If I know I’ll want (hot) tea with a meal I bring a couple of quality teabags with me (usually Harney’s) and ask the server for a cup of boiling water. But generally I don’t think it’s worth the effort. Most of the time when I eat out, I’ll have a glass of wine, a glass of water, a Diet Coke…and enjoy tea at home, where I’m assured of good tea properly brewed. (When I eat at a Thai, Japanese, Chinese or other Asian restaurant, though, I almost always get tea.)

I am totally with you. Other than getting ‘iced’ tea at a few cafes, I don’t order ‘hot’ tea out either. It’s a real pain, but a few times, right before we left for a cafe, I brewed up some tea, iced it, and brought it with us. It would be very awkward at a sit-down service restaurant, but at a place like Einstein’s Bagels (their iced tea is not that great) where you order at the counter—it’s workable. I’ve even talked to the manager at one Einstein’s by telling her exactly what I was doing, and asked if she didn’t mind if I got ice from their ice machine; she had no problem with it. I think it helped some that we were regular customers (although that may not have mattered).

john12 said

This is what I typically do also. While I always want healthy and high quality food when I go out (I am paying for it, after all), I’m not all that picky, but I am particular about my tea. I already realize I will be disappointed with the tea I would order, so I just enjoy tea at home or in a travel cup.

The only Asian restaurants we go to (Pho places and a great Thai restaurant) have bad tea. Ironically, I do live in the epicenter of great Chinese food for the DC area, but never get any of it since we love the Thai place so much. Maybe I should go somewhere just to check out the tea.

Stranger things have happened.

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Bonnie said

I once had a large iced herbal tea from Starbucks that is not a Tazo sold there. They let me buy it from them and stuffed it in a coffee cup with a lid for a good price. Then, my local tea shop (Happy Lucky’s) tea’s are served in coffee shops around the Fort Collins area and listed on their website. This is handy! In an area of 160,000 people it’s good to know where to go. Other vendors should do the same like waving a hi here we are folks!

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I’ve never ordered hot tea at a fast food restaurant. In fact, the only fast food restaurant where I’ll purchase iced tea is Panda Express, because I do love their China Mist tea. Other than that, I usually steer clear of tea from fast food restaurants.

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Itsyknits said

being in britain, i think it’s safe to say that everyone knows how to make a cup of tea… there is not 1 english person that I know who doesn’t know how to make a cup of english breakfast with milk… it’s like A B C over here.. haha

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Ptkelo said

I used to work at Subway and would often try to get people to have hot tea instead of soda on cold days. Often I would get odd looks like “I want a coke, why are you trying to sell me green tea?”. But on a few occasions I got some tea snobbs turn their noses up at my Higgins and Burke. As if they were too good for tea dust, but still enjoyed their “chicken” teriyaki sub.

Uniquity said

It was Red Rose at our Subway (in Nova Scotia). I worked there too : )

Ptkelo said

Maybe out depended on the franchise cause we had vanilla rooibos, sencha, chai, and orange pekoe

But- But- But- Higgins and Burke is undrinkably bad.

Or at least their English Breakfast is. Possibly the green is better.

john12 said

Exactly. Why would one expect high quality tea in a place that calls what Subway does a sandwich.

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Wuyi-Wolf said

Bringing this one back to mention that wendy’s DOES have hot English breakfast tea…and a Lemongrass…that is actually decent but I don’t know who they get it from, it comes in mesh style pyramid bags.

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Yvonne said

I used to serve Red Rose and Lipton Green Tea teabags when I worked at A&W. One time somebody stole an entire box of Red Rose from the stock room – guess I worked with somebody who really loves their Orange Pekoe. Other than that, it was pretty standard grade stuff.

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I’ve never even bothered to have tea at a fast food place. I do drink tea bags when other people offer it to me, but I have more control with a friend then a stranger behind a counter.

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Brent said

In a rare mood, I actually walked out of a local coffee shop (Woods Coffee) over a cup of tea, and it’s not like me to do that sort of thing. I don’t drink coffee, and noticed they serve “tea”, so I ordered an Earl Grey. Not my favourite tea, but their selection was quite limited. I don’t remember the price, but let’s say it was a few bucks.

Keep in mind, this is a gourmet coffee place, so I (incorrectly) assumed they could at least muster an inoffensive cup of tea.

They handed me a big paper cup with a teabag string hanging out from under the plastic sippy-cup lid. I was gobsmacked, and was kind of hoping it was a joke. I asked how long the teabag had been soaking. She didn’t know. I asked if it was at least a whole-leaf teabag. She showed me a little paper envelope containing another teabag. If I recall correctly, it was Tazo, but could have been something like Bigelow or Celestial Seasonings – a $0.10 (wholesale) teabag, in any case.

I started to politely explain to her why the tea was already ruined, but it quickly became apparent she had no idea what could possibly be wrong with this tea. So rather than hassle her for something that she had no control over anyway, I just said, “No thank you.”

This was actually one of the defining moments that inspired me to start my own tea business.

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The hilarity of this post probably varies depending on where you’re from – particularly the comment about the poor fellow microwaving iced tea. In Canada our restaurant “iced tea” is Brisk or Nestea, the powdered sugary stuff.

I’ve never tried, but I think the McDonald’s in my area do have tea (probably Red Rose), purely because of the number of elderly residents in the area.

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