Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Iced Tea Round-up

I'm very lazy so I pretty much never make my own iced tea. Too much effort required - multiple containers, ice cubes, you know, all that business. I'm pretty well-trained around the house so using ice cubes means refilling ice trays (old school!) which just pushes the whole project over a line I'm not willing to cross. I do, however, love to drink the stuff and have found that the tea has to be "OK" but not too good or else the whole thing is crap. For this reason I really like the iced tea at Starbucks which, I believe, is a newish offering. Their tea is OK - not great - but they make it really strong and add ice and it's pretty fine on a hot day. Even better, it's priced comparably to a Big Gulp which makes it one of two or three things you can order at the Buckstar that won't make you feel like a money-wasting chump. Also, the process is hidden so you never see the tea bag which means there is no chance of accidentally reading the clever tidbits of copy on the package (hint: not clever).

So the Starbucks iced tea is pretty good. This is what I'm trying to say. Here I am, all loving Starbucks, humming along to the compilation CD I impulse bought at the counter, trying to decide whether to get the current logo or the original logo for my next tattoo. Meanwhile, across town these Honest Tea people are making a difference with their wholesome, organic, good karma-enhancing, ethical corporation-style bottled teas that I find myself buying at the hip, urban eateries I sometimes visit and you know what? I don't like them. I want to like them, I want to cheer them on and feel good about where my money goes but I don't like the tea. It's weak and I'm confused by the sweetening. Is it sweetened? if so, make it sweet. Otherwise, don't bother. It tastes like maybe there used to be a sweet drink in there and they forgot to rinse out the bottle before filling it with weak tea. Oh, I thought you were going to wash those. You didn't wash them? Damn. I always forget to do that. Come to think of it, I believe they got their start in a garage filling old snapple bottles with weak tea so I may not be that far off the mark.