Monday, October 28, 2013

The Plight of Traveling Tea Drinkers: The Tea Tastes Like Coffee

It’s been a few months since I’ve had anything to write about. There’s been nothing of consequence that has bothered me – at least nothing that hasn’t already been overexposed in the media. Something did come up while my husband and I took a short vacation a few weeks ago – it’s the plight of the traveling tea drinker who wants to get a good cup of tea that doesn’t taste like coffee.

For those who take driving trips, while on the road we are often at the mercy of the eateries that are either located within the toll ways or near a freeway exit. Almost all of them have no idea how to deliver a good cup of tea.

Try going into any fast food restaurant and ask for a cup of hot tea. Most times they will serve you a cup full of hot water with a tea bag, the hot water being poured from one of the same pitchers that at one time likely held coffee. The same goes for coffee makers in hotel rooms; even though the hotel sometimes offers tea bags along with coffee, the coffee maker itself and the pot have been permeated with the taste of coffee from repeated coffee uses. Nothing is worse than tasting a cup of tea where the taste is overwhelmed by the taste and smell of coffee. We always bring our own tea bags – we’re partial to Twinings – but even that doesn’t help.

We were very disappointed after a recent stop at a Panera Bread location on the Ohio Turnpike. They seemed to have a very nice coffee and tea station where the tap for hot water appeared separate from the coffee. We were so wrong. The tea tasted more like coffee than it did tea. Worse yet, we were charged $1.99 for one cup of tea which we spilled out after the first taste.

If you’re willing to spend more time to eat at a restaurant like Cracker Barrel, you have a good chance you’ll get a cup of tea that actually tastes like tea. But those types of eateries are not very fast, which is not much help if one wants to get back on the road quick.

Fast food places clearly have a clientele that favors coffee, but it is no excuse for offering an alternate product that is undrinkable. Imagine ordering a Coke or Pepsi and having it taste like coffee? Or ordering coffee that tastes like tea? Why should restaurants have lower standards for tea drinkers? If you run a fast food eatery and you serve tea, try drinking your own product. If you won’t drink what you serve yourself, why should anyone else?

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