Ok, so let's be real here, folks. Here is what a perfect glass of iced tea (unsweetened, with Splenda, added in place of sugar) looks like to me:
Please note the generous use of ice cubes, the bendy straw, the perfect color (deep brown, not too light, not too dark). Ok, I know I sound insane, but seriously, there are some gross iced teas in this city.
Here are my go-to places for your best drive-thru iced needs:
- Chick-Fil-A By far the winner. Any Chick-Fil-A drive-thru I go to, no matter where in Houston, has the BEST iced tea in the whole wide world. Great flavor, tons of ice, and they have Splenda (some places don't). One note to point out here, a lot of fast-food restaurants will brew the tea hot and then pour it over your ice, melting it. I can't stand that. Chick-Fil-A wins precious points here for ALWAYS pouring cold tea over my ice so that I don't end up with a weird watered-down mess.
- Taco Bell Ok, ok, I know. I'm going to get some heat on this one. But, when you need your fix, you need it. They don't have my beloved Splenda, but they do have some tasty tea. Beware, they do sometimes give it to you after brewing which results in ice melt.
- McDonalds The flavor is good, they have the ice issue that I don't like, but they carry Splenda and also have this cool device that squirts the sweetener of your choice into your cup so you don't have to deal with the annoying little packets.
- Arby's This place can be a crapshoot. Most days, the tea is great, however, I have had a few run-ins with the dreaded tea brewed in the same urn as the coffee. That is just nasty and it tastes disgusting.
- Starbucks I think their tea has a weird flavor to it. I order it as Black Tea with no sweetener and ask that they throw in some Splenda. Otherwise, I'll end up with some weird sugary syrup they add to it. Even so, when I ask for the syrup to be removed, it still has a specific flavor that kind of annoys me. It is a fruity note that I can't put my finger on. But, I do like that their tea is shaken, so when they add my Splenda it gets mixed up really well.
Here are the places I will never order iced tea at again:
- Jack In The Box Dear Jesus help me this tea is nasty. They obviously use the same urn that the coffee is brewed in and don't clean it out very well. The tea tastes thick and has a definite coffee flavor to it. They also have the issue with zero ice, very annoying.
- Taco Cabana I don't even know where to start here, just don't do it and don't look back.
- Whataburger I don't care for the flavor and they always put about 2 ice cubes in my cup. Also, it tastes as it has just been brewed and it is on the warm side when I order it. Yuck!
Hopefully, this manual will help you.