So … I have some thoughts. Thoughts about ice tea to be precise.
And before we continue this walk and talk any further, there are two things to note: One, until last year when M gently broke the news, I had been calling it ice tea instead of the correct spelling/pronunciation of iced tea. Since then, despite knowing this new knowledge, I’ve refused to give up my original mistake even though people probably think I’m an idiot and can’t spell.
(I can spell! I mean, not well, but that’s only because I can’t understand phonics which is another story for another time.)
Two, I’ve drank ice tea everyday, multiple times a day, since I was in junior high. It’s always been the drink of choice for my family, as each gathering wasn’t complete without our large strawberry painted jug of sun tea being drained in a matter of hours. But at 13, I decided to give up soda — it always made me feel a little sick — and started drinking tea as a substitute. It’s been pure love ever since.
So you get it, I like tea and luckily I live with someone who loves coffee just as much so making four to five cups of our caffeinated beverage of choice isn’t met with any confusion or side eyes. But you know who also loves ice tea? Los Angeles! Say what you will about it’s traffic and sometimes superficial culture, but you can go anywhere and get an ice tea. No questions asked! It’s always unsweetened because passion tea is an entirely different beast all together.
But New York City, well, that’s a different story.
The minute the seasons start to change, ice tea becomes more scare than Mexican food in this city. Most orders of “Just one large unsweetened, ice tea” is met with “We won’t make that for the next six months because who the hell wants to drink a cold drink in the snow/ice rain/early spring?”
I do judgy hipster barista! This girl right here with the bangs she’s trying to learn how to cut herself!
“Can you brew a hot tea and then just put it over ice?”
There are some places that nail it every time — Little Zelda’s (one of my favs), Konditori, Milk Bar, Stumptown, Gorilla Coffee, Toby’s Estate, the Google kitchen where I make my own ice tea every single morning. These places are an oasis for writers and caffeine addicts alike so if you’re in their neighborhoods, give them a try!
And then there are some places where it’s a toss up. Some days Hungry Ghost, Donut Plant, and 61 Local are feeling my tea vibes, some days they’re scoffing at my life choices. So to the people who continue to tell me, “New York City, the place you can get anything at anytime,” I call false! Lies! But I appreciate the sentiment.
So until summer arrives and everyone can officially serve ice tea at all times, I will be binge drinking the pitcher of tea in my fridge, day dreaming of a day when coffee and ice tea drinkers can spend a winter afternoon, sipping and sitting next to each other in total bliss.
One of my favorite videos in a long, long time.