There are two restaurants near my office that my colleagues and I frequent for lunch. Both are owned by the same people. (Yes I know that's a misplaced modifier or some grammatical crap like that.) And both feature a beverage you may not wish to encounter in your quest for refreshment. No, I’m not talking about the choking hazard that is bubble tea. (Which will, I’m convinced, follow the meaty gelatin dishes so popular in the 1960s down the garbage disposal of Food Trends Likely to Haunt your Dreams.) I’m talking about cloudy iced tea. Unintentionally cloudy iced tea.
Now, this is a problem for me. I prefer my tea to be translucent enough to read large, warped print through. I also want it to be a warm, glowing amber. (The color. Not the twit who married Rob McCreepystache from Survivor.) If I wanted an opaque, brown beverage, I’d have ordered chocolate milk. Or a chai latte. Or diarrhea with some non-fat, non-dairy creamer.
Why is the tea cloudy? Do you soak diapers in it, Oh Restaurants in Question? Dentures? Does the water undergo a complicated flavoring and filtration process involving gutters, downspouts, and the sewer? What comprises that sediment, cloudy iced tea purveyors?
What’s that, delightful readers? You would like me to describe the taste of cloudy tea? Well, I’d rather not relive this gastronomical nightmare, but for you, I will. Here are the images that come to mind when I close my eyes and think of cloudy iced tea: nougat … Borax laundry powder … the OxyClean fine family of products (as seen on TV!) … baking soda … and cinnamon. With lemon.
Here’s a recipe for unsweetened cloudy iced tea* that you can try at home. (Warning: do not attempt if you desire a healthy digestive system.) First, crush some generic aspirin with a mortar and pestle. About 25 aspirin should suffice. Shake crushed aspirin into large pitcher. Find a barn somewhere. Does it have an old-fashioned, hand-pump well? Good. Begin pumping water from the cistern into the pitcher. Easy does it! That water moves fast once you’re pumping. Next, tap some dust from your shoes into the pitcher. (This is the special, secret ingredient! Shhhhh!) Then, grate some bark from the nearest Box Elder tree into the pitcher. About a cup should do it. Is there a farmhouse near the barn? Excellent! Knock on the door and ask the farmer if you can borrow a dirty pair of his underwear. Run it under the water from the pump, and then wring it into the pitcher. Find some shriveled ice cubes with a hint of onion from the back of the freezer and dump them into the pitcher. If a few fall on the floor, that’s okay. Pick them up and toss them in. Stir with a spoon someone found with a metal detector in 1988. Add lemon and sugar to taste.
*Does not contain actual tea.
In closing, I’m afraid we’ll have to part ways, iced tea from restaurants near my place of employment. I’m sad to say goodbye, but I just don’t think this relationship is working out. I’m sure you’ll be fine without me. Plenty of people like cloudy drinks. Plenty of visually impaired people with damaged tastebuds. So keep the faith, cloudy tea. I just know you’ll find a nice new stomach to call home.