Thursday, October 4, 2007

Want to know where to get GREAT iced tea?

Iced tea is a very important beverage for me. I love drinking tea, preferably the subtly-sweet kind that’s as cold as midnight on Pluto. Well, not that cold, but you get the idea. Anyway, I’ve experimented with ways to make the perfect glass of iced tea. Lipton works great, and Luzianne’s not bad, either. I often use Wal-Mart’s Great Value brand to save money, but it makes a decent glass of tea, also.

As far as the water goes, I tend to be a big stickler. When I was a kid, I used my parents’ well water, which seemed great. As an adult, I’m much fussier. I used Wal-Mart brand water once, which tasted gross. One of my kids once brewed me tea using San Antonio’s tap water, which I wasn’t crazy about. When we lived in San Antonio, I liked to use Glacier Water (which is also excellent drinking water) for my tea. It was wonderful.

Up here in Michigan, I don’t see many Glacier machines, so I tried out Culligan Water. Very nice. Now, I tend to brew tea using Culligan. When I have a better budget to work with, I will probably go with Sara Lee tea (for reasons I’ll detail see below) and may even invest in an iced-tea brewing machine.

Where is the best place for tea? Of all the restaurants I’ve tried, I would say San Antonio’s Bill Miller Bar-B-Q. If there’s tea in heaven, I can imagine it will taste similar to what they make at Bill Miller. It has a crisp taste and isn’t too sweet. In short, it’s perfect and absolutely to die for. I’ve told my wife that the next time we’re in San Antonio, Austin or Corpus Christi, I’m getting Bill Miller tea.

Recently, I called Bill Miller to express my pleasure for their tea and find out their secret. “What kind of tea and water do you use?” I asked.

They use Sara Lee teabags and, believe it or not, the local tap water.* I suppose that in the boiling process the water is made great, or maybe Sara Lee tea is just that good. I always thought the Alamo City’s tap water was bad, but I guess they somehow make it good. Still, for the time being, I think I’ll stick with filtered.

* Here’s a link to BexarMet (pronounced “Bear Met”), San Antonio’s other tap water provider. I’m not sure which system Bill Miller uses, but I suppose it depends on each restaurant’s location.

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