The Logistics of Dolphin-Safe Tea

I've been putting some serious brain time to the Sonic drink problem. The challenge is to quit buying tea in large styrofoam cups while still enjoying the cool, icy goodness that is my joy each day. Is it possible to recreate the "Sonic tea" experience at home?

I did some research. The type of ice that makes Sonic's drinks so amazing is called "flake ice" (as opposed to "crunchy ice", the term I've used for years). Sadly, there is no "home version" of the flake ice machine. Commercial units are readily available, but have a $3.5 - 5k price tag. If price weren't a barrier, we would need to make space in our garage and route water and power to the unit. (This is actually possible. I drive a Scion and the garage shares a wall with the kitchen.)

Then there is the actual making of the tea. A commercial tea maker is about $500 new--less if purchased used on Ebay. The challenge is that not only are they big and ugly, but they have to be cleaned each evening--which is a chore if you don't have a restaurant-size sink. Another option is a restaurant-style tea dispenser, but I'm not sure it actually keeps the tea cold, and there is still an aesthetic factor.

The cups are actually the easiest thing. Large plastic insultated cups that can be washed and reused daily are available at megaretailers everywhere. In fact, my brother-in-law Troy has several really, REALLY, large ones that border on the obnoxious.

I'm still thinking on this. There has to be a solution. Am still open to ideas and suggestions....
© Random Cathy
Maira Gall