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....


NancyJ said...

Hey...after you get the $6,000 worth of tea-related paraphanalia purchased and installed...maybe you can help me with my home hershey's kisses maker/dispenser! Those little foil wrappers wreak havoc on the landfill...not to mention the enclosed pesky white streamers!

I'm still pulling for the "Tea Steins"...and maybe "hemp-wrapped" chocolate kisses...

Anonymous said...

I too am addicted to tea, more specificly sweet tea a true southern girl. I found that the straw also plays a role in my addiction. Just by buying straws and using them at home my home brew became more satisfying. Maybe I need to see a professional.


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Maira Gall