I’ve noticed a problem with restaurants who offer several different flavors of fresh brewed iced tea. The restaurants I visit most frequently that fall into this category are Habit Burger and Rubio’s Coastal Grill, but I have also more recently noticed the problem and Panera. The problem arises when the taste from one of the flavored iced tea gets into the plain black iced tea. I am pretty sure this happens because the brewing mechanism is being used for both the flavored and plain black tea. Either that or it’s just the containers being used for both and not being thoroughly washed in between. I have noticed on many occasions this resulting in the black tea having a slight fruity flavor.
Initially I thought it was just the tea itself, but after researching, I noticed that Habit Burger, Rubio’s and Chipotle all serve S&D brand iced tea, but only Habit Burger and Rubio’s suffer from this problem. And those two serve multiple flavors of iced tea, while Chipotle only served plain black iced tea.
Now I want to be clear, I admire any restaurant who serves good quality, and more specific fresh brewed iced tea. And even a hint of whatever other flavor they offer is far superior to the premixed tea you are likely to get at other restaurants. But having said this, when I taste that flavor in my black iced tea, it disappoints me because I know it could be so much better without it.