Archive for July, 2008

Tea for Two … or Not

Sunday, July 20th, 2008

It is my solemn duty to announce the death of our long time friend, our iced-tea maker. It was a Salton 2-quart model, cost around $20 back then, and it has served us well since at least 1996.

Now, however, the brew button won’t push in, so we have to break down and get a new one — which, it turns out, is not easy. WalMart only had ONE model, a flimsy Mr. Coffee job that if infamous for its easily breakable/warpable pitcher. Linens & Things had NO models — they said they were sold out, and Bed Bath & Beyond had only a bigger version of the Mister Coffee model, with a poorly designed pitcher: The filter basket was build in to the pitcher lid, so the pitcher had to be 50 percent taller than the amount of tea it would hold! Target was little better, having only a weird, expensive but off-brand model in addition to the too-big Mr. Coffee model.

There is a Hamilton Beach model that looks really good and which has gotten good reviews on Amazon, but none of the stores carry it.

And of course, the Salton machine like we have, and which worked well above and beyond the call of duty, isn’t being made any more.

What the hell is wrong with American manufacturing and retail these days? I guess this is why the economy is down the tubes.

Oh sure, all those stores had dozens types of coffee makers, many with bizarre and frivolous (and expensive) options, but iced tea drinkers barely get noticed.

That’s another thing my wife and I have in common, fortunately, that we don’t drink coffee, and consume lots of iced tea — this is a hot locale we’re in, after all, so cold tea does make sense.

So why the almost total lack of choices when it comes to iced tea makers??

Somebody’s missing a big opportunity here.