Thursday, May 22, 2014


Hi, my name is Ondine and I am an addict. For the last 6 years, I have been hooked on one thing; the McDonald's Iced Lemon Tea.

It first began when I fell ill while still nursing the twins. Falling ill while nursing meant that my milk supply plummeted. For someone feeding twin babies, that was really something close to a national emergency. To calm me down while I was flapping and impersonating a headless chicken, Packrat went out and bought me an iced lemon tea from McD's. It was something that I had already drunk a great deal as a young adult and was a great source of comfort.

I was thankful for the sweet and cold goodness. I am not sure what it was, whether it was the sugar, the tea in itself, the fact that I was taking long swigs of fluid or just that the tea put me in a happy place but my milk supply bounced right back up. Since then, my relationship with the iced lemon tea has been a one-sided one that borders on unhealthy.

It is a drink that now costs $3.10 - $3.35 and is chock full of sugar. Empty calories as my primary school health education teacher would say and while $3.35 is still much cheaper than the smallest drink at Starbucks, it is still quite a chunk of small change to shell out every day.

On the days when I've been incredibly stressed or exhausted, this acts like coffee for me. It rouses me from my sleep-deprived stupor and enables me to function. On really hot days, all the ice in there makes it a plenty refreshing drink. I used to drink it everywhere. If I didn't finish my cup, it would take residence in the fridge and I would have it as a 'pick me up' as and when I needed one.

The kids have learnt that if we swung by a MacD's drive through, it wasn't because I had had a change of heart and was buying them a Happy Meal. Most of the time, it meant that Mommy needed her fix. They learnt to holler "ONE LARGE ICED LEMON TEA, PLEASE!" at the drive through for me.

There have been many times in my life that I have tried to convince myself that I should wean myself off all this tea. The sugar and as I see myself inching surely toward 40, cutting back sugar would be prudent. But I've never been able to stay off from it long. Unfortunately, the fates of the stars and the cheapo management at McDonald's have taken away that decision from me.

Some months back, I ordered my usual fix and it didn't taste right. Then I realised it was happening more and more frequently. According to the their website, the tea was supposed to be 'a brisk blend of black tea and a refreshing spritz of lemon, served ice cold.' But it tasted like toe curling, cloying sweet syrup with perhaps a spritz of tea that deserved to be nowhere but the bin. It's tragic because even though it was McDs, the tea was something different. It wasn't brewed like the Carl's Jr one or the ones in the US and it definitely did not come out of a can. It had its own mark of identity and now they were swapping it for a generically bad tasting one.

I have taken to asking at McDs when I buy tea if they are serving the new or old one. This has been met with either surprise (that's usually good because that means they are still stocking the old tea) or knowing resignation as they nod their head and I thank them and prepare to leave, empty-handed.   I knew the day would come when the McDonalds nearest me would cross over to the dark side. But it still didn't prepare me when it happened. I genuinely felt depressed. 

Yes yes, how very first world of me to spend an entire post lamenting and whining over the loss of my favourite fast food beverage.  But seeing how much I have depended on it for the last 6 years, I think I'm allowed to whine just that little bit. 

We decided that this warranted some social media action so we've left messages on the McD's FB page as well as commenting on others complaining about this new tea nonsense by leaving the hashtag #macsnewicedteasucks. So, if you're like me and like the old McD's tea, spread the hashtag round too. It can't hurt and at least, it's our own little way of taking on the multi-nationals!'s Talkative Thursdays


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