A not-so-sweet choice

CNU’s tea choices are lacking

When prospective students are brought around our campus for what is likely the first time, they are shown many things, and told even more. Of all these things, perhaps the most initially appealing is the excellent pitch made for this university’s dining halls and services. I was excited by this potential, as I am a large fan of food. 

During my time as a student, I have only grown more fond, and appreciative, of the dining halls and all those who work in them. I’ve spent an alarming amount of time using Regattas as a study area and have had dozens of excellent burgers.  However, with all this praise, there is one area of our dining halls that is severely lacking, an area so essential I am shocked to believe it even needs to be addressed—sweet tea.

Many of our students at CNU come from regions where sweet tea is a primary drink choice, and the lack of a quality version of this drink can become a very real inconvenience, particularly if it was among their favorites before coming here. All this said, there is a real desire for the improvement of the tea quality, particularly sweet tea, here at CNU, and though there may be other issues that need to be addressed, this one could be a rather easy fix, and would go a long way for many people.  

Simply put, the quality of this university’s sweet tea is atrocious. It tastes as if water food coloring and sugar tries to pass as one of this region’s essential beverages. Despite NOVA’s insistence otherwise, our campus is still in the south. I would understand the poor quality of tea if we were in Massachusetts, but this is Virginia! How can such poor tea exist here? This large disappointment has led me to take expeditions outside of campus for drinkable tea, either acquiring Arizona brand from Harris Teeter, or even going all the way out to Bojangles, just so I have enjoyable tea.

What appears to be the greatest factor in this catastrophe is that Pepsi owns the Lipton brand of tea, which is what our cafeteria uses. Our school’s drink contract is with Pepsi, so this should hardly be surprising. It means that for the moment, we are stuck with the Lipton brand.  Bluntly, Lipton is not the best brand of tea, and probably doesn’t even make it into my own top five. That said, it does not excuse just how bad the tea is. Other steps can be taken, particularly in terms of the water, to produce better tea.

Now, I understand that making quality sweet tea can be difficult in a restaurant or cafeteria setting, as many other established restaurants have shown. 

However, it can be done well, even excellently, as many notable branches of established restaurants have achieved before. Just look at Bojangles, Chick-fil-a and McDonalds. If a fast food chain is capable, including, I see no reason why CNU can not do the same.

~Daniel Mosakewicz, Staff Writer~


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