Can you get iced tea in Paris?

Mar 17th, 2011, 11:48 PM
Original Poster
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Can you get iced tea in Paris?

I am a fifty year-old, para-menopausal iced tea drinker from way back, and I mean waaaaay back. I'll be in Paris for several weeks during the summer. I don't drink liquor. Will I be able to ask for and get iced tea there? If not;

1) Is there a way to say "Snapple" in French and get a positive reply?

2) If all else fails, is there a way to ask for plain hot tea and a big glass of ice?

3) Am I imposing my American culture too much and need to get over it? If so, is there a way to at least get a big glass of iced water without carbonation?!

4) What can I expect as a serving size? You know, I'm used to getting the huge glasses like you get in American restaurants and fast food joints. And I'm going to want a LOT of hydration during the summer in Paris.

Thoughts and suggestions?
ZiaGal is offline  
Mar 18th, 2011, 12:08 AM
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If you ask for iced tea chances are you'll get it in a can - usually lemon or peach flavored, made by Lipton or Twinings. As far as I know Snapple is not sold in France.
Size of a can is 33 cl, i.e. roughly 1/3 of a pint.
You can ask for thé and ice : un thé et des glaçons s'il vous plait.
You can ask for plain water with ice : un verre d'eau du robinet avec des glaçons or mineral water : un verre d'eau minerale sans gaz. It will come in a 25 cl glass (1/4th of a pint).
Pvoyageuse is offline  
Mar 18th, 2011, 12:08 AM
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Canned and bottled iced tea is very popular in France -- you will find it in every café and vending machine. It is almost invariably peach flavored. For other variations, you would generally have to go to the supermarket.
kerouac is online now  
Mar 18th, 2011, 12:12 AM
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You will also find those other things like Powerade in many places.

With a meal, you just ask for "une carafe d'eau," and if you need ice, they will bring you a token amount. In other words, try to get over the need for massive amounts of ice in every drink or you will be very unhappy.
kerouac is online now  
Mar 18th, 2011, 12:36 AM
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I think I remember seeing a promotion for iced tea somewhere in Paris one summer, but that isn't much help to you. Maybe it is on bistro drinks lists, I just haven't been looking for it. Watch out that it isn't Long Island iced tea, which is alcoholic.

Restaurants usually bring a carafe of cold water to your table without being asked or will bring it if you ask (no charge). Apple and other juices are available in very small serving bottles by US standards, but you can order two-- they are served with a glass of ice. I haven't seen the Snapple brand but try the nearest supermarket, also the most inexpensive place to stock up on bottled water and juices as well. McDonalds might do iced tea or possibly Starbucks, both have multiple locations in Paris.

Out of curiosity, I'll have a look in my local Leclerc next time I'm in there, it's a large nationwide grocery chain. Might be an idea to bring a jar of instant tea.

Are you trying to impose your culture? I think in a paying establishment, you have the right to ask for what you want, including hot tea and a glass of ice, but to graciously accept "no" as the answer. Actually, no one is likely to say no to that request but what drives me crazy is people who carry on and on about the lack of x, y, or z. If not available, just push on.

Hope you get some responses from iced tea drinkers.
Cathinjoetown is offline  
Mar 18th, 2011, 12:40 AM
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Wow, just what I thought, lots of people more observant than I.
Cathinjoetown is offline  
Mar 18th, 2011, 01:02 AM
Original Poster
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You guys are so wonderful. Thank you so much for all of your suggestions and help.
ZiaGal is offline  
Mar 20th, 2011, 02:20 AM
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I could not find a decent glass of iced tea in my travels to Paris or the south of France. The canned tea is sweetened either artificially or with fructose. Suggest that you pack an instant tea of your liking along with some baggies. Then when you go out in the morning take enough of the instant tea to get you through the day. You'll ask for water sans gas and mix away. I wouldn't try the hot tea idea - it's messy and you'll never get enough ice to make it work. Ice is just not as popular in Europe. You'll find plenty in hotels but generally speaking, you won't get a lot at your dinner table. You'll be fine if you improvise this way for an unsweetened drink, but if the canned products will work for you, you should be ok.
CYESQ is offline  
Mar 20th, 2011, 03:19 AM
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Lipton's Iced Tea (the most common product sold in Europe: its private label clones taste more or less the same) bears next to no resemblance to the stuff Americans drink.

Except possibly in a handful of places carering to the ethnic market in Paris or London, nowhere serves the American version. If you want nonalcoholic drinks iced to a level of absurdity, fuggedaboutit (and don't delude yourself trying to crusade for this American fad will achieve anything except getting you dismissed as yet another ill-mannered tourist)

If you want a cold, unsweetened, nonalcoholic drink, Europe's swarming with them. Citron or orange presse are the commonest in France. Or just ask a waiter what unsweetened nonalcohol they've got.
flanneruk is offline  
Mar 20th, 2011, 03:57 AM
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Besides Liptons you will also find Nestea canned ice tea, either at vending machines or snack bars.
If you don't like the real sugar, the equivalent for the US "diet XYZ" is "light" in Europe.
But it does not mean unsweetened, just that you have zero or few calories in it.
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Mar 20th, 2011, 04:02 AM
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4. A friend ordered a large iced tea a couple of years ago and got a large glass for E8. What a shock when the bill came!

BTW - the peach iced tea in Europe tastes like peach pits; a different taste from peach iced tea in the US, especially if you're used to peach Snapple.
adrienne is offline  
Mar 20th, 2011, 05:36 AM
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Iced tea in Europe tastes more like CDN iced tea - i.e. nothing like tea, alot like a sugary drink. Never seen Snapple here, but liipton iced tea is sweet. And like adrienne said about, soft drinks and drinks like this are quite expensive compared to local drinks and wine.
jamikins is offline  
Mar 20th, 2011, 06:53 AM
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Lipton has a corner on the instant and canned iced tea market in France. There is Liptonic, a lwmon-flavored fizzy iced tea, that you can buy at supermarkets and Monoprix, etc., in liter bottles, plus mostly peach and raspberry iced tea also sold in liter bottles in markets. If you look hard enough, you can find the lemon variety, which roughly approximates the instant Lipton lemon iced tea you can buy here in the USA at markets and mix yourself.

At restaurants and cafés if you order un thé glacé they are likely to ask you if you want peach or raspberry, then bring you a can, or a can poured into a glass, with or without ice. It's terribly sweet.

If you want "true" iced tea, order un thé et des glaçons - you can order a slice of lemon with it if you like.

If you ask for Snapple, no one will have a clue what you're talking about.

Your best bet if you're an instant iced tea addict (I am) is to go to a supermarket or Monoprix or Leader Price or Franxprix or whatever and buy a coupleof liter bottles of Lipton iced tea (lemon if you can find it). Pack it in a water bottle that you carry around with you during the day (please not a honking liter-size one), and supplement it with what you can find at cafés. Also try Liptonic - it's not bad!
StCirq is offline  
Mar 20th, 2011, 07:05 AM
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For sure, most of the iced tea served in cafes is sweetened.

I don't care for sweetened drinks. I always make sure I'll have a fridge where I'm staying and buy a case of bottled water. You could refill bottles from liter bottles, but it's easier to chill a few small bottles at a time.

When stopping in a cafe, Perrier with lime is nice, or Badoit for something not so fizzy. I've never had a problem getting plenty of ice.

You'll see many people (not that I am recommending this) with their own "packets" to add to water (Crystal Light, etc.). You could always pack some powdered tea. I do this with those tiny pill zip locks (available at any pharmacy) but do the mixing in the room or apartment.
djkbooks is offline  
Mar 20th, 2011, 07:08 AM
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ZiaGal, I do appreciate your passion for iced tea, but I'd also encourage you to explore possible French alternatives.

I've developed a real taste for bottled water with gas. This is a great non-alcoholic alternative when you're relaxing in a cafe... feels like something special. I normally order Badoit, and if that's not available, San Pellegrino. Very refreshing!

Our now-17 year old daughter orders a "sirop," (pronounced c-row) which is water flavored with a syrup. Usually you add water to the syrup (and a few ice cubes), so you can get the strength you like. Most places have several choices of the flavor, and you can also buy the sirop at the supermarket. Her favorites are grenadine, orgeat, and fraise-- she also likes to try new flavors. See this website for some more info: This may be something you'd enjoy experimenting with.

If you're going to be in Paris for several weeks, I'm sure you'll find a cafe that you'll frequent often and will be welcomed as a regular during your stay. Again, I'd encourage you to find a local non-alcoholic drink that you may find you love as much as iced tea.

KathyWood is offline  
Mar 20th, 2011, 07:44 AM
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There are two locations of "Breakfast in America" in Paris they serve homemade ice tea.
BeckieS is offline  
Mar 20th, 2011, 09:49 AM
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That is not exactly how I imagine the purpose of going to Paris, Beckie.

Frankly, ZiaGal, I would say to give the local Lipton Ice Tea a chance. In every country in the world, these huge multinationals create products for local tastes. I you want to understand the French, you should drink their iced tea. If you do not like it sweet, just do without. There are other things to drink. Europeans visiting the United States put up with the local drinks, which are often not to their liking.
kerouac is online now  
Mar 20th, 2011, 10:14 AM
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Ziagal - the good counsel you are getting from the old venerable reliable Fodorites above is absolutely consistent with my experience visiting Paris over the last 20 or so years. Living where I do, the idea of canned iced tea was just abhorrent, but I tried it and now enjoy it on occasion. The flavor is different than what you find in the US, but that's not exactly a surprise.

As to volume, do keep in mind that the "Big Gulp" hyper-sized drink has not caught on in Paris. In a restaurant, do not expect free refills, keep in mind that you will likely need to request a refill, and expect beverages to be priced considerably higher than what you would see in the US. If you drink four glasses of tea you will be charged for four.

If you are staying in an apartment you can always make your own - that's what we do. It may not be feasible to lug around the volume you usually consume at home, but you can fill your bottle in the AM and switch to water during the day. The tap water in Paris is absolutely fine, so refill your bottle when / where you can.
Seamus is offline  
Mar 20th, 2011, 10:22 AM
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Servings are generally very small and any large amount of ice is rare. And there are no free refills.

If you are going to a cafe you will probably need to explain that you want a double or triple size and that you want 5 or 6 ice cubes (typically if you ask for ice you get 1 or 2 cubes at most). Also realize that prices will be higher.

If staying in an apt or hotel with mini-fridge you may want to make your own and carry around in a thermos.

I like - and we always order a large size - water with carbonation - which will come cold - but not with ice. I confess when traveling about once a week I go to Mickey D's just to get a large size diet coke with tons of ice. So far - europe has simply not adopted gigantic drinks filled with ice cubes.
nytraveler is offline  
Mar 20th, 2011, 10:22 AM
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Although (most) of the Forum will no dbout explode with disdain, you can get Tazo iced tea at the Starbucks in Paris.

And they also sell their "frappuccino au the" - a very cold drink made from a combo of fruit teas.®.htm

And, FWIW, this is a hot drink but I find it very refreshing: Moroccan (or Tunisia etc) style tea with fresh mint leaves. A popular summer drink at many cafes. Make sure they're serving the real thing with fresh mint leaves in it, and not just mint-flavored tea in bags. I am not a big tea drinker, iced or otherwise, but once summer hits, I can't get enough of the stuff.
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