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Honest tea and Honesty
July 19, 2011 11:28 AM   Subscribe

Honest Tea has an unmanned iced tea stand set up at 5th and Market ih Philly today. You can watch a web camera to see if people are being honest and leaving a dollar for their tea or grabbing that iced tea and running.

There's a guy who restocks the iced tea every so often with cold ones, so it's not really technically unmanned, but, who wants warm iced tea in 94°F weather?
posted by yeoz (204 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
I want to see someone smash and grab the money box!
posted by ian1977 at 11:30 AM on July 19, 2011 [6 favorites]


Test Tea
posted by The Whelk at 11:30 AM on July 19, 2011


So... um... what exactly is that big box of dollar bills attached to?
posted by Faint of Butt at 11:30 AM on July 19, 2011


you could slip a wadded up piece of paper and the internets would be none the wiser.
posted by ian1977 at 11:31 AM on July 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


Honest tea also has some kind of marketing site up at http://www.honestcities.com/, but that felt a little too Pepsi Blue to link in the FPP itself.
posted by yeoz at 11:32 AM on July 19, 2011


The two girls that just walked up and waved at the camera before depositing their money kind of proves that it's not much of an experiment.
posted by ghharr at 11:32 AM on July 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


Wow, this company seems really interesting. Honest Tea, you say? That's very clever. Very easy to remember. Honest Tea. And by all accounts they seem to make really great iced tea. I'm definitely going to have to try out one of their beverages myself to see if they are as refreshing and delicious as they seem.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 11:32 AM on July 19, 2011 [26 favorites]


Iced tea at any time is pretty lousy, and bottle tea is just crappy. Freshly brewed hot tea at any time - even hot weather - is good.

I'd like to see the end result; how much did they spend in stock, and how much people actually put in the bucket. I'd also like to see a hour-by-hour correlation with temperature/weather - ie: the hotter it get, are people less decent, etc.
posted by Old'n'Busted at 11:33 AM on July 19, 2011


ah! I see the restocker guy!
posted by ian1977 at 11:33 AM on July 19, 2011


How do you make change?
posted by JohnnyGunn at 11:35 AM on July 19, 2011


I love Honest Tea, but I will never forgive them for discontinuing the 64oz jugs of Moroccan Mint Green tea. That stuff is like crack to me. Also, the Community Green tea is outstanding (WTF is a maltese orange anyway except for delicious) but they haven't rolled out big jugs of that yet so I'm not nearly as annoyed about it.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 11:35 AM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I do like that the sweetened teas I've tried from them are not sickeningly sweet like many other brands. Still very pricy for bottled teas though.
posted by gyc at 11:35 AM on July 19, 2011


I've seen way too many spoiled bottles of Honest Tea. Their caps fit poorly and often fail in transit. The result is goopy, slimy, and gross.
posted by ryanrs at 11:36 AM on July 19, 2011


Someone from the Devil Tea company should stand there and encourage people to steal.
posted by ian1977 at 11:36 AM on July 19, 2011 [15 favorites]


I have to break myself of the thought that if I watch long enough eventually someone in a gorilla suit will come and smash everything.
posted by ian1977 at 11:38 AM on July 19, 2011 [13 favorites]


If it works, it's a great idea for increasing corporate profits. Just like "self service" check-out at the grocery store, fueling station, etc: customers do the work of employees!

Imagine not having to pay anyone to watch the store or provide service to customers, yet being able to charge the same prices! It's just like stealing.
posted by three blind mice at 11:38 AM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Quick! MeFi Meetup in Philly on 5th and Market.
posted by codswallop at 11:40 AM on July 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


There's always money in the banana stand.
posted by Elmore at 11:40 AM on July 19, 2011 [43 favorites]


There's a reporter approaching everyone who grabs a bottle, in some cases before they deposit the money. Confound!
posted by quiet coyote at 11:41 AM on July 19, 2011


Hmmm. I'm trying to look at the NYC feed (more cities here), but I think someone stole the camera.
posted by Betelgeuse at 11:43 AM on July 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


SS+K, they did this... obama for america thing...
posted by nutate at 11:45 AM on July 19, 2011


Don't believe it, thier teas usually cost $1.75-2.25, not $1.
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:46 AM on July 19, 2011


Oh, you're right, there are more cameras on there. I had only tried the NYC one (which is where I live) and that didn't work so I thought they were all like that.
posted by yeoz at 11:46 AM on July 19, 2011


Hey, could someone in the area steal a few bottles of that stuff for me? Thanks.
posted by zarq at 11:46 AM on July 19, 2011


Panera did it better.
posted by quiet coyote at 11:47 AM on July 19, 2011


Boston currently leads with 97% honest. Seattle has the lowest at 66%.
posted by ericb at 11:48 AM on July 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


How do I change the prices? I want to run this Lemonade Stand into the ground!
posted by Eideteker at 11:50 AM on July 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


WWTMD (What Would Tracy Marrow Do?)
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 11:51 AM on July 19, 2011


You can watch a web camera to see people walking by in droves not giving a shit.
posted by Dr-Baa at 11:51 AM on July 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


Put up a stand next to it selling 50 cent lemonade with a sign reading "100% RAT URINE FREE". The lack of such a sign at Honest Tea will raise suspicion.
posted by The Whelk at 11:52 AM on July 19, 2011 [16 favorites]


You can watch a web camera to see people walking by in droves not giving a shit.

and slightly annoyed of having to walk around it.
posted by ian1977 at 11:52 AM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Put up a stand next to it selling 50 cent lemonade with a sign reading "100% RAT URINE FREE".

'Virtually rat urine free' would make the lawyers happy tho.
posted by ian1977 at 11:53 AM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Next they could have a pay-it-forward promotion, where do-gooders watch the feed from home and pay for people's drinks.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 11:53 AM on July 19, 2011


I'm a little concerned at the complete willingness of people to just imbibe liquid they found on the street just because it has a corporate logo over it.
posted by griphus at 11:53 AM on July 19, 2011 [18 favorites]


The Whelk: "Put up a stand next to it selling 50 cent lemonade with a sign reading "100% RAT URINE FREE". The lack of such a sign at Honest Tea will raise suspicion."

Run by Cut-Me-Own-Hand-Off Diblah Minya, naturally.
posted by zarq at 11:54 AM on July 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


If even a couple of people sign the agreement at my Feal Tea stand, I will be getting a rather good return for my investment.
posted by Wolfdog at 11:54 AM on July 19, 2011 [11 favorites]


griphus: "I'm a little concerned at the complete willingness of people to just imbibe liquid they found on the street just because it has a corporate logo over it."

Oh, please. I'm sure it's gwreh'ug;ibqe;n
posted by zarq at 11:55 AM on July 19, 2011 [5 favorites]


As a viral marketing concept, this is kind of cool. As a beverage, it's not very good tea. I find Honest Tea to be bitter and barely drinkable. I'll follow up that remark with a disclaimer that I am not much of a tea drinker and I'm really unqualified to express an informed decision on the subject. I do enjoy most unsweetened iced teas that I've tried though, so it's not like I'm just looking for sugar. This brand just doesn't do it for me, for some reason. Makes my palette wretch. Blegh.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 11:55 AM on July 19, 2011


Metafilter: bitter and barely drinkable
posted by ian1977 at 11:55 AM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm a little concerned at the complete willingness of people to just imbibe liquid they found on the street just because it has a corporate logo over it.

It's like we're doing the Joker's job for him.
posted by The Whelk at 11:56 AM on July 19, 2011 [14 favorites]


codswallop, I say we relocate the meetup. Drinks at 6th and Market!
posted by avoision at 11:57 AM on July 19, 2011


Links to the ustream channels for each of the cities they are doing this in:
Boston: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/836217
Wash, DC: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/8362170
Chicago: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/8362186
Dallas: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/8362188
San Fran: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/8362210
NYC: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/8362173
Philly: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/8362181
Cincinnati: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/8362216
Atlanta: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/8362191
Miami: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/8362201
LA: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/8362212
Seattle: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/8362203
posted by yeoz at 11:58 AM on July 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


it's the weirdest coincidence - "Honest Tea" sounds just like "honesty". small world.
posted by facetious at 12:01 PM on July 19, 2011 [3 favorites]



it's the weirdest coincidence - "Honest Tea" sounds just like "honesty". small world.

I guess Nass Tea tested poorly.

If this were a Humili Tea stand people would have to eat a cat turd to get a bottle of tea.
posted by ian1977 at 12:03 PM on July 19, 2011 [8 favorites]


How can i be honest with that camera and dude restocking all the time.

This is cool yeoz.
posted by clavdivs at 12:04 PM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Boston currently leads with 97% honest.

Funny, considering we're also the biggest assholes in the country.
posted by backseatpilot at 12:05 PM on July 19, 2011


I guess Nass Tea tested poorly.

Actually...
posted by Sys Rq at 12:07 PM on July 19, 2011 [5 favorites]


I call shenanigans, no way anyone who isn't a paid shill is walking around downtown Atlanta, especially not on a Tuesday in mid-July.
posted by dixiecupdrinking at 12:08 PM on July 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


Seattle has the lowest at 66%.

That sounds about right, heh.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:10 PM on July 19, 2011


Honest tea also has some kind of marketing site up at http://www.honestcities.com/, but that felt a little too Pepsi Blue to link in the FPP itself.

Actually, I think it would have been better and more transparent to include the marketing site. At first read, I didn't know "Honest Tea" was a brand/company. I thought it was an improv everywhere project or something like that.

That webcam is pretty bo-ring. I prefer Perfi Tea.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:12 PM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Would this count as using a person's likeness for commercial purposes without their consent?

Lawsuit! Lawsuit! Lawsuit!
posted by Sys Rq at 12:12 PM on July 19, 2011


i wish the seattle camera were set up downtown. it looks like it's in alki beach out in west seattle. silly idea, there aren't many people around there on weekdays when it's cloudy.
posted by thistle at 12:13 PM on July 19, 2011


On the Dallas Cam I just watched two Sorority-type gals fill their giant purses with bottles of Iced Tea & leave without paying. That's gotta knock down the ol' Honesty Meter a few pegs.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 12:13 PM on July 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


If you want a job counting the people, you can't be a drinker. They only want tea-totallers.

sorry
posted by Benny Andajetz at 12:13 PM on July 19, 2011 [11 favorites]


Seattle has the lowest at 66%.

Now down to 62%.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 12:14 PM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


> Iced tea at any time is pretty lousy

You just challenged the entire South to a duel, sir. It's possible to brew and serve delicious iced tea.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 12:14 PM on July 19, 2011 [12 favorites]


When I checked the stream the first guy I saw was definitely stuck in a moral quandary and also looked exactly like Charlie Day, which made me smile.
posted by Navelgazer at 12:16 PM on July 19, 2011


I'd like to see a webcam watching the interns at Honest Tea's offices, spending the day tallying each dollar not/dropped.
posted by adamms222 at 12:16 PM on July 19, 2011


it doesn't surprise me that seattle has the lowest percentage. people here have an unbelievable sense of entitlement.
posted by thistle at 12:16 PM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Horselover Phattie: "You just challenged the entire South to a duel, sir. It's possible to brew and serve delicious iced tea."

Yes, except southerners insist on dumping POUNDS of sugar into it. It's really quite nasty.
posted by schmod at 12:17 PM on July 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


Wait a sec-- I was wrong! I think those were the restockers. Or at least one of those gals was a restocker. Perhaps my hometown is honest after all!
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 12:17 PM on July 19, 2011


Lol'd at the guys who thumbs-upped the camera and pretended to take the box of money. I'd just started reading this thread when they did that and it was a nice "oh hey they're thinking the same thing!"
posted by biochemist at 12:18 PM on July 19, 2011


The Winsome Parker Lewis, I am a (daily) tea drinker and I must say I find Honest Tea to be the most drinkable of all bottled iced teas. I think the reason it tastes bitter to some is that it's one of the few bottle varieties that is not insanely loaded with sugar. (At home I take my tea without sugar. Even chai. I also drink dark roast coffee without sugar and put 70% cocoa dark chocolate in my hot cocoa. And I like Guinness. In fact I love pretty much every bitter dark drink ever invented by humanity or nature. So . . . )

(This message about the lovely natural bitterness of Honest Tea NOT brought to you by Honest Tea. Just by a woman who lives on the Iced Tea / Sweet Tea Line of Demarcation and is really, really sick of the steady encroachment of sickly-sweet Lipton. Ugh.)
posted by BlueJae at 12:18 PM on July 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


You just challenged the entire South to a duel, sir. It's possible to brew and serve delicious iced tea.

I was born in the South. I've lived in the South my whole life. I love iced tea - unsweetened. You should see the looks I get when I order it. My heritage, my parentage and my mental acuity are instantly called into question every time.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 12:20 PM on July 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


Okay-- a dude with a shopping bag over his head just walked off with three iced teas and didn't pay a dime. I've got to stop watching this-- I'm getting Moral Whiplash.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 12:20 PM on July 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


I call shenanigans, no way anyone who isn't a paid shill is walking around downtown Atlanta

I'm in North Carolina and just walked outside - I concur. It's umpty billion degree outside.

Also, I like Gold Peak. I buy two things of unsweet and one thing of sweet and mix them accordingly in a pitcher I keep in the fridge. Until I've used enough unsweet to pour the rest of the sweet into the unsweet bottles.

They need to make a tea that doesn't require me to do interview question style measuring shenanigans to get it right.

I have also had issues with Honest Tea's bottling not being the best. I don't know where they bottle their tea, but they need to go elsewhere.
posted by winna at 12:22 PM on July 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm wondering why the Seattle box is getting worse rates....it could have less to do with the people themselves, and more to do with the way the display is set up. The stands are set up in a line, which creates less of a space (and maybe less of a feeling of involvement or owing if you just grab one). Also the money box is to the side, which defuses it as a visual reminder that other people have paid.

I am going to go ahead and blame the different percentages on the experiment, not on the cities themselves.
posted by erinfern at 12:23 PM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also, I like Gold Peak. I buy two things of unsweet and one thing of sweet and mix them accordingly in a pitcher I keep in the fridge. Until I've used enough unsweet to pour the rest of the sweet into the unsweet bottles.

Why not just buy unsweet and add sugar?
posted by ian1977 at 12:24 PM on July 19, 2011


I'm in North Carolina and just walked outside - I concur. It's umpty billion degree outside.

Also, I like Gold Peak. I buy two things of unsweet and one thing of sweet and mix them accordingly in a pitcher I keep in the fridge. Until I've used enough unsweet to pour the rest of the sweet into the unsweet bottles.


I'm dubious of anyone in North Carolina claiming they mix sweet and unsweet tea; diabetes is the POINT of ice tea right?
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 12:25 PM on July 19, 2011


> Yes, except southerners insist on dumping POUNDS of sugar into it. It's really quite nasty.

No, no. That would be "sweet tea". Iced tea is what you make of it. Usually with a twist of lime or lemon.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 12:25 PM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Someone caught a screen shot of the guy with the bag on his head in Dallas.
posted by yeoz at 12:27 PM on July 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm a little concerned at the complete willingness of people to just imbibe liquid they found on the street just because it has a corporate logo over it.

No kidding! I don't need no stinking corporate logo!

*elbows pigeons out of way, slurps from iridescent puddle*
posted by Greg Nog at 12:27 PM on July 19, 2011 [16 favorites]


I'm in North Carolina and just walked outside - I concur. It's umpty billion degree outside.

How about sending some of those degrees over here? I'm sitting in Seattle for the moment where the temperature is about the same as the Mariners' team batting average.
posted by three blind mice at 12:29 PM on July 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


Put on some Dazzle Camouflage and make off with a rack of them
posted by The Whelk at 12:29 PM on July 19, 2011


"Someone caught a screen shot of the guy with the bag on his head in Dallas"

Hey, I recognize that guy.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 12:34 PM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm dubious of anyone in North Carolina claiming they mix sweet and unsweet tea; diabetes is the POINT of ice tea right?

I am a defective North Carolinian. :( I can't drink tea too sweet - it stops being tea and starts being syrup.
posted by winna at 12:34 PM on July 19, 2011


Put up a stand next to it selling 50 cent lemonade with a sign reading "100% RAT URINE FREE".

"Come in with your kids... LEAVE with your kids! That's the Fairsley difference."
posted by FatherDagon at 12:41 PM on July 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


i still wish the seattle camera were downtown, where there are more people from out of town. i'd like to see if there were a higher percentage of people leaving dollars.
posted by thistle at 12:41 PM on July 19, 2011


Reminds me of the story of the guy who delivered honor system bagels to offices in his city. Good stuff.

But I want to see a graph that plots the likelihood of someone paying for their tea against the number of bystanders visible in the frame.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 12:50 PM on July 19, 2011


I'm headed to the Dallas store with a knapsack and an evil plan. I'll be there in maybe 15 minutes, tops. Watch for me!
posted by item at 12:54 PM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


There was a news crew at the LA site a few minutes ago.
posted by yeoz at 12:56 PM on July 19, 2011


What did the sign the Dallas person was holding say? He keeps walking around pestering people.

Also, what pattern are the black bricks supposed to be? It looks like it's at a different level than the red bricks?

This is kind of absorbing.
posted by winna at 12:58 PM on July 19, 2011


I went to their dumb website and answered their dumb popup question about whether you'd pay or not, then they tried to redirect me to Facebook to redeem some coupon.

As such, I change my answer. You steal my browser, I steal your stupid tea.
posted by ernielundquist at 12:59 PM on July 19, 2011 [8 favorites]


I'm not sure where the Atlanta one is, but it appears to be one of our many public places seemingly only made for tourists and not folks who live here. We have enough sense not to be out on a sizziling, sun baked plaza with no shade in sight.
posted by stormygrey at 1:00 PM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I went to their dumb website and answered their dumb popup question about whether you'd pay or not, then they tried to redirect me to Facebook to redeem some coupon.
That's part of the reason why I didn't link their site in the FPP. The whole facebook stuff is fucking annoying.
posted by yeoz at 1:01 PM on July 19, 2011 [5 favorites]


How about sending some of those degrees over here? I'm sitting in Seattle for the moment where the temperature is about the same as the Mariners' team batting average.

...Depressing? *rimshot*
posted by xedrik at 1:03 PM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I keep seeing people with backpacks and thinking it's item. Oh look, a tall guy with a backpack! That is.. no, he walked on. A guy with a hat and a backpack! That must be item... no, he kept going.

A bird! That.. no, that's probably not item. It doesn't have a backpack.
posted by winna at 1:03 PM on July 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Although I get the feeling I would've gotten more favorites if I had though.
posted by yeoz at 1:03 PM on July 19, 2011


Although I get the feeling I would've gotten more favorites if I had though.

Or it could've spawned a giant fight. This way was nicer. I will go give you a favorite in honor of it!
posted by winna at 1:07 PM on July 19, 2011


stormygrey, it looks like Centennial Olympic Park to me. So yeah, basically.
posted by dixiecupdrinking at 1:08 PM on July 19, 2011


There are easier ways to prove that people in Philadelphia are criminals.
posted by IvoShandor at 1:08 PM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've liked the taste of this brand when I've had it in the past, but as far as this publicity stunt goes, I am not sure that "honest" tea = "video people without their knowledge and judge them if they don't live up to our moral standards" tea. It rubs me the wrong way (even speaking as a compulsively honest person who wouldn't take one if I didn't have the cash to leave).
posted by aught at 1:13 PM on July 19, 2011


The Boston stand looked like it was very busy. New Yorkers keep staring at the money box suspiciously.
posted by MegoSteve at 1:13 PM on July 19, 2011


That kid lurking at the Dallas location to shill something at people is annoying. I'm wondering why they don't send someone to drive him off, if he's not associated with the project.

I don't think he is, because I don't see his counterparts at the other locations.
posted by winna at 1:16 PM on July 19, 2011


I've always cringed at the 'Honest Tea' moniker. It's so out of place on a bottle that's visually deceptive about the amount of liquid inside. Lift one of those little fuckers up and you see that the bottom of the bottle is bubbled up over an inch. A good part of the bottom half of those drinks is hollow.

It's an Honest Swindle, if anything.
posted by carsonb at 1:16 PM on July 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm headed to the Dallas store with a knapsack and an evil plan. I'll be there in maybe 15 minutes, tops. Watch for me!
posted by item at 3:54 PM


That kid lurking at the Dallas location to shill something at people is annoying. I'm wondering why they don't send someone to drive him off, if he's not associated with the project.
posted by winna at 4:16 PM

Hmmm....
posted by Dr-Baa at 1:17 PM on July 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


A man in a blue shirt just walked up to the money box and real quickly checked the bottom with both hands to see if it's loose to grab. It didn't budge, and he turned and hustled off.
posted by longsleeves at 1:18 PM on July 19, 2011


winna, I think he's a homeless guy panhandling, though, a poster on another board says "I'm pretty sure he's one of our local conspiracy theorists. They like to sell pamphlets.".

Dr-Baa, that guy has been there since before item said he would go.
posted by yeoz at 1:18 PM on July 19, 2011


Honest Tea! I'm so glad my favorite beverage has made it to Metafilter. On a hot day, there's nothing better than relaxing in my hammock with some Honest Tea. The name gives me a chuckle, and there's nothing better than sipping a delicious frosty beverage after mowing the lawn and doing some extreme sports. In fact I skateboard while mowing the lawn as my beautiful wife pours me some Honest Tea. She loves it too, in her white low-cut blouse with modestly visible nipples! Honest Tea is so much better than soda or milk, and when we have pool parties at our spacious house, the kids do cannonballs off the diving board as we all hoist a perspiring glass with crystalline ice cubes and laugh like our chiseled teeth might shatter at any moment.
Facebook | Twitter
posted by benzenedream at 1:19 PM on July 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm hoping item leaves the tea, but takes down all the signage, rolls it up into his backpack, pays his dollar and takes off.
posted by mikepop at 1:20 PM on July 19, 2011


Maybe when item shows up we can find out if the guy is explaining the evils of the Trilateral Commission and the greys' plot to steal our vital essence.
posted by winna at 1:20 PM on July 19, 2011


i bet item is going to fill the money box with biting ants
posted by Greg Nog at 1:21 PM on July 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


There's been a disappointing lack of mooning on these cameras.
posted by MegoSteve at 1:22 PM on July 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Apparently people have no problem with taking wet naps without paying.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 1:22 PM on July 19, 2011


Okay, good- I'm sure item has something more interesting planned.
posted by Dr-Baa at 1:24 PM on July 19, 2011


There he is, I think!
posted by Dr-Baa at 1:25 PM on July 19, 2011


Oh hey! That's a metafilter shirt!
posted by yeoz at 1:25 PM on July 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


benzenedream: "She loves it too, in her white low-cut blouse with modestly visible nipples!"

See, that's how you sell tea.
posted by zarq at 1:25 PM on July 19, 2011


He's going to take ALL THE TEAZ, isn't he?

This is exciting.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 1:27 PM on July 19, 2011


That big white puffy dog that just walked by has a funny tail. It's like a furry corkscrew.
posted by winna at 1:30 PM on July 19, 2011


item, you thief! :O
posted by yeoz at 1:31 PM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm simply appalled at how many folks are indeed just walking off with a bottle or two, as if casual theft is OK. I'm also appalled at how many folks keep "testing" the display, ostensibly to see if carting off the deposit box is feasible.

Have we, honestly, fallen so low?
posted by FormlessOne at 1:31 PM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Apparently people have no problem with taking wet naps without paying.

I think you mean wet-naps. Wet naps are something different, and free of charge.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:31 PM on July 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


Okay, people are replacing teas with bottles of something else?

This has really ruined my productivity. MUST KNOW THE ANSWER.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 1:31 PM on July 19, 2011


(hopefully item can report back on who the crazy red cap guy is too)
posted by yeoz at 1:31 PM on July 19, 2011


Oh, that was an employee. Disappointed. Back to work.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 1:32 PM on July 19, 2011


That was my idea of an amusing prank, PhoB. Replacing the tea with beer or something.

But then you'd maybe get in trouble for distributing alcohol to minors or something and it would be a bad time for all.
posted by winna at 1:32 PM on July 19, 2011


What would be perfect is if an enterprising homeless person were to set up business in front of the display, selling people their teas.
posted by markkraft at 1:34 PM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Have we, honestly, fallen so low?

Read police reports from the 19th century; we've always been this low. Everyone has.

Lower, in fact.
posted by aramaic at 1:35 PM on July 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Some dude just hit on the bottle replacement lady. She gave him short shrift!
posted by winna at 1:36 PM on July 19, 2011


Crazy Red Cap guy in Dallas now has a chair. *mind boggles*
posted by yeoz at 1:36 PM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I wonder if Honest Tea stole the Dallas newspaper guy's corner?
posted by MegoSteve at 1:38 PM on July 19, 2011


We're not going to be able to see how many people would be dishonest, because they'll assume he's part of the project.

Dallas is being kept on the straight and narrow by their homeless and/or conspiracy-prone population!
posted by winna at 1:38 PM on July 19, 2011


Dallas: What did I just see with a blonde lady loading up a black bag with 20 or 30 teas and walking off? I just tuned in so I'm not up on what's going on there.
posted by crapmatic at 1:38 PM on July 19, 2011


She's restocking. She and her partner in the yellow and black have been restocking constantly. More than they are selling.
posted by MegoSteve at 1:39 PM on July 19, 2011


She's the bottle replacement lady. I think when the bottles get hot they replace them.

Which since it's summer, is probably every eighteen seconds.
posted by winna at 1:39 PM on July 19, 2011


Update: Oh, ok, I guess she works there... I wonder if they're rotating some of the items into a cooler.
posted by crapmatic at 1:39 PM on July 19, 2011


Dallas: What did I just see with a blonde lady loading up a black bag with 20 or 30 teas and walking off? I just tuned in so I'm not up on what's going on there.

Yup.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 1:40 PM on July 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Those gals were just restocking, I think. They take out the warm ones and replace them with cold ones. I wonder if they have a flash freezer or something near by.
posted by yeoz at 1:40 PM on July 19, 2011


Wait, she's working with the other woman? I haven't seen her since she walked off.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 1:40 PM on July 19, 2011


Well now I feel bad.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 1:40 PM on July 19, 2011


Yeah, that really kind of ruins the experiment, actually because people are interacting with the restockers and all. Harumph.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 1:41 PM on July 19, 2011


I think vest guy hid one in his vest before he sailed off, but I'm not sure.
posted by winna at 1:42 PM on July 19, 2011


This could be a new cable channel. I hear Rupert Murdoch is looking for new ideas.
posted by MegoSteve at 1:42 PM on July 19, 2011


I wonder if the red cap guy is selling homeless newspapers like they do in some other places.
posted by yeoz at 1:43 PM on July 19, 2011


item's not back yet. Did he get picked up by Honest Tea goons?
posted by MegoSteve at 1:45 PM on July 19, 2011


Red Cap guy is back! I guess he had his mandated ten-minute break from panhandling.
posted by winna at 1:47 PM on July 19, 2011


One dude just walked through, picked one up, waved it like a trophy and kept on trucking.
posted by winna at 1:49 PM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Someone just swiped one and then held his arms up like he won the heavyweight championship.
posted by MegoSteve at 1:49 PM on July 19, 2011


I'm simply appalled at how many folks are indeed just walking off with a bottle or two, as if casual theft is OK.

Is it casual theft? People that don't pay still play a valuable role in the "social experiment" and for their participation get free iced tea.
posted by Lorin at 1:50 PM on July 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


The water bottle delivery guy keeps crossing back and forth. He looks longingly at the tea each time, but does not partake.

I'm imagining a scenario in which his contract for being a water bottle delivery guy forbids him to partake of any liquid other than his water.
posted by winna at 1:52 PM on July 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


Which since it's summer, is probably every eighteen seconds.

The weather here in DFW has really been testing my commitment to taking the train to work. Even in the morning, the 20 minute walk from the station to the office leaves me sweating like a pig. Way worse in the afternoon. At least the AC hasn't broken down in any of the train cars this season. *knock on wood*
posted by kmz at 1:52 PM on July 19, 2011


I'm imagining a scenario in which his contract for being a water bottle delivery guy forbids him to partake of any liquid other than his water.

Water bottles everywhere and not a drop to drink?
posted by kmz at 1:54 PM on July 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Watch for the big guy with a haircut like Tenille's who is dressed all in black with shorts and a backpack - he takes one each time he crosses the plaza like a smooth criminal.

Even in the morning, the 20 minute walk from the station to the office leaves me sweating like a pig.

I have often thought they should market those race cool suits to people who live in hot climates. They'd have to put the converter on a suitcase trolley.

Oh! There are some young men trying to figure out how the box for the money is fastened to the ground! But they paid and walked away. Their mothers must be proud.
posted by winna at 1:57 PM on July 19, 2011


The MrsMoonPie (aka eviltiff) paying for it in DC.
posted by MrMoonPie at 1:57 PM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hi all. I just got home. I put a fiver in an envelope and took 12 teas. I only meant to take 10, but I guess I can't count - I thought I'd taken only six, so I went back and grabbed four more. Turns out I'd gotten eight. Oh well.

I dropped 10 of the teas off at a local shelter/food bank, as I'm not a complete dick. They were gone before I left the building.

And yeah, it's *hot*out here, motherfucking hot, otherwise my vain ass wouldn't be caught dead in shorts and flip-flops. As for the Mefi shirt, I'd forgotten I was wearing it until the drive home. Heh.
posted by item at 1:59 PM on July 19, 2011 [13 favorites]


Aww! That is a cute skirt!

The money slot must be very narrow - I've noticed people are having a hard time getting the dollar into the receptacle.
posted by winna at 2:00 PM on July 19, 2011


Oh yeah, and the red-hatted guy with the papers was a homeless gentleman selling "Street News" or whatever it's called. He was kind of aggressive and I did my best to avoid him.
posted by item at 2:01 PM on July 19, 2011


I'm going to walk up to one of these and put four bottles back. Honest.
posted by Ron Thanagar at 2:02 PM on July 19, 2011


Seriously? 148 comments and no 'proper tea is theft' joke?
posted by knapah at 2:04 PM on July 19, 2011 [10 favorites]


There's a guy in a chef's coat casing the joint. Now he's come over and is inspecting each type of tea. He paid!

No one is using change.

The body language as people confront the project is really interesting. I'm trying to see if I can tell who will hork one or not. Right now my theory is that the people who are most cautious/apprehensive in body language will either not take one or will pay.
posted by winna at 2:06 PM on July 19, 2011


I've always cringed at the 'Honest Tea' moniker. It's so out of place on a bottle that's visually deceptive about the amount of liquid inside. Lift one of those little fuckers up and you see that the bottom of the bottle is bubbled up over an inch. A good part of the bottom half of those drinks is hollow.

It's an Honest Swindle, if anything.


Why the bottle bottom is indented.
posted by The Deej at 2:07 PM on July 19, 2011 [6 favorites]


That would be a great explanation, if it weren't for the fact that I remember their glass bottles were also very heavily indented in the same way.
posted by winna at 2:10 PM on July 19, 2011


The man who looks like Donald Trump wants to look just walked by. Imagine Fabio's hair on Trump's body.
posted by winna at 2:11 PM on July 19, 2011


Is there anything written on the displays at all, or is just the logo?
posted by user92371 at 2:12 PM on July 19, 2011


A very basic description of bottle punts (that's what the little indentations are called) at CellarNotes.
posted by FormlessOne at 2:14 PM on July 19, 2011


Man, this stuff sucks. It's like watered-down good tea.
posted by item at 2:15 PM on July 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


I seriously just poured out half of the Honest Tea half lemonade / half tea I was drinking. It wasn't terrible, it just tasted like someone took a Sweet Leaf Half & Half, drank half of it, then filled it back up with tap water. Boring with a capital 'B'.

I am no longer regretting not grabbing more of the things to donate to the food bank. I actually would've grabbed more, but I was double parked and there was a cop looming nearby.
posted by item at 2:25 PM on July 19, 2011


Ice Tea delivery within 1 block radius: $2 (includes free IceTea)!
posted by blue_beetle at 2:26 PM on July 19, 2011


Iced tea at any time is pretty lousy,

You could not be more wrong.

Though it was impossible to find good restaurant iced tea when I was in New York. Texas at least gets that right.
posted by emjaybee at 2:27 PM on July 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Does anyone know what charity they're donating the money in the big clear boxes to?
posted by item at 2:30 PM on July 19, 2011


I understand the wordplay, but what message is this sending?

I would like the tea that surveils its customers for theft in multiple cities from its headquarters in Washington, DC, please. Mmmm dystopia.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 2:32 PM on July 19, 2011


Then there's WASPy Smirnoff Raw Tea -- 'Tea Partay.'
posted by ericb at 2:32 PM on July 19, 2011


Impromptu metafilter meetup: Tea stand style!
posted by biochemist at 2:34 PM on July 19, 2011


Just watched a homeless guy in NYC push his shopping cart of recyclables into view and examine the display of drinks before pulling a dollar out of his pocket, sticking it in the box, and taking a drink. What is the world coming to...
posted by gracchus at 2:36 PM on July 19, 2011 [10 favorites]


I'm really enjoying what people's reviews of Honest Tea tell me about their palates.
posted by box at 2:37 PM on July 19, 2011


planker in dallas
posted by yeoz at 2:43 PM on July 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


^^--- A guy in the dallas stream was planking and the restocking girl came to see if he was alive...
posted by yeoz at 2:45 PM on July 19, 2011


box: Does mine tell you that I'd rather not shell out money for weak-tasting sugar water, that if in going to drink tea I'd rather brew it myself, and if I'm going to purchase ore-bottled tea I'd rather not have the company skimp on the amount of ingredients in the name of "honesty"?
posted by item at 2:47 PM on July 19, 2011


I used to buy this stuff a lot, and I probably have a leftover glass bottle or two lying around somewhere (I like glass bottles. What?). I don't remember the bottle having much of a punt.
And I like the black tea, and never got a bad one. Different standards for different cities, maybe?
posted by Mister Moofoo at 2:47 PM on July 19, 2011


ore = pre
posted by item at 2:48 PM on July 19, 2011


I was born in the South. I've lived in the South my whole life. I love iced tea - unsweetened. You should see the looks I get when I order it. My heritage, my parentage and my mental acuity are instantly called into question every time.

Our family has a theory that there is an iced tea line somewhere in the south that divides default sweet tea from default unsweetened tea. And yes, we are unsweetened partisans. It's at the dinner table at all family dinners, much like milk up here in Minnesota.
posted by norm at 2:50 PM on July 19, 2011


there is an iced tea line somewhere in the south

Like this?
posted by Mister Moofoo at 2:53 PM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Honest Tea has what plants crave.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 3:08 PM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Like this?

Incredible. Ask and ye shall receive. And as a commenter noted, Louisville is right on the line, exactly as I remember.
posted by norm at 3:09 PM on July 19, 2011


> Seattle has the lowest at 66%

That's because their iced tea stand just reminds us that it is not iced tea weather here, and we get mad, and we steal stuff.
posted by The corpse in the library at 3:24 PM on July 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


That's because their iced tea stand just reminds us that it is not iced tea weather here, and we get mad, and we steal stuff.

If you really want 105+ (feels like 120!) days, I'll totally trade you our weather.
posted by kmz at 3:37 PM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Where is that Chicago stand? I want to go get me some tea (intentionally ambiguous)
posted by rtimmel at 3:41 PM on July 19, 2011


Imagine Fabio's hair on Trump's body.

No thank you, I prefer being able to sleep at night.
posted by elizardbits at 3:53 PM on July 19, 2011


Imagine Fabio's hair on Trump's body.

Imagine a goose flying kamikaze into Trump's face while he's riding a rollercoaster.
posted by Sys Rq at 3:58 PM on July 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


Imagine there is no Fabio, even for a day....
posted by The Whelk at 4:00 PM on July 19, 2011


Imagine there's no Fabio, it's easy if you try...
posted by biochemist at 4:03 PM on July 19, 2011


Apparently the cops shut down the Dallas location.
posted by yeoz at 4:07 PM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


That's more tea for the DPD - those fuckers are corrupt. Ever seen The Thin Blue Line?
posted by item at 4:13 PM on July 19, 2011


That's more tea cash for the DPD
posted by Sys Rq at 4:17 PM on July 19, 2011


Try doing this across the river in Camden.
Now thats entertainment
posted by Fupped Duck at 4:32 PM on July 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


How often are the numbers being updated? Seattle currently says 96% honest, and LA is the worst at 88% honest. Or is it 88% dishonest, since it's in red?
posted by danny the boy at 4:38 PM on July 19, 2011


So, basically they are giving away "free" samples but asking people to pay $1 (honour code). AND they're getting extra attention and publicity, both online and off. Smart. Perhaps I'm wrong, but I don't think that this is their actual business model (I would visit their site but I'm leery of the whole facebook-forwarding thing) but more of a promotional/viral marketing/old fashioned marketing type thing.

Either way, it's bizarrely entertaining to watch. I just can't stop watching it!
posted by 1000monkeys at 5:03 PM on July 19, 2011


ian1977: "I have to break myself of the thought that if I watch long enough eventually someone in a gorilla suit will come and smash everything."

So you didn't see the guy in the gorilla suit then?
posted by bwg at 5:04 PM on July 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


facetious: "it's the weirdest coincidence - "Honest Tea" sounds just like "honesty". small world."

Honest Tea is such a lonely word
Everyone is so untrue
Honest Tea is hardly ever heard
And mostly what I need from you
posted by bwg at 5:06 PM on July 19, 2011


In place of the dallas live feed, which is dead (damn cops!), they put up the last recorded feed, which includes item in a metafilter t-shirt putting money into the box. :)
It's much better in motion though I guess. Around 1h40m in the video (603 megabytes), though you can just stream via the link above.
posted by yeoz at 5:11 PM on July 19, 2011


So you didn't see the guy in the gorilla suit then?

This was pretty close, I think.
posted by yeoz at 5:18 PM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


they tried to redirect me to Facebook to redeem some coupon.

As such, I change my answer. You steal my browser, I steal your stupid tea.
They're "stealing your browser" by giving it instructions which it's been preconfigured to follow by your computer's owner or his representative. This is the same sense in which Metafilter is "stealing" the browsers of people who hate the color blue. Less so; people like us who mostly dislike redirects can disable them precisely, whereas it's hard to disable blue-backgrounded websites without also taking red, green, pixmap wallpaper, etc. down at the same time.
posted by roystgnr at 6:16 PM on July 19, 2011


I'm confused. Isn't Philadelphia on the East side of the US? I'm in Toronto, which I think is more west than PA, so how come it's still really bright out there but it's darker out here? I mean, I know I'm more northern but still...is it really that bright out this late?
posted by 1000monkeys at 6:20 PM on July 19, 2011


is it really that bright out this late?
After they shut down they replaced the live streams with recorded footage. I think the event is over in most of the locations by now.
posted by yeoz at 6:26 PM on July 19, 2011


Ohhhhh. Wow, now I feel better (or perhaps dumber) lol. Thanks for explaining that yeoz. For the past couple hours, I thought that I was watching live streaming :-/
posted by 1000monkeys at 6:30 PM on July 19, 2011


5th and Market this time of year is full of tourists. I wonder if tourists are more or less likely to pay.
posted by madcaptenor at 7:06 PM on July 19, 2011


I saw eviltiff waving when I was at work! :D

I was going to point my bf to the San Francisco live feed, but I figured those palm trees waving in the breeze would just make him homesick...
posted by Wuggie Norple at 8:33 PM on July 19, 2011


Apparently the cops shut down the Dallas location.

I blame that red cap guy.
posted by winna at 10:00 PM on July 19, 2011


Every once in a while, I'll reach into the cooler at work and without noticing that I haven't grabbed a "Just Green Tea," I'll take a sip of "Nastymint Surprise," which they call "Moroccan Mint Green Tea."
posted by Hello Dad, I'm in Jail at 4:32 AM on July 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Protip: When ordering iced tea in the South, order half sweetened half unsweetened. Particularly if you are at a barbecue restaurant.

As for Honest Tea, I have never forgiven them for dropping First Nation Peppermint, which was yummy.
posted by wittgenstein at 4:57 AM on July 20, 2011


On the Dallas Cam I just watched two Sorority-type gals...

What do "Sorority-type gals" look like?
posted by mrgrimm at 10:45 AM on July 20, 2011


You may be shocked to learn, roystgnr, that my claim that they were stealing my browser was meant as a tongue in cheek reference to my dislike of browser redirects and pushy Facebook integrations, and was not intended literally.

My comment was simply a shortcut to telegraph my disapproval of those tactics, and my low opinion of corporate websites that use them.

Allow me to take this opportunity to also clarify that I'm not actually going to steal any tea.
posted by ernielundquist at 12:16 PM on July 20, 2011


I just got back shopping at a Shaw's supermarket. Upon entering the first -- and very prominent -- 'end cap' was an Honest Tea display. I suspect it's all coordinated with this 'guerilla marketing' campaign.
posted by ericb at 2:33 PM on July 20, 2011


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