I think what you'll find is that your taste buds perhaps have been "over-stimulated" by chemical soft drinks. The makers of these products do tons of research to find out what kinds of tastes will make people want to drink six and twelve packs a day of their product. So at first, teas, sparkling water, and water with lemon, lime, cucumber, etc. will taste bland. Eventually, once your senses recover from being bombarded by artificial flavors, you'll maybe wonder why you missed it.
I have a little drink I keep by me throughout the day. A little ACV, a little ground ginger, a couple of drops of stevia, and a lot of water. All the ingredients can be adjusted depending on whether I'm in the mood for sour, spicy, or sweet. It helped me stop missing Crystal Lite type drinks in about two weeks.
"Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine