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How can you prevent home made iced tea from clouding up?

asked by uws80 about 4 years ago
11 answers 13026 views
added about 4 years ago

Really glad you asked this, because I have been having the same problem and this is what I found.

Secrets To Making Clear Tea

When tea steeps, tannins (the natural compounds that color tea leaves) are released into the boiling water. The heat helps dissolve them, and the brew is clear enough to see through. Refrigeration can cause tannins to separate out again, turning the tea murky. Generally, higher-quality tea contains more tannins (because it is richer in solids) and is more likely to become cloudy.

Hard water can also make your iced tea cloudy. Also the minerals in your water could be causing the cloudiness. Try using bottled or filtered water and let the tea stand at room temperature for an hour after steeping.

Do not use cold water (use room temperature water).

Do not add ice to hot tea, only add the ice cubes to your drinking glass and then pour the tea over the ice cubes.

Do not put it straight into the refrigerator after it's made. Let it cool at room temperature first. THEN put it in the fridge. Cooling too fast makes the tannin settle out, causing cloudy tea.

If the tea turns murky in the refrigerator, add a cup of boiling water to one quart of tea - it should clear up the cloudiness. Remember, it will also dilute the tea, so add less ice.
Source: http://whatscookingamerica...

added about 1 month ago

I read four different articles on this topic an this one was by far the most helpful and informative on the topic. Thank you

added about 4 years ago

Thanks, let me know what success you've had. I don't add ice and let my tea cool before refridgerating, to no avail; I'll try fussing with the water. have been using Lyons and PG Tips.

added about 4 years ago

The boiling water should help.


Sam is a trusted home cook.

added about 4 years ago

I seem to be mentioning baking soda a lot recently.
But quite a few southern tea-recipes call for a pinch (1/8tsp) of baking soda.

It does a couple of softens out the tannins, and it binds up minerals in the water if you have have hard water which make the tea cloudy.

Diana B

Diana B is a trusted home cook.

added 29 days ago

Thank you for that idea! I use a Mr. Coffee iced tea maker, which essentially makes hot tea and drips it over a pitcher of ice, so the other suggestions here wouldn't work for me.

added 30 days ago

I tried putting pitcher w/tea bags and tap water in the sun a couple hours then into fridg and it works. No more cloudy tea!! Why? I don't know! But I'm glad. I tried adding boiling water trick and it works too. So, in winter I'll use boiling water trick.

Susan W

Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added 30 days ago

I make cold brew tea for sweet tea in the summer. I put the loose Assam tea and water into a big glass jar and let it sit on the counter overnight. I strain it into a pitcher the next morning. It's not cloudy at all. It's worth a try.


Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added 30 days ago

This was an interesting conversation on The Splendid Table on the subject of "sun tea" and why it is not a good idea. Think bacteria. http://www.splendidtable...

added 29 days ago

I brew tea in a carafe or pitcher w/lid in the fridge. No boiling required, and no risk of being held at a temperature that would allow pathogens to propagate. All you have to do is put your loose tea (in an infuser) or tea bags in the carafe (approximately 4 bags for typical , pour in your cold filtered water until its almost full but leaving a bit of space for sweetener/lemon juice if desired, cover and let it steep on its own for 6-12 hours. It brews itself, and no ice to dilute your tea. You can even reuse the loose tea/bags again to make another pitcher, but it will take a little longer the second time around.

added 29 days ago

Also, to keep this relevant to the OP's question, I read that the main reason brewed tea clouds up is because the rapid drop in temperature causes the dissolved tannins to come out of solution very quickly and form a cloudy precipitate. Some people who use hot water let the tea cool to room temperature, and then place in a not so cold part of the fridge so it can chill at a slower pace. Refrigerator tea, however, avoids this problem altogether. Fewer tannins release from the tea leaves in cold brewing, so not only will it not become cloudy, but it will also have a less astringent flavor (this also depends on the variety of tea you use, because some types of tea will have more tannins than others, and I am not aware of a list that measures various brands/varieties of tea for this. Just know that most every day black English breakfast teas (PG Tips, Twinings, etc.) do a fine job.