View Full Version : Why is My Tea Cloudy?
11-20-2004, 08:50 PM
Hello, my name is Lissa, and I'm an iced-tea junkie. In fact, it comprises 99% of my liquid intake, so, as you can imagine, I make a lot of it.
My latest gallon has developed an interesting phenomenon. When chilled, it is ver cloudy-- almost milky looking, but when it warms to room temperature, it's perfectly clear.
I've never had this happen before, and I'm perplexed. I'm using the same brand of tea bags, the same amount and method . . . nothing has changed but the appearance of my tea. It tastes the same, smells the same . . . it's just opaque.
What could be the cause?
11-20-2004, 08:54 PM
It can be caused by hard water.
It can also be caused by chilling the tea too quickly. When the tea is cooled quickly, tannins can settle out, causing the cloudiness.
Iced Tea Master
11-20-2004, 09:14 PM
It can be cured by adding a dollop of boiling water.
11-21-2004, 09:16 AM
It depends on what kind of tea it is, too. While black teas cloud faster than green tea (in fact, I've never noticed my green tea to cloud when cold), Assam tea clouds much faster than Ceylon.
11-21-2004, 07:26 PM
In our next episode, "Why is my tea cozy?"
11-21-2004, 07:48 PM
This is just a WAG, but it could be that the oils in the tea solidify at colder temperatures.
11-21-2004, 08:05 PM
According to Harold McGee (an authority on all things food) in On Food and Cooking, page 219:The precipitate is a combination of caffeine and pigment molecules; these materials crystallize as the temperature drops because they only have a limited solubility in water, and are much more soluble in hot water than in cool. Near-boiling water extracts so much of each component that they cannot remain dissolved in colder water, and, when the tea is poured over ice, it suddenly clouds up with tiny particles. The way to avoid clouding is simply not to saturate the water with more caffiene and pigment than it can hold at low temperatures. This is done by soaking the tea in lukewarm water--for several hours instead of several minutes, since the infusion will be much slower--which will not dissolve much more of these substances than the iced beverage can [i]keep dissolved.
11-21-2004, 08:07 PM
Oh, and the cause is probably you brewed with too hot of water or cooled the water too quickly.
11-22-2004, 02:12 AM
I've found that if I let the pitcher cool to room temperature after mixing, then put it in the fridge, it doesnt' get cloudy. YMMV.
11-22-2004, 05:40 AM
I had some dreams they were clouds in my tee-ea... clouds in my... uh, tee-ea...</tralala>
Nope not quite the same ring to it, I suppose.
11-22-2004, 08:16 AM
solute solubility goes up in liquids with temperature. Your tea has more solutes then it can handle at a low temperature but less then the saturation point at room temperature.
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