As people experiment with iced drinks, many are frustrated by cloudy iced tea.
“Clouding” refers to the opaque, fog-like appearance of a tea’s liquor that sometimes occurs after brewing. It is generally seen as a negative quality because people assume that tea should be completely transparent. Some believe that cloudiness is an indication of poor quality tea, that it contains foreign particulates or that it will adversely affect flavor even though, in reality, clouding has no impact on taste. The problem is made worse because iced tea tends to be served in clear glasses, displaying the “defect” for all to see.
There are two reasons that iced teas become cloudy.
- Hard water which contains high concentrations of minerals when brewed with tea can form
visible solids which do not dissolve at cooler temperatures.
- The natural building blocks of tea are thought to cause the clouding, especially Theaflavins. If
the tea cools too quickly the Theaflavins will not remain suspended and the teas will cloud.
1. Allow the tea to come to room temperature before putting it into the fridge or adding ice.
2. If the tea has already clouded, add a tiny bit of hot water to it before serving.
3. Make sure that you are steeping in water that’s minerally balanced.
Nilgiri – Glendale tea that produces a crystal- clear drink. (Now packaged in iced tea pouches and called
“Fresh Brew Black Tea.”
Other teas that do not cloud are:
Rooibos-based teas such as Lemon Soufflé
Fruit Blends – Verry Berry, Strawberry-Kiwi or Blood Orange.
Herbals – Dragonfly Song or Mint Refresher