Why is my iced tea cloudy or murky?

Avoiding Murky or Cloudy Iced Tea

The most common reason black tea gets cloudy when making iced tea is the rapid cooling process. When hot tea is quickly cooled, either by adding ice or refrigerating immediately, it causes the dissolved tannins and caffeine to precipitate out, resulting in cloudiness. Here are some additional factors that can contribute to cloudiness:

  1. Oversteeping: Brewing the tea for too long can release excess tannins, which can cause cloudiness when the tea cools.
  2. Water Hardness: Using hard water (water with high mineral content) can also lead to cloudy tea. The minerals can react with the tea compounds and create a cloudy appearance.
  3. Temperature Shock: Sudden temperature changes from hot to cold can cause the tea compounds to precipitate, leading to cloudiness.

To avoid these issues, cool the tea gradually, use filtered or soft water, and steep the tea for the recommended time.

Read our other tea tips: 

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