When I make tea, it sometimes gets cloudy. How can I keep this from happening and what should I do if it is?
Iced tea and sweet tea brewed from tea bags or loose tea can become cloudy or look milky. Tea is a blend which is rich in solids, called tannins, to provide a full-bodied flavor. The hardness of the water used to brew and quick chilling of the hot tea over ice can cause clouding. If the tea is cooled too rapidly, the tannins in the tea will settle out and cause the tea to become cloudy. After your tea has brewed, let it sit on the counter and cool to room temperature before placing in the refrigerator. Or, to prevent your tea from cooling too rapidly, substitute cold tap water in place of ice cubes. If you substitute cold water, after water has been added to the reservoir, refill the pitcher with cold tap water to the water line, rather than the ice line.
Another common cause of cloudy tea is using tea bags specifically designed for hot tea versus iced tea. Iced tea tea blends tend to have fewer tannins, and therefore less chance of clouding. Brewing iced tea with hard water can also cause cloudy tea. If you have hard water, use bottled, distilled, or spring water to brew your tea. After the tea is brewed, refrigerate or pour over ice in glasses.If you have an older style iced tea maker that uses paper filters, using 2 paper filters instead of one should improve your tea’s clarity.