Spring is here and we can start looking forward to sunshine, warmer weather, and drinking plenty of refreshing iced tea. There are many bottled or ready-to-drink iced teas on the store shelves, but they can be loaded with sugar and preservatives.
Brewing your own iced tea is fun and allows you to control the ingredients. You can personalize your iced tea by adding fresh or frozen fruits, different herbs and spices, and sweetener to your taste.
Sometimes iced tea can turn out cloudy or foggy in appearance, referred to as clouding. This happens randomly and is purely cosmetic – it doesn’t change the flavor or reflect the quality of the tea.
Solutions to Three Causes of Clouding
- Hard water contains high concentrations of minerals that can form visible solids which are not easily dissolved in cooler water temperatures.
Solution: Use filtered water.
- “Shocking the iced tea” (a term coined by tea industry consultant Richard Guzauskas) is a phenomenon that occurs when black tea is cooled too quickly.
Solution: Allow the brewed tea to come to room temperature naturally prior to refrigeration.
- Black teas are most prone to clouding due to the oxidation during production.
Solution: Use green loose leaf teas, herbals, rooibos, or yerba maté, all of which make tasty iced teas.
TIP: If your tea does become cloudy you can save it by adding a small amount of hot water. This will reorganize the chemical structure of the tea and remove the cloudiness. Take care not to add too much hot water or the tea flavor will become diluted.
To avoid cloudiness all-together try the cold-brewing method.