why does iced tea get cloudy

why does iced tea get cloudy

Understanding Why Iced Tea Gets Cloudy

Iced tea is a popular summertime beverage that is often enjoyed with lemon, sweetener, and ice cubes. However, iced tea can experience a strange phenomenon where it appears to turn cloudy after sitting still for some time. In this article, we’ll explore why this often happens and whether there is cause for concern.

What Causes Cloudy Iced Tea?

Cloudy iced tea can be caused by many different things. These include:

  • Tannin Precipitation: Tannins are compounds found in the tealeaves that can react with certain minerals in the water. This reaction causes the tannins to precipitate out of the solution, which causes the tea to become cloudy.
  • Emily Crystallization: Saponins are naturally-occurring compounds found in the tea leaf that can cause Emily Crystallization when they come into contact with calcium and magnesium. Emily crystals often appear as a cloudy precipitate in the tea and are generally harmless.
  • Carbon Dioxide: Carbon dioxide is naturally released from the tea when it is poured over ice. This release of carbon dioxide can cause the liquid to become cloudy, especially when the ice cubes are melted and rapidly cool the tea.

Is Cloudy Iced Tea Safe To Drink?

It is important to note that cloudy iced tea is generally safe to drink. The cloudiness is simply caused by the reaction between certain compounds and minerals that are found naturally in the tea, which means that they pose no harm to the drinker. In fact, the compounds in the tea are often beneficial and can even provide potential health benefits.


In short, cloudy iced tea is usually not something to be concerned about. The cloudiness is caused by simple reactions that occur when tea leaves come into contact with certain minerals in the water. Although these reactions are generally harmless, it is always wise to check the tea for any signs of spoilage before drinking.


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