How do I get my Sweet tea to be CLEAR?

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irisarbor
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2008/09/12 10:18:27 (permalink)

How do I get my Sweet tea to be CLEAR?

So I'm hoping som kind southerner will know the answer to this dilemna.
I recently made some sweet iced tea for a crowd,
It turned out very tasty,
but very very cloudy.
SO I obviously did something wrong.
I steeped the tea and dissolved the sugar in the same nearly boiled water to make a concentrate,
then put them into the frig overnight,
and diluted it in the AM.
It was SOOOOO cloudy-
Still it was delish, and everyone loved it-
I'd just like my next attempt to LOOK prettier...
Does anyone know where I went wrong or what is the secret?
Thanks
#1

27 Replies Related Threads

    Russ Jackson
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    RE: How do I get my Sweet tea to be CLEAR? 2008/09/12 10:24:26 (permalink)
    Let it come to room temperature prior to putting it in the fridge.
    You can also run it thru a coffee filter...Russ
    #2
    porkbeaks
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    RE: How do I get my Sweet tea to be CLEAR? 2008/09/12 10:29:45 (permalink)
    Check[url='http://coffeetea.about.com/cs/teabrewing/ht/ht_cleartea.htm']here[/url], [url='http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/heloise/kitchen/clear-iced-tea-oct02']here[/url], and [url='http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_do_you_make_clear_ice_tea']here[/url]. pb






    #3
    seafarer john
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    RE: How do I get my Sweet tea to be CLEAR? 2008/09/12 11:10:38 (permalink)
    Someplace I learned a few years ago to sweeten the tea with simple syrup instead of sugar - I think this can contribute to a clearer tea.

    Cheers, John
    #4
    ann peeples
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    RE: How do I get my Sweet tea to be CLEAR? 2008/09/12 18:55:17 (permalink)
    seafarerjohn has it right-my southern cousins use simple syrup as well.
    #5
    will_work_4_bbq
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    RE: How do I get my Sweet tea to be CLEAR? 2008/09/12 19:23:29 (permalink)
    Do not put your tea in the fridge! That will make it cloudy every time.
    #6
    MetroplexJim
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    RE: How do I get my Sweet tea to be CLEAR? 2008/09/12 19:49:26 (permalink)
    Add simple syrup to hot tea, let mixture cool naturally to tepid, pour over ice immediately prior to serving. That's how I saw it done in my former country club in Arlington, VA: clear as crystal.
    #7
    tiki
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    RE: How do I get my Sweet tea to be CLEAR? 2008/09/13 08:44:41 (permalink)
    yep---simple syrup will do it!
    #8
    tcrouzer
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    RE: How do I get my Sweet tea to be CLEAR? 2008/09/13 09:35:00 (permalink)
    Yep, do not put iced tea that has been sweetened in the refrigerator!
    #9
    BarbaraCt
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    RE: How do I get my Sweet tea to be CLEAR? 2008/09/13 09:49:27 (permalink)
    Not to beat a tired horse, but the refrigerator is the culprit.
    #10
    BhamBabe
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    RE: How do I get my Sweet tea to be CLEAR? 2008/09/13 13:57:08 (permalink)
    You can put it in the fridge, just wait until it's room temp to do so.

    Don't add cold water to your boiled tea mixture either. Use hot or warm water.

    The faster you make it cold the more cloudy it becomes. The cold makes the tannin in the tea settle clouding the tea.

    Don't squeeze the tea bags when making it. That releases more tannin.

    Make sure you use a container with a tight fitting lid in the fridge as well.

    I never leave tea sitting out, to me it tastes bad after a few hours.
    #11
    edwmax
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    RE: How do I get my Sweet tea to be CLEAR? 2008/09/13 16:43:10 (permalink)
    Use colored or frosted glasses, then who would know!
    #12
    Adjudicator
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    RE: How do I get my Sweet tea to be CLEAR? 2008/09/13 17:06:31 (permalink)
    Sweet Tea???
    #13
    seafarer john
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    RE: How do I get my Sweet tea to be CLEAR? 2008/09/13 20:47:05 (permalink)
    Well, Judge, maybe you know it as "Sweetee". At least that's what it sounds like to me when I'm visiting in the South.

    Cheers, John
    #14
    No Talent
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    RE: How do I get my Sweet tea to be CLEAR? 2008/09/13 22:58:07 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Adjudicator

    Sweet Tea???


    I never heard of it and it doesn't sound like it has real tea in it.

    And I don't think that would matter because it sounds like sugar water.

    I have had a Long Island Ice Tea and that will make you quickly not care whether it's tea or not.
    #15
    Bushie
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    RE: How do I get my Sweet tea to be CLEAR? 2008/09/13 23:22:02 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by seafarer john

    Someplace I learned a few years ago to sweeten the tea with simple syrup instead of sugar - I think this can contribute to a clearer tea.

    Cheers, John


    That would no doubt work, but I never have had this "cloudy" problem. The only thing that I do different, irisarbor, is that I never let the concentrate sit in the fridge overnight.

    I add sugar to the pot first, then plenty of tea bags, then pour boiling water in there. I let it steep for 5-10 minutes, then I fill a glass pitcher with ice and pour the hot tea over the ice. Whatever volume is left I fill with water, then I put the pitcher in the fridge to chill.

    Don't know if that will help, but that always works for me.
    #16
    MotherNature_
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    RE: How do I get my Sweet tea to be CLEAR? 2008/09/14 00:41:58 (permalink)
    I don't know what I do that prevents cloudiness, I just know that I've never had that problem and about the only time I make tea is when I go home once in a blue moon and my daddy always has me make the tea. He says no one can do it the way I can. Whatever. This is what I do. Take one of those big tea bags that come about 14 to a box. Put it into a regular saucepan with cold water almost to the top. Let it heat until it almost boils. Turn the heat off. Let it set for about 30-45 minutes. This will make enough to fill a gallon container. Put 1 1/2 cups sugar into the container you are going to use, then pour the hot, steeped tea into it. Shake it to help melt the sugar. Then, using hot tap water, keep running it over the tea bag(s) you just used and pouring it into the container. Keep shaking along the way to melt the sugar. Once the tea bag has given up the ghost, start doing the same thing, but with cold tap water. By now your sugar should be completely melted. I've never had a problem with cloudiness. I don't know what I do to prevent it, but that's how I make my sweet tea. And I only make it every now and again. Go figure.
    #17
    MGWerks
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    RE: How do I get my Sweet tea to be CLEAR? 2008/09/14 12:35:05 (permalink)
    Hard water can also exacerbate the cloudy tea problem. If you have hard water, try making it with bottled water once and see if it 'clears' up the issue.
    #18
    Scarlett
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    RE: How do I get my Sweet tea to be CLEAR? 2008/09/14 13:20:20 (permalink)
    This is what I remember from my childhood
    My mom used Lipton tea and would have that problem. I have seen her 'shock' her tea by puring about a cup of boiling water in it and it cleared right up.
    She always flavored her tea with lemon right away, while her tea was still warm

    I have always used Tetley or Luzianne and have never had that problem. She had city water and I have well water so I don't know if that has anything to do with it. I always pass lemon and never flavor the whole pitcher.

    I don;t know what caused it but the hot water always cured her problem.
    #19
    MotherNature_
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    RE: How do I get my Sweet tea to be CLEAR? 2008/09/14 13:38:06 (permalink)
    I've used my method in all kinds of water. It always comes out the same. So Daddy says. He ALWAYS makes me make the tea.
    #20
    BunnySlippers
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    RE: How do I get my Sweet tea to be CLEAR? 2008/09/14 13:42:09 (permalink)
    Hello from the sunny south! For me, it is the tea itself that makes the difference. You need to use a tea that is made for iced tea. I use Luzianne, but Tetley also makes a good one. It is also important not to let the tea steep more than 7 minutes as extra tannin will be released as some have said. This also makes the tea bitter. I also use simple syrup as I think this improves the taste and leaves less chance for gritty indissolved sugar at the bottom. I always keep sweet tea in the fridge and have not had a problem with cloudiness.

    For those of you who are unfamiliar, here is my recipe;

    Sweet Tea.

    Syrup:

    1 cup water
    1 to 1 1/2 cups sugar, depending on your taste.

    Bring just to a boil in a sauce pan on the stove at medium heat to disolve sugar Set aside to cool.

    Tea:

    3 c. fresh cold water
    5 lag size iced tea bags, Luzianne or Tetley

    Bring water to a rolling boil. Place tea bags in a heat proof glass container - I use a a 2 qt Pyrex measuring cup. Pour boiling water over tea bags and let steep for 5-7 minutes. Scoop out tea bags with a slotted spoon and discard. Do not squeeze the bags. Allow tea to cool to room temp.

    When tea has cooled, stir in syrup and pour into a 1 gallon pitcher. Add cold water to taste, usually about 2 qts for us. Store, covered in refrigerator.

    Enjoy on the porch!
    #21
    chewingthefat
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    RE: How do I get my Sweet tea to be CLEAR? 2008/09/14 17:09:56 (permalink)
    Simply put, iced Tea doesn't keep overnight, not well at least, I've brewed thousands of gallons, we dump it at the end of the night.
    #22
    MotherNature_
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    RE: How do I get my Sweet tea to be CLEAR? 2008/09/14 17:17:08 (permalink)
    Mine, the few times I've made it for myself and no one was around to gulp it down, lasts me at least four days before it turns sour.
    #23
    MotherNature_
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    RE: How do I get my Sweet tea to be CLEAR? 2008/09/14 17:18:48 (permalink)
    But I don't put ice in it until I go to pour a glass, then the ice goes into the glass with the tea on top. Actually, I prefer just to keep it cold in the fridge and drink it with no ice.
    #24
    ann peeples
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    RE: How do I get my Sweet tea to be CLEAR? 2008/09/14 18:33:32 (permalink)
    my mom NEVER dumped tea-we drank it,sitting on the counter, for days...
    #25
    roossy90
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    RE: How do I get my Sweet tea to be CLEAR? 2008/09/18 13:41:12 (permalink)
    We used to dissolve the sugar in a small amount of hot water, and then add the tea. But never refrigerate it while hot...
    #26
    Rusty246
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    RE: How do I get my Sweet tea to be CLEAR? 2008/09/18 13:57:48 (permalink)
    I drink a gallon of tea every two days, I'm NEVER without sweet tea in my FRIDGE. I use 6 bags of Lipton teabags, regular size. I bring a quart or so of water to a boil, add the bags, turn the heat off and let sit for about 20 minutes. In the meantime in a gallon plastic pitcher I put 1 1/2c sugar, I did say sweet tea right? I pour the tea in the pitcher holding the tea bags back with a spoon. I smush the tea bags up against the pan with the spoon then trash them. Stir the mixture until the sugar mostly dissolves then fill the rest of the with water. Refridgerate. I have never seen a cloudy pitcher of tea in all my born days. Down here tea will spoil if left out on a counter for days.
    #27
    MGWerks
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    RE: How do I get my Sweet tea to be CLEAR? 2008/09/19 00:16:10 (permalink)
    I've never seen a gallon of sweet tea make it overnight. It always seems to be gone before then...
    #28
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