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re: cloudy tea

On Fri, 19 Jun 1998, Brenda Schetnan wrote:

> Hi, when I used to make sun tea (sweet or unsweet) it always turned
> cloudy after about one day.  When I boil the water and make a
> concentrated tea, then dilute it it's always clear.  IMHO the cloudiness
> comes from bacteria that is in the pitcher/jar.  The boiling water is
> hot enough to kill it, but when the sun/moon tea is made the water is
> not hot enough.  Just a thought.  Brenda in NM

I think it's more likely that the cloudiness is from dissolved gases in
the water.  Gases are less soluble in hot water than in cold, so boiling
the water decreases the amount of gases dissolved.  It could be that
something in the tea is combining with one of the gases to cause the
cloudiness.  [end of chemistry lecture]

I do have to say that having made and drunk both sun and moon tea for
years now, I've never noticed whether the tea gets cloudy.  Does it
actually affect the taste?  Is it dependent on brand of tea? This sounds
like something that might be in _On Food and Cooking_ by Harold McGee.
I'll see if I can remember to check tonight when I get home.

Jenny Herl              |   "The world has enough for everyone's need, 
jlherl@xxxxxxxx         |    but not enough for everyone's greed."
University of Illinois  |  
Urbana-Champaign        |    --attributed to Mahatma Ghandi (1869-1948)