Cloudy Tea!


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Cloudy Tea!

Postby mcrdotcom » Dec 17th, '13, 17:13

Hey all,

as is the norm, my rinses and first brew or so are usually a tiny bit cloudy when brewing puerh. However, I was brewing some 2007 YQH Qi Zhong from Origin Tea, and my first brew was very clear, but then as it cooled, it got immensely cloudy... Is that normal? Its quite interesting!

Thanks! :)
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Re: Cloudy Tea!

Postby shah82 » Dec 17th, '13, 20:11

That's actually a tea I'd like to hear more about.
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Re: Cloudy Tea!

Postby Drax » Dec 17th, '13, 20:57

You'll probably hear some opinions on what cloudiness means with respect to quality of the tea...

As for the chemical side of the issue, it's probably happening because of solubility. In this case, there's some solid compound (or compounds) in the tea that is more soluble in water at higher temperature. As the tea cools, the compound begins to become solid while dispersed in the tea -- the result is that the tea looks cloudy. It's possible that if you left the tea alone, the cloudiness would begin to settle to the bottom of the cup (sometimes not; it depends on the compound). If you heated the tea again, likely the cloudiness would vanish -- if not, something else might be going on.

The only other time I've seen something that looked like cloudiness (and that wasn't what I described above) was actually due to a dispersion of very fine needles, likely the "fur" on the tea leaves. These made the tea cloudy (and sparkle in the light), and the "cloud" also tended to settle pretty quickly. This does not sound like what you describe, particularly because the cloudiness isn't present from the beginning.

But again -- as for what that means (in other words, what particular compounds, and what it means about the quality), I'll leave that discussion to other folk.
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Cloudy Tea!

Postby mcrdotcom » Dec 18th, '13, 07:26

Drax wrote:You'll probably hear some opinions on what cloudiness means with respect to quality of the tea...

As for the chemical side of the issue, it's probably happening because of solubility. In this case, there's some solid compound (or compounds) in the tea that is more soluble in water at higher temperature. As the tea cools, the compound begins to become solid while dispersed in the tea -- the result is that the tea looks cloudy. It's possible that if you left the tea alone, the cloudiness would begin to settle to the bottom of the cup (sometimes not; it depends on the compound). If you heated the tea again, likely the cloudiness would vanish -- if not, something else might be going on.

The only other time I've seen something that looked like cloudiness (and that wasn't what I described above) was actually due to a dispersion of very fine needles, likely the "fur" on the tea leaves. These made the tea cloudy (and sparkle in the light), and the "cloud" also tended to settle pretty quickly. This does not sound like what you describe, particularly because the cloudiness isn't present from the beginning.

But again -- as for what that means (in other words, what particular compounds, and what it means about the quality), I'll leave that discussion to other folk.


Ah yeah that makes sense, being a 3rd year chemistry student I had an idea it would be something like that but I was wondering if anyone knew the specifics! Thanks! :)

As for quality, I'm a puerh novice but it seems good to me, I REALLY enjoyed it! I have some photos from the session I need to upload to Flickr, when I do I'll post them here
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Re: Cloudy Tea!

Postby mcrdotcom » Jan 1st, '14, 23:46

Well, I am currently drinking some rather low grade black tea called Nepal Fikkal, and the same thing has happened! Clear golden brown when first poured, but now that has cooled down it is totally cloudy and I cannot see through the class cup anymore!
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Re: Cloudy Tea!

Postby kyarazen » Jan 2nd, '14, 00:38

mcrdotcom wrote:Well, I am currently drinking some rather low grade black tea called Nepal Fikkal, and the same thing has happened! Clear golden brown when first poured, but now that has cooled down it is totally cloudy and I cannot see through the class cup anymore!


naturally when the tea is cold, the re-ordering of water molecules through hydrogen bonding at the lower temperature results in enhancement of hydrophobic interactions of non-polar compounds.. (tea oils, waxy leaf cuticles, non polar compounds from lignified xylems/cell walls etc) easily forming tiny dispersed micelles or aggregates that one may perceive as a cloudy like emulsion..
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