Tea gets slimy in the fridge

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Jan 9th, '06, 11:21
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Tea gets slimy in the fridge

by Chriss » Jan 9th, '06, 11:21

I got this query from my friend -

I have been having this problem with my tea for the past year i guess,.... it gets slimmy and thick within a day after setting in the frige... No matter what brand i use or how little or much sugar i put in it... I made a gallon yesterday and this morning it was slimmy as you poured it to your glass...

Any help.


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Jan 9th, '06, 14:18
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by Marlene » Jan 9th, '06, 14:18

I've got one word for your friend. Bleach.
Bleach the hell out of the interior of the fridge. (or if you're a bit more chemical shy than I am, use white vinager) Then proceed to bleach (or vinager) the hell out of all dishes and utencles involved in iced tea making. It probobly wouldn't hurt to do the whole kitchen.
Any other ideas folks? Mine seems a bit labor intensive.

Jan 13th, '06, 22:58
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by Mike in KY » Jan 13th, '06, 22:58

I've seen this before and tracked the problem down. It seems someone was getting up in the middle of the night and eating cold chicken while drinking tea straight from the pitcher.

I tried making iced tea from Vithanakande Ceylon and found it turned milky in the fridge. It looked nasty, so I didn't taste it.

Jan 18th, '06, 11:53
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by HJK » Jan 18th, '06, 11:53

It is my understanding that the filmy layer that appears when tea is cooled in the fridge is composed of tannins (and perhaps other things). Apparently they are less soluable at lower temperatures. I don't know if this is correct though.

For a test of this, you may want to make a batch steeped at lower temperatur (180 deg or less) for a shorter duration (between 2 to 3 min). Don't agitate the tea while it is being infused. This may not make the ideal cup of tea, but tannins are released later in the steeping process (or so I've been told). So a quick and gentle steeping should release much less tannins. Check to see if a filmy layer is present after cooling.

This is all conjecture that I have heard and never verified so take it with a grain of salt. But it may be the case that your tea is being steeped too long or too hot or agitated too much during the process.

Mar 2nd, '06, 10:10

RE: Cloudiness (Mike in KY)

by Tom » Mar 2nd, '06, 10:10


Many teas will become cloudy when they're refrigerated. It doesn't spoil them... when you heat it up again it clears right up. This is even true for iced tea... if you warm it somewhat, then pour over ice, it will remain clear.

Mar 8th, '06, 14:15
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by cizinec » Mar 8th, '06, 14:15

The cloudiness I would assume is caused by the same thing that the beer world calls "chill haze." It consists of proteins and polyphenols (at least in beer) that partially precipitate when slowly cooled. Some of this could probably be removed if you used some sort of a heat exchanger to rapidly cool your tea.

If it really bugs you, I suppose you could find a homebrew store and get some silica hydrogel (pvpp) to clarify your tea.

Frankly, I think you'd be better off just drinking it hot and fresh. :wink:

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Mar 13th, '06, 14:16
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by Henry » Mar 13th, '06, 14:16

If you can't just store your tea leaves for a little while, then you should freeze them i guess. Wrap it up in several layers of plastic wrap, or use an airtight container with as much air removed as you can manage. Once your leaves have been frozen, do not refreeze.

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Apr 2nd, '06, 05:30
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by LeilaLuv » Apr 2nd, '06, 05:30


I thought I was the only one.

I used to make alot of Chai, thinking I was gonna drink it the rest of the day, well anyway, when I left it over night , in the morning it would be the grossest thing ever! So I experimented and left it there 2 more nights, the longer I left it, the thicker it got...........

I then starting placing my leftover tea in a glass jar with a lid th next time, and nothing happened.

So just make sure the jar is nice and clean, and put the tea in there while its still hot =o)

Good Luck!

Apr 2nd, '06, 11:17
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by divinemercy » Apr 2nd, '06, 11:17

Mason Jars are a great idea. If you don't have any, though, you could subsitute lots of things like empty jam jars, empty tea bottles (from store bought tea like snapple), etc. Any glass bottle that is air tight (to check, just fill it up with some water, close the lid and shake upside down... if nothing comes out, you're good to go).


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May 2nd, '06, 19:21
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by H.M. Murdock » May 2nd, '06, 19:21

I am fond of buying mid-quality beverage jars. That is, glass jars with fairly secure lids and spigots/spouts. Then I can brew up a crazy amount of tea, put it in the jar, close it up, and access the tea without exposing it to any odors or unsavory elements found in the fridge from god-knows-what.
Failing that, keep it in an airtight container and it will be fine. Chai, in my experience, doesn't store well in general.

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May 3rd, '06, 10:18
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by Chip » May 3rd, '06, 10:18

Pretty nasty subject...I have never experienced this phenom. My iced tea is always crystal clear.
So what do I differently...I can only speculate.

I never use a preflavored tea...perhaps it is the additives...

I never use tea bags.

I put the sweetener, if I am using one it is almost always straight sugar, directly into the empty container and poor concentrated, hot tea over it fully dissolving the sugar before filling the container with room temp water.

I allow the tea to cool outside the fridge for an hour or so and then place in fridge.

I use much less sugar than most people (if I sweeten), 12ish teasoops per gallon. Sometimes a little more on a sweet tooth day.

I reuse plastic one gallon water jugs (and yess I heard you shouldn't reuse them, blah blah blah). With the cap, I get a good tight seal.

I generally use almost all high grown teas like HG Ceylon, Nepal, Sikkim, Darjeeeling...I like the flavor of these in iced tea.

I don't know if this helps...but like I said I never have slimey tea.

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May 4th, '06, 21:20
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by Chip » May 4th, '06, 21:20

...I just thought of something else. I use well water that is a little hard and has minerals including iron and manganese.

If you use tap water...it will have a different chemical make-up...including chlorine and flourine and if it is under processed...bacteria and the like...and ph could also be a factor???
Any chemists out there?

...just a thought.

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Jun 2nd, '06, 15:22
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Tea haze

by hop_goblin » Jun 2nd, '06, 15:22

I brew beer at home as well. And in homebrewing sometimes beer recieves a chill haze when in the fridge. All of my homebrew books suggest that it is due to protiens that have changed due to heat. Might be the same thing. I will try to find out.

Dec 9th, '06, 20:31
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3 things..

by tomvyn » Dec 9th, '06, 20:31

Try those 3 things..

1) what I've been told is - never leave tea brewed by hot water to cool down and then reuse it.. After some time - few hours something changes, and the effect of tea is not healthy any more, but actually quite poisoning.. - what I've been told..

2) to avoid this - try just put in glass jug, or better plastic bottle with a lid some loose leave tea (you'll have to work out how much of it) and pour COLD water. than leave it overnight in the fridge (or just few hours should be fine) - and in the morning - you'll have fantastic ice tea (you need to find out the proper amount of leaf tea and accurate amount of water..
And than obviously strain the leaves through..

3) the actual answer to your question can be - try it without sugar at all - put it in before drinking.. this kind of thing you described is caused by sugar (why - don't ask me ;o). If it's still happening to you even without sugar and after all the cleaning you were told.. than.. God or Big T-Mighty help you ;o))

Good luck!

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