Murkiness occurs when tannins and caffeine clump together. Tannins are the compounds that give the tea a bitter flavor, while caffeine is a natural chemical stimulant in tea. To prevent these chemicals from binding and causing cloudiness, allow your tea to cool down to room temperature for at least one hour before popping it into the fridge or adding some ice cubes.
The trick is to avoid that sudden drop in temperature. Another cause of cloudiness is high brewing temperatures. Cook’s Illustrated even did an experiment to prove this and concluded that cold brewing is one surefire way of preventing your tea from going hazy altogether. However, what if you’ve already prepared a jug of refreshing sweet tea, and just when you’re about to serve it the next day, you find that it’s already cloudy? Well, no need to panic. Just add a pinch of baking soda, and your tea will instantly clear up. You also get bonus points for using baking soda, as it removes any bitterness in the tea, so you can confidently serve a deliciously sweet and clear beverage to your guests.