As you may recall a few weeks ago in our science lessons, Batman asked how tea is made. At the time I want to blow something up. I know the very mature mother that I am. Really I wanted to look it up to make sure I would be able to explain how tea is made correctly. I knew it had something to do with diffusion.
Hi, Future Ticia 2023 here, I’m updating this post with better, pictures, a few affiliate links and some more science information.
The chemistry of tea making and diffusion
I found this site, it’s a PDF with an experiment, that does a good job of explaining it all, but it wasn’t really making tea. It did give me a general concept to work around.
When I googled tea diffusion, I found a slew of high school chemistry stuff, but we’re so not there.
Future Ticia 2023 found these videos to add in.
This video is perfect for older kids and also goes a bit beyond the chemistry and gets into some of the psychology of what teas to choose. It’s fascinating.
Supplies needed for tea science lesson
water (boiling, room temperature, and ice water), tea bags (Future Ticia 2023 would use any of the many teas friends have given me that I don’t like) (Also Future Ticia 2023 wants to say, you want to make sure you choose the same type of tea across all of these), clear cups or measuring cups
Making tea science lesson
First, we all predicted which would make tea the fastest, general consensus is the cold water according to their predictions. I think Princess might have said hot. I was doing this super quick before leaving to get last-minute things for the wedding yesterday, so I didn’t really follow “scientific procedure,” more of we had fun and got it done, and then they drank very sweet tea.
Future Ticia 2023, so I serve tea to my high school girls at church, and the really funny part of reading this now, The Artist formerly known as Princess swears whenever they would add sugar to tea I would frown at them and look at them like, “How dare you adulterate that tea!” She says this as she now stares at her friends adding multiple sugar cubes to their tea.
Then the kids had lots of fun stirring around the different teas and putting their fingers in. I did figure out if we do this again to always make sure to use the same teas in every one of them (as Future Ticia 2023 added up above). The two colder ones were chocolate chai, and it looked darker faster because they were a darker tea (being a black tea) than the mint tea (herbal) I used in the hot water.
The kids also noticed it became tea faster as they moved the tea bags. They also discovered they didn’t like it when they broke open the tea bags and dropped the tea leaves all over their tea.
Afterward they had lots of fun drinking their different teas with two lumps of sugar (special treat of extra sugar).
Scientific mumbo jumbo: of why tea works, the actual chemistry lesson
Because the molecules in warm water move faster the tea forms faster in the hot water. I also learned that tea is not made through diffusion, but through osmosis because the water is moving through the tea bag, not the tea moving out into the water. Interesting, no?
Let’s look at some other experiments with water
- How do we clean drinking water?
- How do ocean currents move?
- Ocean layers
- How does ocean temperature affect the water?
- Is your water safe to drink?