Science Sunday: How is tea made?


As you may recall Batman asked a few weeks ago how tea is made, but at the time I wanted to blow something up.  That and I wanted to look it up to make sure I would be able to explain it well.  I was thinking it was something to do with diffusion.
I found this site, it’s a PDF with an experiment, that does a good job explaining it all, but it wasn’t really making tea, but it gave me a general concept to work around.
And by the way, when I googled tea diffusion I came up with all sorts of things that weren’t even remotely close to what I wanted, but were a bunch of high school chemistry stuff.  We’re so not there.
001Supplies needed: water (boiling hot, room temperature, and ice water), tea bags, clear cups to be able to see the change or measuring cups.  And excuse the messy counter.
First we all predicted which would make tea fastest, general co census (didn’t know that was two words) 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.
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.  The two colder ones were chocolate chai, and it looked darker faster because they were a darker tea than the mint tea 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.

Afterwards they had lots of fun drinking their different teas with two lumps of sugar (special treat of extra sugar).

Scientific mumbo jumbo: 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?

Now, it’s your turn, what have you done this week?

11 thoughts on “Science Sunday: How is tea made?

  1. Hmm… This might work really well with my England topic of the week. I was thinking of something like this too, just hesitant to waste tea. On another hand, nobody drinks tea bags here anyway, so they are just sitting in the cupboard.

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