Saturday, December 6, 2014

Christmas "Science" Tea


For a quick Christmas science experiment/review I set out a pot of Cranberry Autumn tea, a plate of lemon slices, a variety of artificial sweeteners, and a small pot of milk.  If you're thinking to yourself that all of this sounds more like the makings of tea party, than a science experiment, then you're right, especially when you add in the scones, fruit, lemon curd, and whipped cream.

It was in fact, a Christmas tea.

But, thanks to the fact the tea was cranberry (with a mixture of orange, and and whatever else), which contains anthocyanin (a natural pH indicator), the lemon slices were acidic, the milk was neutral (for the most part), and the artificial sweeteners were slightly basic (or at least that's what I thought I had read somewhere), we also had the makings for quick little chemistry review (we've played with pH indicators a number of times in the past).


The lemons, milk, and sweeteners were on the table to be used in the tea, but since our cups weren't clear, we also spooned a small amount of tea into see-through containers, so we could see the results, as we added in the various items.



A few drops of lemon juice quickly turned our orangey brown tea - pink.  The smallest touch of milk clouded the tea, and gave it a slightly pinkish brown tint.  All of the artificial sweeteners - Stevia, Sweet'N Low, Sucrose, and Equal gave the tea a slight yellowish/green tint (pretty much the same as baking soda, which we did not have on the table, but pulled out for comparison).


Our pH indicator being a tea blend instead of pure juice reduced the reliability of our results, I'm sure, but was sufficient for our review - and perfect for our party.

7 comments:

Dawn Rebekah said...

What a lovely teachable moment. Your are such a great homeschool mom!
Blessings, Dawn

Phyllis said...

You are very talented at making use of any opportunity to get useful material. I love your Christmas tea and the science review.

Karin Huber said...

Cool, interesting AND funny! Love your tea party.
Tea parties always remind me of "Alice in Wonderland", but I guess you didn´t invite a big white rabbit or a mad hatter! :)

Natalie PlanetSmartyPants said...

SO fascinating. I didn't know that artifical sweeteners are acidic. Perhaps I should sneak some out of our coffee shop to try something similar! The party looks lovely, by the way!

Cristy said...

I have planned a tea for a Christmas party for some homeschooling friends.I wonder if I should include the pH testing in the party? That is so COOL!

Ticia said...

Now I need to think about the pH of the teas in our house....

Bethany said...

Now that looks interesting!