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.