Note: This post contains affiliate links. You may read my disclosure here.
This tea will “magically” change from lonely blue to LOVEly pink just by adding one delicious ingredient! It makes a perfect love potion for your little Valentine to enjoy.
If you’ve been around this blog for awhile you probably noticed I haven’t shared very many experiments in the last few years…I had a baby just over a year ago, and both my older kids are now in elementary school and involved in several extracurricular activities. That’s left us with very little extra time or energy for our STEAM experiments.
This is an experiment I have had on my list of activities to do with my kids one day, so when I saw it again in a book I decided it’s time to try it out. I ordered a (huge) bag of butterfly pea flowers tea on Amazon, and then we did the experiment. My kids had so much fun!
This is my Valentine’s Day inspired take on the experiment (we also did a Halloween version that I shared on Instagram last year that you can see below).
I list the basic instructions below to make the color changing tea for use year round, but keep reading for ideas to make this into a “Love Potion” themed Valentine’s Day activity.
- Tea Kettle
- Butterfly Pea Tea
- Tea steeper or strainer
- Mugs or clear glasses (to better see the color change)
- Sugar or honey (optional)
Procedure (makes 2 servings):
- Measure about 2 cups water
- Put water into a tea kettle and bring to a boil
- Meanwhile, measure 1 to 2 teaspoons of butterfly pea tea into a mug
- Add the boiling water to the mug and steep for at least 2-5 minutes, then strain the flowers or remove your tea steeper. If transferring to a clear glass, I suggest adding ice and making this a cold drink to prevent burning fingers (and tongues).
- *This is the step where the magic happens* Squeeze lemon into the tea and watch the tea turn from dark blue to light pink , the more lemon you add the more color change you’ll see. We started with half a lemon, but added up to a full lemon per cup.
- Add sugar or honey to taste, and enjoy your pink tea (or love potion).
Valentine’s Day “Love Potion” Ideas:
If you want to make this into a “love potion,” before starting the experiment tell your kids this is a Valentine’s Day color changing “love potion.” Before squeezing the lemon into the blue tea, try saying one of these ideas to your kids:
- “The tea will turn to pink when you squeeze in the lemon juice if you are loved.” (because of course they’re loved by you)
- “Think of a person you love and if they love you back it will turn pink.”
- “If you kiss the lemon before you squeeze it into the tea, your love will turn the tea pink!”
- “If you drink the pink tea you will one day fall in love.”
Afterwords be sure to acknowledge that this is all just for Valentine’s Day fun and it’s really just science. But your love for them is true! 😉
STEAM Concepts Learned:
- Science: Butterfly pea tea is colored blue by a pigment called anthocyanin. The anthocyanin is a pH indicator, so it changes color as the pH changes. It starts blue in its natural state as a base. The lemon juice is an acid. It lowers the pH, which causes the anthocyanin to change from blue to purple to pink as more lemon juice is added and the pH becomes acidic.
After we finished the experiment and learned about the science, my son to asked if this can also be done with blueberries. Of course I said let’s experiment and see! Spoiler alert: it worked! I’ll share it in another post soon.
Let me know if you try this out. And if any local friends want to do this experiment at home I have plenty of extra butterfly pea tea to share, so come get some if you’re interested!