Time to give the old lemonade stand an upgrade with this color changing lemonade experiment! Using chemical reactions, you can up your prices a quarter to a whole dollar. Science adds so much value to our lives!
What you need:
- 4 cups of lemonade
- 1 cup of water
- 1 butterfly pea flower tea bag (Alternate: 1 tsp of loose butterfly pea flowers)
- 4 glasses
(Makes 4 servings)
What you do:
First, you’ll want to heat up the water until it is almost boiling. Add the butterfly pea flower tea bag and allow it to steep for 3-4 minutes or until the tea turns deep blue. Then, chill the tea.
Next, fill up the four glasses with ice. Add one cup of lemonade to each glass.
Finally, add tea to each glass. Use the straw to stir the tea with the lemonade and watch the color change!
Questions to consider:
- What color was the lemonade when you first added the tea?
- What color did the lemonade turn after stirring?
- Why do you think the color changed?
Why it works:
The secret to color changing lemonade is in the butterfly pea flower tea. The tea contains a pigment called anthocyanin, which changes color as the pH changes.
At basic (high) pH levels, the pigment appears blue. When the pH is acidic (lower), it appears purple or pink. When our tea was mixed with just water, it was deep blue because water is neither basic nor acidic. However, when we add the tea to the lemonade, which is acidic, and stir, the color begins to change!