Tea bombs. Picture: Twitter
Tea bombs. Picture: Twitter

From banana tea to tea bombs: How social media is turning tea into beverage industry’s trendy new offering

By Lutho Pasiya Time of article published Apr 13, 2021

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Social media has changed the way we eat and drink, with consumers expecting every dish and beverage to be #Instaworthy.

It is no secret that one of the most obvious manifestations of social media’s influence can be seen in the food and beverage industry, where social media trends are driving consumer behaviour and vice versa.

Below we take a closer look at some of the tea trends that recently went viral on social media.

Banana tea

Earlier this year, while scrolling through the internet I came across what happens to be the next big health trend – banana tea.

I had never heard of it, so I decided to do some research to see what all the fuss was about. It turned out that there are lots of health benefits, it is easy to make, it makes use of wasted banana skins, and mostly, it aids sleep.

With the stress of the pandemic keeping life on hold, it is being promoted as the answer to the stresses and strains of life in lockdown. The trend has become so popular it has gathered some high-profile supporters.

Health experts say that when taken about an hour before bed, it can help calm the nervous system and help the body prepare for deep sleep. They say banana peels contain potassium and magnesium, which are natural muscle relaxants. They also reveal that banana tea makes your tea even better as it has ample minerals that induce sleep.

To prepare banana tea: Just take a jar, add some water and boil a whole banana with or without the peel, depending on your preference.

Turn off the flame and remove the fruit, then you can add your regular black tea or green tea to the blend and your banana tea is ready.

Butter tea

This is another weird combination that recently caught the attention of social media users. In a video clip that was posted on Twitter earlier this year, the clip opens with a shot of an individual cutting a brick of butter. The pieces fall into a pot wherein tea is brewing. Once the butter sticks have dissolved into the drink, the individual pours it in a dish through a sieve. This is not really a new phenomenon. Butter has found its way into coffee cups in recent years.

In an interview with health expert Maria Ascencao about whether people should be drinking butter in their coffee, she said this combination was not considered a good source of certain nutrients, as it contained a high amount of saturated fats.

“Although I am a fan of US health expert Dave Asprey’s ’Bulletproof’ coffee, which is a type of pesticide-free coffee, a liquid high in MCTs and grass-fed, unsalted butter, not all of us have access to this special, organic blend. The DIY version of this coffee, butter coffee, may contain small amounts of calcium, vitamins K, E, and B vitamins but it is not considered a good source of these nutrients, and it contains a high amount of saturated fats which studies have found may be linked to increased risk of heart disease and stroke,” said Ascencao.

Tea bombs

Not long ago, “hot chocolate bombs” were all the rage on the internet. Hot chocolate bombs are a ball of chocolate filled with tiny marshmallows and hot chocolate powder.

You put them in a mug and pour hot milk over them and then watch them melt, or as bombs do, “explode”.

Now comes a new contender for the “TikTok drink of the moment” throne: tea bombs. In contrast to the chocolate bombs, in which the shell of the ball is made of chocolate, the shell of the tea bombs, which dissolve when hot water is poured over them, is made of sugar. If you want to make tea bombs yourself, you have the choice between a sweetener powder and conventional household sugar. With their bright crystal shells, filled with herbs, loose-leaf tea, or flowers, tea bombs look like something out of a fairy's tea party.

You drop the balls into hot water and they dissolve into a delicious tea. They are perfect for a small tea ceremony at home.

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