What Is a Tea Bomb and How Do I Make One?

The tea bomb is an internet innovation that has taken TikTok by storm. It serves the same function as the hot chocolate bomb—all the tea ingredients are encased in a sugar ball that, when put into hot water, melts, releasing the tea ingredients into the water to steep.

Many people on the internet have gotten extremely creative with the whole process, making elaborate tea mixtures that include things like edible flowers and confetti. They also get super creative with the sugar ball, using intricate molds, adding fruits and other edible food decorations on the outside.

It seems fun, more so than your standard tea bag or metal strainer ball. But my question is, once the sugar ball melts and the tea diffuses, what do you do with all that loose tea in your cup? You either have to avoid the flotsam and jetsam as you sip or strain the liquid to sift out the solids. But that would require a second cup, and who has time for that?!

What are tea bomb flavors?

The flavors of tea bombs are restricted only by the flavors of tea and, thankfully, there are tons of those. You could potentially just put an off-the-shelf tea bag into your tea bomb, but that seems like it defeats the purpose. This is all about customization!

The core of any tea is the tea leaf, which varies in flavor based on processing and oxidation. Black tea, for example, is fully oxidized, whereas green tea is completely unoxidized.

Many teas are infused with other ingredients. Earl Grey tea is infused with bergamot and citrus. Jasmine tea is infused with jasmine flower aroma. Masala chai is infused with traditional Indian flavors like cardamom, clove, and ginger. The list goes on and on.

You can buy most teas loose or in bags. But if you’re creating your own blend for your tea ball, the world’s your oyster.

How do you make a tea bomb?

A hot chocolate bomb requires tempered chocolate, which is the kitchen equivalent of doing a backflip on roller skates. The tea bomb has an equally difficult and far more dangerous task to achieve its spherical sugar cage.

To make the sugar ball, you need to make liquid sugar. This is done by mixing sugar and water and melting it until it reaches nearly 300 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s a very finicky process; if heated beyond your melting point, sugar begins to caramelize. Not only that, you’re basically making lava in your kitchen, and if you touch even the smallest amount of this liquid sugar, it will burn you down to the bone. 

A slightly easier but no less dangerous option is isomalt. This sugar substitute is a favorite of professional bakers and is used to make elaborate food decorations. You can get isomalt raw, which is the cheaper option but you still have to do the cooking on the stove. There’s also something called pre-cooked isomalt that you can simply pop in the microwave, it’s just more expensive.

So, you pour your pot of scalding hot sugar over the back of a silicon sphere mold. Once it sets, you will have two halves of a sphere that you have to connect together with, you guessed it, more molten sugar. It’s like using hot glue but with a paintbrush. 

The easy part is making your tea leaf concoction that will go inside the ball. Just remember: You have to put it in the ball before you seal it.

If all this seems far too dangerous (which it probably is), never fear. You can find plenty of premade tea bombs on the internet.

About the Author

Luke Field

Luke Field is a writer and actor originally from Philadelphia. He was the former Head Writer of branded content at CollegeHumor and was also a contributing writer and actor to the CollegeHumor Originals cast. He has extensive improv and sketch stage experience, performing both at The Upright Citizens Brigade Theater and with their Touring Company. In addition to writing, he also works as a Story Producer, most recently on season 4 of Accident, Suicide, or Murder on Oxygen. Keep your eyes peeled for his brief but impactful appearance as Kevin, the screaming security guard, in the upcoming feature The Disruptors, directed by Adam Frucci.

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