The Beautiful Tea Trend That's Taking Over TikTok

TikTok has been a productive outlet for people who have enough time on their hands to come up with creative ways to serve food and beverages. The video-sharing platform has already given us the bottled Starbucks Frappuccino hack and the Chick-fil-A nugget salad, to name two of many, many viral food trends.

The TikTok trend that involved putting a bottle of store-bought Frappuccino in the freezer to make a cafe-quality Frapp peaked just before summer 2020. This winter offers a different seasonally appropriate trend: the tea bomb. TikToks with the hashtag "teabomb" or "teabombs" have been viewed more than four million times. They show how to elevate tea from something routine and bland-looking to something beautiful.

If tea bombs qualify as a hack, it's not because they're easy. You're not doing something as straightforward as throwing Chick-fil-A nuggets, waffle fries, and sauce into a salad container and shaking. Tea bombs require patience and care over a hot frying pan and some spherical silicone molds for shaping your tea bomb.

TikToker @beautyanddasweetz used isomalt, a mildly sweet sugar alcohol often used to make shaped cake decorations (via Cupcake Project). Another used straight sugar. Isomalt is a little easier to work with when heating, but you have to be careful not to burn either — and not to burn yourself when pouring the melted isomalt or sugar into your molds.

For heightened effect, add food coloring or edible glitter

How to make a tea bomb, according to TikTok: Melt your sugar or isomalt and pour into the silicone molds. The TikToker who used straight sugar said to freeze the molds at this point. With isomalt, you can simply wait 15 or 20 minutes for them to set. You'll have two half-spheres. Place a tea bag or loose leaves in one. Set the other one briefly on the hot pan to melt the rim, so it can be stuck onto the first one. @beautyanddasweetz used melted sugar as glue to stick the two isomalt halves together. She also used the melted sugar to apply flower petals to the outside of her bombs for added visual effect.

The hard work is done. Now, just drop your bomb in hot water and watch it melt and explode. A lot of TikTokers are creating impressive tea-bomb blasts by adding food coloring or edible glitter (via Fox News). At least one TikToker participating in the tea bomb trend branched away from tea and filled her bomb with Kool-Aid powder.

People who follow TikTok food trends closely will recognize the tea bomb as a close relative of the hot chocolate bomb, which blew up last fall. The tags #hotchocolatebomb and #hotcocoabomb were even more popular than the tea bombs, attracting more than 120 million views so far on TikTok.