There's a new TikTok trend blossoming in the food and beverage world — and it's incredibly calming.
Anyone who jumped into winter with hot cocoa bombs, those hollow chocolates that melt into steamed milk, will love tea bombs. A bit more ethereal than their chocolaty predecessors, these "bombs" don't explode: They unfurl delicately.
Tea bombs look like little crystal balls: colorful, translucent and often glittery. Once dropped into hot water, the shimmering sphere melts away and allows the dried tea leaves and flowers inside to dance around the glass, steeping until ready to drink.
This magical method is therapeutic to watch, especially in a clear teacup where one can see the little edible flowers and mint leaves float about. Even die-hard tea drinkers divided over how to make a proper cup can agree that tea bombs are, well, the bomb.
So how does one actually make this perplexing creation? Luckily, because it's on TikTok, there's a simple answer to that. One user, mysuperhero_helmethair, started their #hottea how-to by saying, "Let's start a new trend" on Dec. 26.
This TikToker uses a multi-purpose silicone mold with 3D cavities shaped like eggs. She melts sugar down until it becomes liquid. Then, she pours it in the egg-shaped mold and another mold with shallow, circular cavities to use as the "stands" for her tea bombs. She cools the molds for 20 to 30 minutes, until the sugar solidifies. Last, she snips off the tip to create a small opening, funnels in dried tea leaves and sticks the egg on the stand using a little melted sugar as glue.
One of the fun parts about tea bombs is that there are endless options for the tea filling. Some people added a combination of loose-leaf teas and edible dried flowers that appear to bloom as they bathe in the hot water. While others simply create molds around their favorite tea bag, like mint or Earl Grey.
For the tea bag method, another TikToker, thestationbakery, uses a different type of mold with half-sphere shapes. After they harden, she puts the tea bag inside and gently places another half-sphere on top with an adhesive made of melted sugar.
One 12-year-old in Texas, Jianna Kahlon, was so infatuated with the drinkable bombs that her parents helped her create an Instagram, @dfwmilkbombs, to sell them. She began by making and selling hot cocoa bombs around her community and is now shipping her wonderfully festive tea bombs to customers around the country.
It looks like Disney's best-selling Olaf hot cocoa bombs may have some competition "worth melting for."