In the age of Instagram, the best foods are the most colorful ones, whether they be fresh produce, bespoke fruit-based cocktails, or, um, food coloring-filled frappuccinos. Enter, then, color-changing Mermaid Tea: a social media-savvy tea drink that changes hue when you add lemon. It's a beautiful drink, and it's being marketed as "the most Instagrammable tea ever," so ... there's that.
According to Pop Sugar, Mermaid Tea is manufactured by Firebox, whose other hits include Spreadable Coffee, Spreadable Gin, and Spreadable Beer. The tea, which runs a hefty $20 a box, is a blend of butterfly blue pea flowers and lemongrass, and when you first brew it, it comes out "ocean blue," per Firebox. Then, when you squeeze lemon into the mixture, it starts to turn "vibrant pink." You can deepen or intensify the color by brewing it for longer, according to Firebox.
The tea is pretty cool, and it definitely has a cotton candy tie-dye t-shirt vibe going on, which is appealing for folks who know the names of all 80 jillion Instagram filters. But what's even cooler is the gorgeous mermaid illustration that adorns the Mermaid Tea box. That baby is designed by Alicia Rihko, whose credits as an illustrator include work in the likes of NYLON, Vice, Ballpit Magazine, Cultura Colectiva, Dazed and Confused Magazine, and Nakid Magazine. The packaging is awesome:
The reviews are in: "LOVE THIS! it tastes as good as it looks, get ready to instagram the sh*t out of it," one reviewer wrote on Firebox's website. Another wrote, "From one colour to another is easy peasy lemon squeezy. Literally." And it makes for a good gift for the social media set: "It was a secret santa gift for a colleague but she loved it! She instagrammed it straight away," a third reviewer chimed in.
So, certainly, those people think the Mermaid Tea is worth $20. Unfortunately, we in the United States won't get to find out for ourselves, unless we find someone in the United Kingdom willing to purchase the tea and send it our way. "We can't ship this particular product to UNITED STATES... yet," Firebox notes, though it's possible the product will be made available across the pond sometime in the near future.
Until then, thankfully, there are a wealth of Instagrammable unicorn and mermaid-esque delights to enjoy in our neck of the woods. Consider, for instance, Target's Unicorn magic ice cream, which tastes just as good as it looks. Then, there's this very detailed list of unicorn snacks and treats, which include unicorn hot chocolate, vanilla unicorn sugar cookie bars, no-bake rainbow unicorn cheesecake bars, rainbow chip brownies, unicorn bark, and unicorn marshmallow popcorn. And, of course, there's the Starbucks Unicorn Frappuccino that basically started it all, and though it will potentially give you a stomachache, it looks very, very pretty.
Indeed, colorful things are all the rage in La Belle Year 2018, and at least in the states, unicorns are everywhere: on, um, giant plush heads, stylized in lattes, and in the form of giant plastic swim floats. There's even an entire Unicorn Float Island in the Philippines.
And Mermaid Tea isn't the United Kingdom's first color-change liquid, either. A Scottish distillery called the Old Curiosity Distillery makes a gin that, like Mermaid Tea, changes color when you drop in tonic, transforming a classic gin-and-tonic cocktail into a vibrant purple, pink, or blue. Old Curiosity actually teamed up with British retailer Marks & Spencer to sell their color-changing gin, which comes in British Rose Dry Gin, British Lavender Dry Gin, and Apothecary’s Rose, so if you manage to make your way to Heathrow, you can score that and Mermaid Tea, lucky you.