AP Bio Tea Party

Sophomore Caroline Linton participates in an AP BIo lab designed to test our taste.  Photo by Sophia Lambrose

Sophomore Caroline Linton participates in an AP BIo lab designed to test our taste. Photo by Sophia Lambrose

Sophia Lambrose, Contributor

Although AP Biology is one of Rosary’s tougher academic classes, it has its fair share of fun too.

Last week Mrs. Hunt’s AP Bio class participated in a lab that was educational and hands on in every way. The lab dealt with a special type of tea, called Gymnema tea, which not only tastes good but actually has taste altering effects. The lab required students to drink the special tea, record the tea’s effects on their taste, and conclude how the tea alters taste.

Will the special tea really kill the delicious taste of candy and sugar? Photo by Sophia Lambrose

For the class’ tea party, each student tasted salt, artificial sweetener, sugar, M&Ms, and sweeTARTS candy before and after they drank the tea to see for themselves what changes it made to their taste buds. After drinking the tea, these flavors were completely altered! Chocolate became bitter, sugar became tasteless, and salt became even saltier. The entire process was fun, unique, and surprising to all of the students.

The AP Bio class prepares the sugar and tea for the lab. Photo by Sophia Lambrose

After determining all of the changes the tea had on the taste buds and reading the background information on the tea itself, the students drew a conclusion on how it works. The tea contains taste inhibitors that block certain, especially sweet, tastes from entering the taste buds, thus altering the taste of flavors all together.

The special “sugar-killing” tea is ready for students to try. Photo by Sophia Lambrose

“Gymnema” is Hindi for “destroyer of sugar” and the students’ concluded correctly about the sugar-killing effects of the Indian/African native plant.

Finally, the students added small amounts of food coloring to their tongues and looked through magnifying glasses to see more clearly what taste buds look like since blue food coloring makes the taste buds stand out much better. The tea party was a perfect balance of academic and fun that our very own Ms. Pausch attended!

If you are looking for a fun, new experience that is also educational, try attending one of Mrs. Hunt’s tea parties!