Teatime isn’t supposed to be a chemistry lesson. It’s supposed to be about sipping tea and snacking on deliciously sweet cakes, discussing simple things. The words “oxidation” and “molecules” don’t usually enter into the conversation.
But when your tea is slowly turning bright purple, it’s hard not to ask questions.
This is what happens when you order the special green tea at Chalet de tia Mercês in the tiny village of Furnas in São Miguel, Portugal. Here, owner Paula Aguiar has set up shop inside a volcanic cauldron, where she uses geothermally heated water straight from the ground to make her tea. This not only turns it bright purple but also effectively makes it one of the few places in the world where you can safely drink tea sourced from volcanic water.