Introduction: Gravy Tea Bags Prank

Picture of Gravy Tea Bags Prank

Here's how to slyly replace the tea in a tea bag with some delicious gravy granules. Perfect for April fools day! What a tea-rrible prank to play on your family and friends.

This is my entry to the 2010 April fools day contest. Want to see more cool pranks? Subscribe, I have a few more coming.

One of the 3 pictures below is of a modified tea bag. Can YOU tell the difference?

Step 1: You Will Need...

Here's what you'll need:

  • A few tea bags
  • Gravy granules
  • A sharp craft knife
  • Sellotape
  • A tea loving friend with a sense of humour (or not, it's up to you!)

Step 2: Open It Up

Picture of Open It Up

Shake all the tea down one end of the bag. Make a very light cut 5-10mm down from the edge of the stuck part of the bag, about 15mm long. This will give you space to get the sellotape in there to seal it up after.

If your tea bags are the kind with a staple in the top you needn't bother with this, remove the staple and save it for later.

Empty the tea from the bag.

Step 3: Fill It

Picture of Fill It

Add half a tea spoon of gravy granules to the tea bag.

Squeezing the bag either side will open the slit up nicely so you can fill it easily.

Squash the granules a bit so they're not lumpy and look more like tea.

Step 4: Seal It

Picture of Seal It

I tried using double sided tape for this, hence the pictures of it behind my tea bags. It was hard to get it inside and then get the backing off then get the bag in place well.

Sellotape is much easier. You could use glue but it might not dry clear and it could poison your friend a little.

Cut a small slither of sellotape a little narrower than the slit in your tea bag. Insert on end of the slither into the tea bag facing up. Press down on the bag to get it firmly stuck then slide the side of the cut that the tape is on back, careful not to rip the cut wider. This should allow you to poke the tape into the other side of the cut. Once in place, press firmly.

At this point the slit is almost invisible if you've done it well. Most tea bags are a little crinkled anyway, screw your tea bag up to further hide your modifications, the extra creases will only help the slit blend in even better!

Step 5: Use It

Picture of Use It

Now you're done, either put it back in its packet ready for someone to use or back in the box if it's not a single packet tea bag. Make sure you're around to see the look on their face when they don't get any tea!

Got a good video of you using this prank? Submit it in the comments. I've entered this into the April fools day contest. If I win, the best video will get the pro membership that comes with my prize as I already have one.


lemonie (author)2010-03-16

I did cornflour milk once (I think?), but I don't think it was as good as this could be.
One down-side is that my tap water makes tea look a clear red, if you're on that southern hard-water stuff, gravy & tea don't look much different.


Jayefuu (author)lemonie2010-03-16

Yeh our water's hard :(

lemonie (author)Jayefuu2010-03-16

So your tea looks brown & muddy? It's interesting polyphenol-mineral chemistry - do you get a slight scum on the surface?


Jayefuu (author)lemonie2010-03-16

Yeh, with scum in the bottom. Another reason to move to Manchester! Better tea.

lemonie (author)Jayefuu2010-03-16

I could mail you some Yorkshire water. But you'd have to be in, a bottle ain't going to go through a letterbox...


Jayefuu (author)lemonie2010-03-16

Got a few hundred miles of copper pipe and a good pump? I heard something interesting the other day, not sure it's true. It was that the tea companies produce different tea blends for sale in different places in England. This is to account for the different water hardnesses. If you buy Tea in Surrey and brew it in Yorkshire it'll taste worse than if you bought Yorkshire tea in Yorkshire. Fact or fiction? Apply your chemistry knowledge to that please Sir. :D

Louis_P (author)Jayefuu2016-11-14

This is 100% true. You can buy hard water and soft water tea.

lemonie (author)Jayefuu2010-03-16

Possibly true. The polyphenols combine with metal ions to produce that "scum", but tea is tea, you can't do too much. I've taken Ipswich water and done a comparison - big difference, but these aquifers are saturated with minerals.


(fresh-brewed image for you)

Jayefuu (author)lemonie2010-03-16

Wow! You can see through it.

lemonie (author)Jayefuu2010-03-16

Yes you can see through it - my dad is colour-blind, he used to think it was green... I found some Ipswich water for comparison (note that it boils ~2 degrees hotter)


Jayefuu (author)lemonie2010-03-16

You have bottles of water from different places in the country just lying around "just in case"? (any difference in taste?)

lemonie (author)Jayefuu2010-03-16

I took some back for testing (same conditions) that's where I get the real comparisons and the temp diff. You know the tea tastes different, but the "why" isn't so sharp without a good trial. In this case I only used one bottle, the other was spare (until today)


frollard (author)lemonie2010-03-16

I noticed that scume you mentioned earlier - you say its from metals -- I only get it when I make tea ("orange" pekoe) with a french press as a carafe, with the plunger in the water!

l8nite (author)frollard2010-03-16

our tap water here in north east florida tastes NAAAAASTY even with a filter not to mention it recks havoc on plumbing... I use bottled water for cooking and drinking, theres a real difference in tea and coffee and even the taste of pasta or soups.

 This gravy trick or the hotpepper version mentioned below would be fantastic if there was someone in the house to pull it on...

frollard (author)l8nite2010-03-16


We did our honeymoon in orlando(ish).  The tap water literally made me gag.  I'm flabbergasted that a first world country resorts to...whatever...that municipality does for water treatment.  It really blew me away.

toogers (author)frollard2010-03-22

everybody says arizona water is gross, but i don't see how. all water should taste gross, because humans can't taste water-we only taste the imperfections.

bmarconi (author)toogers2014-04-01

actually most people don't drink pure water so you can still taste pure water with nothing else in it. most of the time after about year or so of drinking the same water "assuming that you remain hydrated" you will become desensitized to it and will no longer be able to taste the water. also humans are born desensitized to the smell of water.

frollard (author)toogers2010-03-23

...because arizona water is full of impurities.  Lots of them.

alphabetgirl (author)frollard2010-03-23
I am from Newark, New Jersey.  The water there was and is excellent.  Everyone who tries it agrees.  It has all the right minerals!  And our water is "hard".  People buy water softeners.  I think it helps in the laundry.
Onkei (author)lemonie2010-03-17

What do you mean when you say your water is hard. I have never heard that expression before. I'm from Arizona.

Jayefuu (author)Onkei2010-03-17

It means there are a lot of dissolved minerals in the water.

PeterH2 (author)2016-04-01

This is hard to believe but not long after we got married my wife brought me a cup of tea in bed. It was April 1st and the "tea" was made with gravy browning.

The joke rebounded as I drank it down without noticing!

thelandlord (author)2010-03-17

You might get some 'interesting' results with catnip...  >;-) 

bmarconi (author)thelandlord2014-04-01

they already do make catnip tea and I find it quite good actually.

acaig (author)2014-04-01

I'm glad I don't work at my last place of work prank tea is a favourite there but no one has done gravy tea yet to my knowledge excellent idea

Remag1234 (author)2014-03-25

Evil, I love it.

holly-g (author)2014-03-06

Bahahaha good one.

claramecium (author)2013-06-11

that is ssssssooooooooo cruel!

bpfh (author)2013-04-21

Better to open up the bag where the string goes in, and fill there, then just use a staple to close the bag and lock the string back in place... No tape to float off into your brew!

icebird (author)2010-03-16

Might I suggest crushed, dried habanero pepper?

Jayefuu (author)icebird2010-03-16

Toooooooooo evil perhaps? :D

valhallas_end (author)Jayefuu2010-03-16

You could tone it down and use Cajun seasoning - many of the mixes look just like tea, and though the flavor is excellent on meat, I can't imagine the tastiness would translate to tea.  I suppose chili seasonings or curry mixes could work well, too.
I should really try this for April Fools Day (retrograde payback).  Most of my family drinks tea, and I suppose if you ground those granules well enough they'd be easily concealable in coffee mixes...

Doesn't the gravy dissolve?  I'm thinking of the USA 'instant buillon' soups. There'd be nothing left in the tea bag, if they take it out before drinking.

The herbal suggestions sound good, as they'd still be visible in the bag.
albetcha (author)alphabetgirl2012-04-01

True dat! You'd almost have to just remove a portion of the tea or so, and replace w/ equal amts. of fun stuff to keep it realistic in the very end.

This would be awesome for the people who would have to wash out their tea cups. You know the people I'm talking about! Never washed in #amt of years.

Jayefuu (author)valhallas_end2010-03-17

Don't forget to film it :D

valhallas_end (author)Jayefuu2010-03-17

I will try, but we've historically failed at filming pranks.  For some reason, everyone in my family associates video cameras with practical jokes (probably my dad's fault!), and we all learned how to spot hidden cameras in passing.  I'll need a clever system indeed for this year...

pie R []ed (author)valhallas_end2010-03-20

Try placing the camera under a loosely woven cloth. You can't see the camera but it can see you...

valhallas_end (author)pie R []ed2010-03-21

Heh, that may work, but I'd have to find a reason to have a cloth hanging/lying anywhere - clutter is normally eradicated in our house.  Now that I think about it though, I may be able to get away with "it's on the charger" or "it's hooked up to TV to watch [some video]", a fairly regular occurrence that may go unnoticed on April 1st.
Or, I could be really mean and walk around with the camcorder all morning - incite some paranoia, maybe?

icebird (author)icebird2010-03-25

Could also add a bit of cumin for that fresh armpit taste.

lane29 (author)icebird2010-03-24


mykiscool (author)2012-01-02

It could just poison your friends a little. Lol

tahirhh (author)2010-03-17

Did you by any chance get this idea roughly from an episode of "Only Fools and Horses"? Where granddad (or uncle Albert, I can't remember which) accidentally uses the coffee powder for gravy and the gravy granules for coffee at a dinner party at their house with Casandra's parents.
P.S. I also live in Surrey

Jayefuu (author)tahirhh2010-03-17

He he no. That does remind me of a story my mum told me. She got served gravy instead of tea when she visited an old lady. :D

Shadow13! (author)Jayefuu2010-03-18

I have on relative that accidentally put parmigiana in their coffee instead of creamer and another who accidentally put creamer on his pasta. speaking of non-dairy creamer have you seen how flammable it is, go Myth Busters.

porcupinemamma (author)Shadow13!2010-03-20

I once accidentaly ironed all my husbands shirts with window cleaner-I don't iron anymore...

bajablue (author)porcupinemamma2011-09-26

LOL! ;-O)

try ironing again but this time with a video camera.


bajablue (author)2011-09-26

lol... This is another "napkins-REQUIRED" prank. Gravy out the nose is probably pretty messy! ;-O)

Plasmana (author)2010-03-20

I am sooo doing this at my college, everybody drinks way too much tea here, hehe

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