How to Make Butterfly Pea Flower Tea Properly

Butterfly pea flower tea is an herbal tea, or a tisane drink, that naturally turns blue when steeped in water. 

iced blue tea

Butterfly Pea Flower Tea

Butterfly pea flower tea is a drink made from dried butterfly pea flowers steeped in water. The blue flower colors and flavors the water. The blue-colored herbal tea can be made hot or cold.

What is Butterfly Pea Flower?

Butterfly pea flower comes from a plant called Clitoria ternatea that’s native to Southeast Asia. The flowers are deep blue in color with a tinge of purple. 

The dried flowers are popular in Southeast Asia to color food like rice and it’s also brewed in water to make a blue-colored tea. It’s called blue tea for this reason.

What makes butterfly pea flowers special is that they can change from blue to purple when the pH level (by adding something like lemon juice) is altered. 

What Does It Taste Like?

I don’t love the taste of butterfly pea flower tea. It tastes earthy and woody. It’s definitely pretty to look at but it tastes bleh. I never drink it on its own.

It tastes best when other things are added, notably lemon. It brightens up the drink, masking the earthy taste.

Is There Caffeine in Butterfly Pea Flower Tea?

Nope, there’s no caffeine in butterfly pea flower tea. 

Is Butterfly Pea Flower Tea a Real Tea?

Real tea is tea made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. Black, oolong, green, and white tea are all real or true tea.

Butterfly pea flower tea is made from the Clitoria ternatea plant, not the Camellia sinensis so it’s not a real tea. All herbal teas aren’t real teas.

RELATED: How to Make Hibiscus Tea Properly

This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link.

Butterfly pea flower tea photo

What are the Health Benefits of Butterfly Pea Flower Tea?

  • Contain antioxidants which helps to protect your body from cell damage
  • Improves memory
  • Reduces stress
  • Helps with insomnia

All these are health claims without a ton of scientific evidence so drink in moderation and don’t expect magical results. 

RELATED: 30 Refreshing Iced Tea Recipes


Free Quick Cold Brew Tea Guide

Join my free email list to get the cold brew tea cheat sheet!



Butterfly pea flower loose tea and tea bags

Tea Bags vs. Loose Tea 

Loose tea is higher in quality because the entire flower is intact. The butterfly pea flower in tea bags are broken up into tiny pieces and of lower quality. 

My rule of thumb is to use tea bags when I’m using tea in a recipe with other ingredients and to use loose tea when it’s to be made without anything else but water. 

Since I don’t like the flavor with just water and usually add other ingredients, I use tea bags.

Where to Buy Butterfly Pea Flower Online

Be careful when buying dried butterfly pea flowers. Make sure the only ingredient listed is butterfly pea flowers. I’ve seen a few with lemongrass added.

What I Use to Make Butterfly Pea Flower Tea

Butterfly Pea Flower Tea Formula

To make this herbal tea properly, hot or cold, you’ll need:

1 1/2 teaspoons of butterfly pea flowers, or one tea bag, for every cup of water (8 fl. oz.).

Butterfly pea flower tea photo

How to Make Butterfly Pea Flower Tea Properly

STEP 1: Warm up teapot and cups.

Pour some hot water into the teapot and cups and swirl it around a bit to warm up them up. Discard the water.

When the teapot and cups are warm, the tea won’t cool down as fast.

STEP 2: Put butterfly pea flower tea into teapot and add hot water.

Remember the formula is 1 1/2 teaspoons butterfly pea flowers to 1 cup of water.

If you’re using an electric kettle with a temperature setting, set it to 208°F, otherwise you can just use boiling hot water.

STEP 3: Steep for 5 minutes.

The minimum steep time for herbal tea is 5 minutes. You can steep for a couple of minutes longer without the tea getting bitter.

STEP 4: Strain butterfly pea flower solids and pour hot tea into tea cups or mugs.

After the tea has been made, feel free to add lemon slices into your drink and watch the color change from blue to purple.

three ways to make iced butterfly pea flower tea

How to Make the Perfect Iced Butterfly Pea Flower Tea 

My favorite way to make butterfly pea flower tea is iced. And the best way to make it iced tea is to cold brew it! 

STEP 1: Put butterfly pea flower tea and cool water in a pitcher.

STEP 2: Cover pitcher and put in refrigerator for at least 12 hours.

STEP 3: Strain out solids and pour tea into cups with ice.

Blue tea with lemon juice

Once you’ve made the tea, add some lemon juice.

RELATED: Herbal Medicinal Tea

Iced butterfly pea flower tea

It turns from a blue to a purple!

Iced butterfly pea flower tea

I like it with just lemon slices and the color change is a little more subtle.

Recipes with Butterfly Pea Flowers

Butterfly Pea Flower Tea Latte

Gorgeous iced blue tea latte made with butterfly pea flowers.

Get the Recipe

Butterfly Pea Flower Matcha Lemonade

A color-changing layered matcha lemonade made with butterfly pea flowers that turns the drink from blue to purple.

Get the Recipe

Butterfly Pea Flower Tea Tips

  • Instead of cold brewing, you can make iced tea quicker by steeping 1 tea bag in hot water in 1/2 cup of water. After the 5 minute steep time, remove tea bag and add 1/2 cup cold water or 1 cup ice.
  • Herbal tea isn’t as tricky to make as black or green tea in that it doesn’t get bitter if you brew it for too long. 
  • Butterfly pea flower tea on its own doesn’t taste too great so be sure to add lemons or honey to alter the flavor.
 
 
 
Iced Butterfly Pea Flower Tea

Iced Butterfly Pea Flower Tea

Yield: Makes 1 serving

How to make butterfly pea flower tea properly.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Put butterfly pea flower tea and water in a pitcher.
  2. Cover pitcher and put in refrigerator for at least 12 hours.
  3. Strain out butterfly pea flower solids and pour tea into cup with ice.
  4. Optional: Add lemon juice or lemon slices for a better tasting drink.

Notes

HOT BUTTERFLY PEA FLOWER TEA

  1. Warm up teapot and cup.
    Pour some hot water into the teapot and cups and swirl it around a bit to warm up them up. Discard the water.
  2. Put butterfly pea flower tea into teapot and add hot water.
  3. Steep for 5 minutes.
  4. Strain butterfly pea flower solids and pour hot tea into tea cups or mugs.

Optional: Add lemon juice or honey

You Might Also Like...

Leave A Comment