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.
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.
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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.
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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.).
How to Make Butterfly Pea Flower Tea Properly
STEP 1: Warm up teapot.
Pour some hot water into the teapot and swirl it around a bit to warm it up. Discard water.
When the teapot is 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 cup.
After the tea has been made, feel free to add lemon slices into your drink and watch the color change from blue to purple.
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 cup with ice.
Once you’ve made the tea, add some lemon juice.
It turns from a blue to a purple!
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 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.
- 1 1/2 teaspoons butterfly pea flower tea
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup ice
- Put butterfly pea flower tea and water in a pitcher.
- Cover pitcher and put in refrigerator for at least 12 hours.
- Strain out butterfly pea flower solids and pour tea into cup with ice.
- Optional: Add lemon juice or lemon slices for a better tasting drink.
HOT BUTTERFLY PEA FLOWER TEA
- Warm up teapot.
Pour some hot water into the teapot and swirl it around a bit to warm it up. Discard the water.
- Put butterfly pea flower tea into teapot and add hot water.
- Steep for 5 minutes.
- Strain butterfly pea flower solids and pour hot tea into tea cup.
Optional: Add lemon juice or honey