5 Easy Steps 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. 

RELATED: How to Make Herbal Tea Properly

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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 for every cup of water (8 fl. oz.).

My Butterfly Pea Flower Tea Pick:

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.

Butterfly pea flower tea photo

Is There Caffeine in Butterfly Pea Flower Tea?

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

How Many Calories are There in Butterfly Pea Flower Tea?

There aren’t any calories 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

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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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 using tea in a recipe with other ingredients and to use loose tea when it’s to be made without anything else but water. 

What I Use to Make Butterfly Pea Flower Tea

Butterfly pea flower tea photo

How to Make Butterfly Pea Flower Tea Properly

STEP 1: Boil water.

Water quality is important with tea. The better the water, the better the cup of tea. Use filtered water if possible. 

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

Boil extra water so that you can use it to warm up the teapot.

STEP 2: 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 as its brewing.

STEP 3: Put butterfly pea flower tea into teapot and add hot water.

The formula is 1 1/2 teaspoons butterfly pea flowers for 1 cup of water.

STEP 4: Cover teapot and 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 5: Strain butterfly pea flowers and pour hot tea into a teacup.

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

RELATED: How to Make Chamomile Tea Properly

three ways to make iced butterfly pea flower tea

How to Make the Iced Butterfly Pea Flower Tea Properly

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

STEP 1: Put butterfly pea flower tea and water in a pitcher or glass container.

It’s the same formula to make cold brew tea: 1 1/2 teaspoons butterfly pea flowers for 1 cup of water.

I use a glass teapot with strainer and fill it with cool or room temperature filtered water and the butterfly pea flower tea.

You can also use a cold brew maker which is great for making cold brew tea or coffee.

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

You can steep in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.

STEP 3: Strain out butterfly pea flowers and pour tea into a cup.

Ice  is optional with cold brew tea. 

To make your butterfly pea flower sweetened, use simple syrup since it’s the easiest to incorporate into your cold tea since it’s a liquid.

Simple sugar is really easy to make at home. Just mix equal parts sugar and hot water until the sugar dissolves.

RELATED: 30 Refreshing Iced Tea Recipes

Blue tea with lemon juice

Once you’ve made the tea, add some lemon juice to see it change color.

RELATED: Quick and Easy Ginger Tea from Scratch

Iced butterfly pea flower tea

It turns from a blue to a purple!

RELATED: How to Make Rooibos Tea Properly

Iced butterfly pea flower tea

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

Butterfly Pea Flower Tea Tips

  • Instead of cold brewing, you can make iced tea 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 change the flavor.

Recipes with Butterfly Pea Flowers

 
 
 
Butterfly Pea Flower Tea

Butterfly Pea Flower Tea

Yield: Makes 1 serving

How to make butterfly pea flower tea properly, hot and cold.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Boil water.
    If using an electric kettle with temperature setting, set it to 208°F. Boil a little more water than needed so that it can be used to warm up the teapot.
    (Filtered water is best.)
  2. Warm up teapot.
    Pour some hot water into the teapot and cup and swirl it around a bit to warm up it up. Discard the water.
  3. Put butterfly pea flowers into teapot and add hot water.
  4. Cover teapot and steep for 5 minutes.
  5. Strain butterfly pea flowers and pour hot tea into a teacup.

Notes

To make cold brew iced butterfly pea flower tea:

  1. Put butterfly pea flowers and cold or room temperature water in a pitcher or glass container. (I like using this teapot with strainer.)
    Filtered water is best.
  2. Cover pitcher and put in refrigerator for at least 12 hours.
  3. Strain out butterfly pea flowers and pour tea into a cup.
  4. Add lemon slices or lemon juice for a better tasting drink.

Ice is optional since the tea is already cold.

To sweeten your tea:

If you want to sweeten your iced tea, use simple syrup.

You can easily make simple sugar at home by mixing equal parts sugar (or honey, date syrup, or brown sugar) and hot water until the sugar dissolves.

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