How to Make Butterfly Pea Flower Tea Properly (Hot & Iced)

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Butterfly pea flower tea is an herbal tea, or a tisane drink, that naturally turns blue when steeped in water. See how to make this fun drink and how to make it change color.

Iced butterfly pea flower tea

Butterfly Pea Flower Tea

  • Butterfly pea flower tea is an herbal drink made from dried butterfly pea flowers steeped in water.
  • It’s caffeine-free.
  • 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 that colors and flavors the water.
  • The color goes from blue to purple when the pH level changes. Adding something acidic like lemon juice changes the color. It’s like magic!
  • Contain antioxidants which helps to protect your body from cell damage.

RELATED: Butterfly Pea Flower Tea Latte

What You’ll Need 

Butterfly pea flower tea photo

TO MAKE HOT BUTTERFLY PEA FLOWER TEA

TO MAKE COLD BREW BUTTERFLY PEA FLOWER TEA

My Butterfly Pea Flower Pick:

Butterfly Pea Flowers

Photo Credit: Harney.com

Dried butterfly pea flowers from Thailand. (Free shipping!)
SEE PRICE ON HARNEY.COM

How to Make Hot Butterfly pea flower Tea properly

Butterfly pea flower tea photo

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 while it’s brewing.

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

STEP 4: Cover teapot and steep for 5 minutes.

The minimum steep time for herbal tea is 5 minutes. You can steep for longer without the tea getting bitter unlike green tea.

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

You can add lemon slices into your drink and watch the color change from blue to purple.

How to Make Iced Butterfly pea flower tea

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 cool or room temperature water in a pitcher or glass container.

Tea Sommelier’s Tip: If you make cold brew often, get a cold brew pitcher which comes with an infuser. It makes it super easy to make iced tea.

STEP 2: Cover pitcher and put in refrigerator for at least 6 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 syrup is really easy to make at home. Just mix equal parts sugar and hot water until sugar dissolves.

RELATED: 30 Refreshing Iced Tea Recipes

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

It turns from a blue to a purple!

BUTTERFLY PEA FLOWER TEA TIPS

  • Butterfly pea flower 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 lemon or honey to change the flavor.
  • Use butterfly pea flower and lemonade to make a pretty and great-tasting drink.

QUESTIONS YOU MAY HAVE

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.

Is there caffeine?

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

What’s the difference between loose tea, tea sachets, and tea bags?

Loose butterfly pea flowers are the best quality. Tea sachets are good to OK quality and tea bags are the lowest in quality.

Is butterfly pea flower tea a real 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. 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 Brewing Guide

TO MAKE HOT BUTTERFLY PEA FLOWER TEA
TEA:
1.5 teaspoons loose butterfly pea flowers or 1 tea bag
WATER:
1 cup (8 fl. oz.)
WATER TEMPERATURE:
208°F
STEEP TIME:
5 minutes

TO MAKE COLD BREW BUTTERFLY PEA FLOWER TEA
TEA:
1.5 teaspoons loose butterfly pea flowers or 1 tea bag
WATER:
1 cup (8 fl. oz.)
WATER TEMPERATURE:
Cold water
STEEP TIME:
12 hours

Butterfly Pea Flower Tea

Author: Jee Choe
Butterfly pea flower tea is an herbal tea that naturally turns blue when steeped in water. 
4.6 from 30 votes
Prep Time 2 mins
Steep Time 5 mins
Total Time 7 mins
Course Drinks
Yield1 serving

INGREDIENTS
 

INSTRUCTIONS
 

  • 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.
  • Warm up teapot.
    Pour some hot water into a teapot and swirl it around a bit. Discard the water.
  • Put butterfly pea flowers into teapot and add hot water.
  • Cover teapot and steep for 5 minutes.
  • Strain butterfly pea flowers and pour hot tea into a teacup.

NOTES

TO MAKE COLD BREW BUTTERFLY PEA FLOWER TEA
1. Put butterfly pea flowers and cold or room temperature water in a pitcher or glass container. 
Filtered water is best for a better tasting iced tea.
2. Cover pitcher and put in refrigerator for at least 6 hours.
3. Strain out butterfly pea flowers and pour tea into a cup. 
Ice is optional since the tea is already cold.
TO SWEETEN ICED BUTTERFLY PEA FLOWER TEA
To sweeten, use simple syrup. You can easily make simple syrup at home by mixing equal parts sugar (or honey, date syrup, or brown sugar) and hot water until sugar dissolves.
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32 thoughts on “How to Make Butterfly Pea Flower Tea Properly (Hot & Iced)”

  1. I have a home grown ( garden ) butterfly pea plant, should i use the petals from there directly? it wouldn’t be dangerous or poisonous would it be ?

    Reply
    • Hi beginner_at_tea, I can’t say if it’s safe to use. I’ve only used food-grade butterfly pea flower petals.

      Reply

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