A pretty, color-changing layered iced matcha green tea lemonade made with butterfly pea flowers that turns the drink from blue to purple.
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Butterfly Pea Flower Tea
Butterfly pea flowers comes from a plant in Southeast Asia and it’s been used there for centuries to add a bright blue color to food like rice and it’s steeped in water for drinking as an herbal tea.
Butterfly pea tea isn’t technically a tea, but an infusion. For something to be a true tea, the leaves must come from a different plant, the camellia sinensis. Only leaves from the camellia sinensis is real tea.
To make butterfly pea flower tea, the flowers with its bright blue petals are steeped in hot water to create a vibrant blue color. Honey or sweeteners can be added to the drink and it can be prepared hot or cold.
The fun color-changing part of the drink is from the butterfly pea flowers. The flowers are a vibrant deep blue when steeped in hot water but when lemon is added, it changes color to a jewel-tone purple.
The more lemon juice is added, the more purple the tea will become.
Where to Buy Butterfly Pea Flower Tea
When buying from Amazon, make sure to check the ingredients that the flowers aren’t mixed with lemongrass.
If you want easy to use butterfly pea flowers in tea bags, they sell those too on Amazon. I’ve used them and they’re easier to use than the loose flowers.
What Does Butterfly Pea Tea Taste Like?
It tastes earthy, almost woody. It’s not a really pleasant taste that makes me want to drink it on its own. This also explains why they sell butterfly pea tea with lemongrass to add a bit of a different flavor.
For this recipe, the matcha and the lemonade are the dominant flavors and masks the butterfly pea tea flavor.
What I Used to Make Butterfly Pea Flower Matcha Lemonade
Get a bright green matcha in the $15-$30 range regardless of whether it’s labeled ceremonial or culinary grade. If you don’t want to spend too much, get this lower grade matcha.
- Butterfly pea flowers
- Strainer to filter out the flowers.
- Teapot to steep the flowers in.
This glass teapot is my go-to for brewing tea for recipes.
- Sugar, lemon, and water to make the lemonade.
- Citrus juicer
- Saucepan with a spout to make the simple syrup.
- Wide-mouth water bottle
- Glass cups
- Ice cube tray
How to Make Butterfly Pea Flower Tea
To make the blue tea, steep the butterfly pea flowers in hot water for about 3-5 minutes. The longer you steep, the darker the blue the tea will get.
I wanted a really deep blue color so I added 2 teaspoons of the butterfly pea flower to a cup of water.
The tea will be hot, so give it time to cool so it can be added to an iced drink.
The butterfly pea tea can also be made ahead of time and stored and chilled in the refrigerator with the lemonade.
How to Make Matcha for Iced Drinks
When I first used to make iced matcha drinks, I used to use the traditional method of preparing matcha using a matcha bowl and bamboo whisk.
I WAS DOING IT WRONG.
I have a much easier and better method of making matcha for cold drinks that has been a game-changer.
Take a wide-mouth water bottle and pour in cold water, then matcha. Tighten the lid and give it a good 10 second shake. Done.
Really? Yes, really.
No clumps and you don’t need to wait for the matcha to cool.
How to Make Matcha Butterfly Pea Flower Lemonade
After the lemonade, butterfly pea tea and the matcha have been made, it’s time to build the drink!
I’m going for the layered effect with the butterfly pea tea at the bottom and the matcha sitting on top.
First, I pour in the butterfly pea flower tea in a cup with ice. It’s such a pretty blue. Fill the tea about a third of the cup.
Next, the lemonade goes in. You can see the color start to shift from blue to purple.
Add enough lemonade to fill 2/3 of the cup.
Once the lemonade goes in, there’s hardly any blue left.
And finally, the matcha layer. The jewel tones are gorgeous together.
Who knew purple and green would be such a pretty combo?
Matcha Butterfly Pea Flower Lemonade Tips
- Sugar is the key in keeping the bottom layer and the top layer separate.
- When ready to drink, make sure you mix the layers together so you can get the sweet and sourness from the lemonade with the matcha.
- Don’t use boiling hot water for the flowers or the matcha. The water should be hot, but not full boil hot.
- The lemonade and the butterfly pea tea can be made in advance and kept in the refrigerator but don’t make the matcha ahead of time.
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup lemon juice (1 lemon)
BUTTERFLY PEA FLOWER TEA INGREDIENTS
- 2 teaspoons butterfly pea flowers
- 1 cup water
- 2 teaspoons matcha
- 1 cup cold water
- Make simple syrup by adding sugar and water into a saucepan and bringing it to a boil.
- Lower heat to simmer until sugar has completely dissolved, about 3 minutes. Take off heat and let cool. Stir in lemon juice.
Make Butterfly Pea Flower Tea
- Steeping butterfly pea flowers in hot water for 3-5 minutes. The longer you steep the flowers, the darker the blue the tea will be. Discard flowers. Let cool.
- Into a wide-mouth water bottle, pour in cold water then matcha. Close lid and shake for 10 seconds.
- In two glass cups filled with ice, pour in the butterfly pea flower tea about a third of the way for each cup.
- Pour in the lemonade until it reached 2/3 of the cup, then finally top each cup with matcha.
- Stir before drinking.
- There will be more lemonade than needed for the recipe so you can store the rest in the refrigerator.
- The lemonade and butterfly pea flower tea can both be made in advance and kept cool in the refrigerator.