Magical butterfly pea flower tea
I first had a cocktail using butterfly pea flower tea in Bangkok. I remember while waiting to check in we were given some drinks and I saw this pretty purplish blue drink placed by us. The butterfly pea flower tea cocktail looked great but there was no way it was naturally colored I figured, so I didn’t touch it. Then, after talking to the kind staff member she explained to me the color was from butterfly pea flowers! That was quite some time ago and butterfly pea flowers weren’t common in the United States then. Although it is common in Southeast Asia it’s become easier to find now in the West in recent years.
I’m all about natural colors. Artificial colors just introduce unnecessary chemicals into food we consume.
Butterfly pea flower tea is
- Caffeine free herbal tea
- Scientific name for the flowers is Clitoria ternatea
- Native to Asia, grown more widely in tropical regions now
- Tastes earthly, mild woody on its own
- Used as a natural dye
Dried butterfly pea flowers look like this:
Butterfly pea flowers produce a range of colors dependent on the amount of acidity in the drink. I have some ideas on drinks or a simple tea you can make with them below.
The color produced is a deep sapphire blue that changes to royal purple, to a pretty lavender purple. It literally is like a mood ring drink. I made a fun stop mo on it linked here:
What is this witchcraft and wizardry? It’s just science behind the drink
So, in that stop motion the butterfly pea flower drinks are pictured with hydrangeas. The colors in the drink are very similar to the hydrangea colors from my garden. Just like hydrangeas change colors dependent on ph level, the butterfly pea flower changes colors with ph levels. The easiest way to get the varied colors is the addition of different amounts of lemon. However, you could experiment with different additions to the butterfly pea flower tea.
Where can you buy butterfly pea flowers?
You can buy it primarily and most easily online. I particulary like this brand. I’ve also linked a few others I’ve tried in my Amazon shop here.
Benefits of the Butterfly Pea Flower tea
Butterfly pea flowers are rich in antioxidants and anthocyanins. Although there are other stated benefits, there have not been extensive studies done on it.
How to make butterfly pea flower tea
- Boil 1 cups of water in a pot
- Add 1 tablespoons of the dried flowers and turn off the heat
- Let steep 3-4 minutes
- Strain the tea
Butterfly Pea Flower Tea Mocktail/Cocktail Ideas
Using butterfly pea flower you can easily get beautiful colored drinks such as:
- Lavender Lemonade
- Elderflower Rose
- Blue Hawaiian
You will get a beautiful lavender color naturally! See the picture below.
Combine equal parts pineapple juice and coconut water with about 1/4 cup butterfly pea flower tea. Serve slightly shaken over ice, or blend for a refreshing summer slushy. You could also use coconut milk instead of water for a creamier version.