Butterfly pea tea is an herbal tea made from a striking blue flowers of the Clitoria ternatea plant, also known as butterfly pea or Asian pigeonwings. Once dried, the flowers give the tea an extremely mild floral flavor, and they are often combined with ingredients like lemongrass to create a more flavorful brew. The unique thing about the tea is not is flavor, however, but its color. When brewed, the tea will turn both hot and colr water a brilliant blue color. The colorful liquid will change color further when an acid is added to it – from blue to purple to pink – depending on the pH of the ingredients added to it.
How to use it
Butterfly pea is easily available online as a bagged tea and loose leaf. A small quantity added to water is all you need to begin the color change process and most brands will come with suggested amounts for their particular product. The tea will brew in both hot and cold water, requiring a slightly longer brewing time when combined with cold ingredients. Once brewed, the tea can be served immediately. As a blue drink, it’s beautiful, but its even more fun to watch it change color so it is worth turning it into iced tea or adding other flavorings. Acidic ingredients commonly added to tea include lemon juice and sugar. Most foods are slightly acidic, actually, so you can get a wide range of color variations depending on how you choose to dress up your tea.
To slow down the color change, you can also freeze the brewed tea in an ice cube tray. This produces blue ice cubes that will melt slowly into a drink. The blue cubes themselves can make a drink look very distinctive, but the slow color change is beautiful to watch, too.