Blue tea or butterfly pea flower tea is an herbal tea that can literally add magic to your cup. This caffeine-free flower tea is rapidly gaining in popularity, and it's not only the beautiful blue colour this tea can offer. blue iced tea is very easy to make, tastes refreshing and contains no caffeine. Served with a couple of lemon ice cubes, it will slowly change its colour to purple.
What is blue tea?
Blue tea is a butterfly pea flower tea is an herbal tea made from dried flowers of Clitoria ternatea, a tropical plant originating in Asia. Butterfly Pea plant has a beautiful blue flowers that are commonly used as a natural remedy or colourant. Beautiful blue colour comes from a group of pigments called anthocyanins (Source: UF/IFAS). Anthocyanins give colour to many fruits, vegetables and even Camellia sinensis purple tea, and may provide an antioxidant activity (Source: NIH). Blueberries, purple cabbage, chokeberries and bilberries are only some of the foods rich in this antioxidant.
Recently, blue tea has become available from many online tea shops and is becoming a common ingredient in herbal blends too. It's also available from marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay.
The main reason behind its rising popularity in the western countries is not the potential health benefit, but the ability to change colour from deep midnight blue to purple.
Why is blue tea changing colour to purple?
This colour changing ability results from changing the pH value of the tea. When you add acidic lemon, the colour of the tea will change to purple. Try adding bicarbonate of soda into butterfly pea tea without lemon and it will turn green.
Tips for getting the most beautiful colour from butterfly pea flower:
- Buy dry flowers that have a bluish, rather than purplish colour and lighter instead of yellowish calyx.
- If your tea contains flowers with both blue and purple colour, separate them and use blue flowers only
- To intensify the midnight blue colour, add only 1-2 drops of lemon juice – not more
- To change the colour from midnight blue to purple, 4-5 drops of lemon juice will be enough
What does butterfly pea flower tea taste like?
Although the scent of blue tea is unique, the flavour is quite delicate. It has a light, herbaceous flavour that will blend well with many ingredients. It's not an overwhelming tea. You can try it with different citruses or other herbs and flowers such as lemongrass, mint, or chamomile.
How to make frozen lemon ice cubes?
To make frozen lemon ice cubes, you will need an ice tray or a silicone mould, lemon and water. Don't use pure lemon as it won't freeze properly. You can mix it in a 1:1 ratio and freeze overnight. You may wonder why making lemon ice cubes instead of simply adding lemon juice. The answer is to delay the colour changing effect of your blue iced tea.
Blue Iced Tea
- 1 300 ml serving glass
- 10 whole butterfly pea flowers
- 200 ml of water
- 1 teaspoon of honey or simple syrup
- 1 glass of ice + 1-2 lemon ice cubes
- Bring fresh water to a boil.
- Steep 10 blue flower in 200 ml of water for 3-5 minutes at 100 degrees Celsius.
- Strain the tea into a serving glass.
- Add honey and stir.
- Add ice.
- Wait a couple of minutes until it cools slightly, add lemon juice ice cubes and serve immediately.