Butterfly pea flower tea is a delicious tea that is sweeping across the world and growing in popularity.
Originating in Southeast Asia, this tea is as famous for uplifting mood as it is for the impactful and beautiful blue color it imbues.
Have you been thinking of trying butterfly pea flower tea for yourself?
In this article, we’ll take a closer look so you can decide whether or not you want to try butterfly pea flower tea for yourself.
What Is Butterfly Pea Flower Tea?
An herbal tea made from the butterfly pea plant, this unique drink is bright blue.
The butterfly pea plant, Clitoria ternatea, originates from Southeast Asia, where it has been used for centuries as both a refreshing drink and a dye for clothes and goods.
The butterfly pea flower creates a strong colored effect that is dependent on pH, producing rich and vibrant colors that range from blue to red.
The tea made from butterfly pea flowers is famous for its mellow and delicious floral flavor, and its refreshing and uplifting effects. Traditionally made in Thailand, it is called Nam Dok Anchan.
As it spreads across the world, more and more people are discovering the interesting flavor and color of butterfly pea flower tea.
What Flavor Does Butterfly Pea Flower Tea Have For Drinkers?
Although the color of the drink is vibrant and bright, the flavor of butterfly pea flower tea is mellow, light, and floral without ever being overpowering. It is similar to chamomile tea, with very subtle notes of lavender and vanilla.
The delicate flavor is gentle enough for newcomers but subtle and challenging enough for experienced tea drinkers to enjoy and be enraptured by.
Where Does Butterfly Pea Flower Tea Come From?
The plant that is used to produce butterfly pea flower tea is Clitoria ternatea. It grows across Asia and is sometimes called other names, like Cordofan pea, Darwin pea, blue pea, bluebellvine, and Asian pigeonwings.
The blue tea that is made with the butterfly pea flower is part of Southeast Asian cuisine and is popular in Thailand and Vietnam.
What Does Butterfly Pea Flower Tea Look Like?
The vibrant, striking appearance of butterfly pea flower tea is part of what has contributed to its massive explosion in popularity, fueled by social media.
Butterfly pea flower tea is strikingly beautiful in clear glass, with a vibrant blue color that almost looks like magic.
The appearance of this “magic elixir” is part of its appeal, but in a bag butterfly pea flower tea looks similar to other dried flower tea, with shriveled petals and a woody, mushroom smell.
Is Butterfly Pea Flower Tea Healthy?
There are numerous health benefits to butterfly pea flower tea that make it an excellent addition to your diet, as a refreshment any time of day.
Butterfly pea flower tea is rich in anthocyanin, which is responsible for its deep blue color.
These anthocyanins, called ternatins, are also antioxidants that remove free radicals from your bloodstream, reduce inflammation, and decrease cancer risk.
Other antioxidants in Butterfly pea flower tea are kaempferol, p-Coumaric acid, Delphinidin-3,5-glucoside.
These antioxidants are also likely responsible for claims that Butterfly pea flower tea can improve your hair and skin health.
A 2021 study showed that butterfly pea extract increased skin hydration by 75% after topical application, and a 2012 study suggested that butterfly pea extract could be more effective at promoting hair growth and regrowth than minoxidil, a common hair-replacement treatment.
Although further research is necessary, it is possible that butterfly pea flower tea supports weight loss, by slowing the formation and synthesis of fat cells in your body.
Studies also indicate that butterfly pea extract can reduce the risk of diabetes and associated symptoms. Although more research is needed, diabetic rats have stabilized and reduced blood sugar levels after being given butterfly pea extract.
Butterfly pea flower tea is a very healthy drink with plenty of health benefits, even if some of them have yet to be proven medically.
What Are The Dangers Of Drinking Butterfly Pea Flower Tea?
Butterfly pea flower tea is very safe to drink, with very few documented possible side effects.
Some anecdotal reports exist of people feeling nauseous or ill after drinking it, but medically this has never been associated with the tea, and there is no evidence that drinking butterfly pea flower tea can cause these symptoms.
How Do You Drink Butterfly Pea Flower Tea?
If you are brewing butterfly pea flower tea by yourself at home, you’ll need some dried flower along with a good mug and some hot water.
Add boiling water to your mug along with 5-7 dried flowers. It’s a good idea to use a tea ball if you have one, so you won’t need to strain your tea afterward.
Allow the tea to steep for at least 5 minutes. You can allow butterfly pea flower tea to steep for up to 30 minutes, and it won’t get bitter like green tea does, but the best balance of delicate flavors is achieved after just 5 minutes of steeping.
When your tea has steeped, remove the tea ball or strain out the flowers. You might even be able to fish them out with a spoon. When your tea is pure liquid and the flowers are gone, you are ready to add a sweetener and other ingredients.
It’s enough just to add a bit of sugar or honey to sweeten the flavor, but for a more traditional drink you can also add lemon or lime and watch the color change from a deep blue to a vibrant red-purple.
Does Butterfly Pea Flower Tea Change Color?
One of the most interesting things about this distinctive Southeast Asian drink is that it can change its vibrant, impactful color.
When you brew butterfly pea flower tea, the heat in the water releases a powerful dye that turns the tea an ethereal blue. This is the normal color of “blue tea” that is made by the natural dyes in the butterfly pea flower.
However, the color of the dye is dependent on the pH of the tea. You can change the color just by adding a little bit of something acidic (like lemon or lime juice).
When the pH becomes more acidic, the tea turns from a light blue to a deep, vibrant purple-red.
You can also make red tea by adding hibiscus flowers to the mix of tea, which is another popular option.
Does Butterfly Pea Flower Tea Have Caffeine In It?
No! Butterfly pea flower tea is naturally caffeine free, so you can drink it at any time of day without worrying about jitters or anxiety.
Technically, butterfly pea flower tea is not tea at all, since it doesn’t use the leaves of the tea tree (like green tea, Oolong tea, black tea, etc). Almost all caffeinated teas use tea leaves in some way, which is where they get their caffeine.
In contrast, butterfly pea flower tea is an herbal infusion, or “tisane” that is made by steeping an herb in hot water to extract the flavor.
This is the same process that we use to brew tea, but since there are no tea leaves involved, it is a different process and there is no caffeine involved.
You can enjoy butterfly pea flower tea at any time of day, without worrying about the harmful effects of caffeine. Just don’t reach for a cup when you wake up in the morning, expecting an energy boost!
Butterfly Pea Flower Tea Nutrition Information
Butterfly pea flower tea, when brewed with just water, doesn’t contain any protein, carbohydrates, fiber, fat, sugar, or any important nutrients.
Although the antioxidants and polyphenols it contains are healthy for you, drinking butterfly pea flower tea will not satisfy any of your daily nutritional requirements.
Adding honey or sugar to your butterfly pea flower tea will add some calories and sugar, which is worth considering. 4
Quick Table: Butterfly Pea Flower Tea Recipes
|Magical Color-Changing Butterfly Pea Flower Mojito Cocktail||122||9 minutes|
|Blue Moon Milk With Butterfly Pea Flower||121||5 minutes|
|Blue Butterfly Baguettes||1030||1 hour 25 minutes|
The experience of watching the color of a cocktail change before your eyes never gets old and with this excellent recipe for a delicious mojito featuring butterfly pea flower tea, you can perform this party trick for yourself!
Total Preparation Time: 9 minutes
For a healthy and antioxidant-rich drink that will soothe you to sleep, there is nothing better than moon milk.
In addition to the deep blue color that comes from butterfly pea flowers, this recipe calls for blueberries, peppermint, and sunflower seeds.
With lots of healthy (sleep-enhancing) magnesium and a soothing peppermint flavor, this is a perfect drink before bed.
Total Preparation Time: 5 minutes
The bold color of butterfly pea flower tea is one of its biggest selling points, and this dye can be added to other recipes too, to create colorful and impactful foods that you won’t be able to tear your eyes away from.
This recipe uses butterfly pea flower tea to create fresh baguettes with a vibrant blue color.
When you cut into one of these for the first time, you might feel hesitant to take a bite, but these are safe and delicious with just a little bit of extra color added.
Total Preparation Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Frequently Asked Questions
How Does Butterfly Pea Flower Tea Make You Feel?
The effects of butterfly pea flower tea are both uplifting and relaxing, boosting your mood and giving you a sense of well-being.
There is no caffeine in blue tea, and it has an anti-inflammatory and calming effect, but this is accompanied by a mood boost, which is why butterfly pea flower tea is marketed primarily as an uplifting, energizing, and invigorating drink that will make you both relaxed and happy.
Is Butterfly Pea Tea Bitter?
No, butterfly pea flower tea is not inherently bitter, and even overstepping it will not result in the kind of tannic bitterness that can occur in teas like green tea, for example.
The flavors in butterfly pea flower tea are mildly sweet, floral, and woody. Although there are some people who don’t like these flavors without sugar to balance them, butterfly pea flower tea is not at all bitter.
Is Butterfly Pea Tea Yummy?
Butterfly pea flower tea is delicious! It has a subtle and interesting flavor that is light, mellow, floral, and satisfying.
When you see the vibrant color in your glass you might be fooled into thinking there is a strong flavor involved, but even people who don’t normally care for tea usually enjoy the simple and delicious flavor of butterfly pea flower tea, especially with the addition of a little bit of honey or sugar.
Does Butterfly Pea Tea make You Sleepy?
With a distinct flavor similarity to chamomile tea and a presence in plenty of before-bed drinks, you might think that butterfly pea flower tea has sedative properties.
In fact, there are no substances in butterfly pea flower tea that chemically help you get to sleep. Instead, the tea makes you sleepy by promoting relaxation and a sense of wellness, rather than activating your body’s sleep systems.
If you struggle with stressful thoughts and preoccupations before bed, brewing a cup of butterfly pea flower tea might be the perfect thing to calm and relax your mind, promote uplifting thoughts, and create a sense of comfort and security that will put you to bed.
It’s not the same thing as a sleeping pill, but butterfly pea flower tea is naturally caffeine free and can make you sleepy by calming your body and promoting uplifting, positive thoughts and moods before bed.
How Often Can You Drink Butterfly Pea Tea?
With such a powerful color, you might be wondering if it is healthy to drink something like this every day. It is!
There is no danger, and quite a lot of benefit, in adding a daily cup of butterfly pea flower tea to your schedule.
The added antioxidants will help you reduce inflammation and lower your risk of chronic illnesses while improving your mood and your day.
There is no reason to limit the amount of butterfly pea flower tea you drink since it adds a benefit without any real risks or drawbacks. If it helps you to have a couple of cups every day, you should go for it!
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