Have you ever tried our Butterfly Pea Tea? Not only is it a bit of fun to have a blue tea that turns purple when you add lemon but it also tastes good! You are probably wondering why does this change colour – well this isn’t magic but there is a scientific explanation. The stability of its colour is dependent on the pH and if you add something acidic (lowering the pH of the tea) like some lemon juice it will change to a violet purple!
You don’t have to just drink it as a hot tea you can also have an iced tea – this is a traditional welcome drink in Thailand with an added teaspoon of honey and a squeeze of lemon. Bartenders have also discovered this little gem and using the pea flower to create this blue effect to their cocktails. It can also be used as a natural dye using the pea powder to colour your food.
You can come into the Old Mill and enjoy a cuppa of our Butterfly Pea Tea plus we also sell if you would like to take home and enjoy with your family and friends at a later time.
So what is Butterfly Pea Flower? Butterfly pea tea is a natural flower often known as Clitoria ternatea, Clitoria flower, Asian Pigeonwing or Blue pea. It is best grown in South East Asian countries such as Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam. The vibrant blue flower is often used in hot or cold tea, cooking and health-related products.
Although butterfly pea is often associated with tea, it isn’t technically a tea like green tea or black tea which is derived from a plant called Camellia Sinensis. It’s actually a “herbal infusion” or a “tisane” which the same can be said about mint tea or chamomile tea. This also means it is caffeine-free and can be consumed at any time of day.
Why is it blue? Here’s the science behind the magic sorcery! As mentioned previously, this blue butterfly pea tea contains “anthocyanins” and the stability of its colour is dependent on the pH. This means if you add something acidic (lowering the pH of the tea), it will change colour to a violet purple! This is great for creating your own litmus test for the kids to show the difference between acidic and alkaline substances! Or you can just say you have magical powers when you show your friends!
What does it taste like? Butterfly pea tea on its own has been said to taste “earthy” however the Crystal Blue Tea blend has included lemongrass and pandan (sweet-tasting leaf used in many Thai desserts and cooking). This creates a mildly sweet taste and once a drop of lemon is added, many say it tastes like the rainbow coloured cereal Froot Loops!
What are the health benefits? Butterfly pea flower is an ancient herbal plant that contains one of the highest sources of anthocyanin antioxidants. In Ayurvedic medicine, it is highly renowned for its medicinal properties and has been used for centuries in Asia to improve circulation to the skin, hair and eyes. It also has been suggested to have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects, reduce stress and anxiety to assist in overall wellness. While it is known that foods/beverages high in antioxidants like anthocyanins are nutritious and great for our health, only 3% of fruits and vegetables consumed were blue or purple.