I’ll admit it has taken me some time to fully appreciate Butterfly Pea flower tea. I was initially drawn to the gorgeous natural blue color these flowers produce. While the scent of the dry flowers is intoxicating and sweet like dried apple chips, the flavor is less than remarkable.
But if you spend some time with this tisane you’ll find that it has a mysterious power to draw you back in for another cup, another sip. It is mild and calming, easy to drink at night, and it is full of anthocyanins, a powerful antioxidant.
Depending on how you brew this tea you can get a beautiful cerulean liquor or a very deep indigo with shimmers of purple, and certainly its color holds a great deal of this drink’s allure. Simply looking at a cup of this as you enjoy it is very, very relaxing. Adding a few drops of lime juice is not only a nice flavor addition, but causes the tisane to undergo a reaction that turns it red-violet. Drinking it over ice will give you an interesting blue-violet gradient, though it tends to mute the flavor.
I’ve found that I prefer to brew Butterfly Pea on the light side where the liquor is cerulean. For this, use one dried flower for each ounce (or 30 ml) of water. For a stronger taste and to get the deep indigo color, add one extra flower for each 6 ounces or so. That’s usually all it takes.
As for the flavor, contrary to its sweet dried-apple aroma, the taste is woody and earthy, almost smoky even, but pretty mellow. It has some umami flavors that are similar to tomato.
My favorite brew of Butterfly Pea Tea follows this formula: Brew 1 flower per ounce (30 ml) for 2 minutes with water just removed from boiling. Add 30 seconds for additional infusions.
If you’ve never heard of this tea before or haven’t tried it, it is certainly worth a try. It’s inexpensive and very healthy, and you can find it organic from several dealers online. Tip: try brewing it in glass. It’s beautiful to watch the color infuse.