Chinese
Butterfly Pea Flower Drink 蝴蝶豌豆花茶

Butterfly pea flower, tea, recipe, tonic, drink, butterfly pea flower, tea, drink

Man, it's been so hot these days. Not just in Hong Kong but everywhere…sigh. Don't worry, HK Cookery comes to your rescue, here's a refreshing and wonderful drink to revitalize your body from the heat!

Aren't you tempted? Isn't this butterfly pea flower drink 蝴蝶豌豆花茶 just the most sublime color? Just looking at it makes you feel a little cooler, doesn't it? This totally natural color comes from the stunning butterfly pea flower 蝴蝶豌豆花. This little blue flower provides color, is rich in antioxidants, and is said to work as a mood enhancer, eliminating stress and anxiety from your life.
Butterfly pea flower, tea, recipe, tonic, drink, butterfly pea flower, tea, drink

This is the Butterfly Pea flower (also known as Asian pigeon wings, bluebellvine, blue pea, cordofan pea or Darwin's pea flower) which is grown for ornamental purposes as its striking deep blue flowers are very pretty to look at. Interestingly, this little flower is also planted in areas that have been denuded and need revegetation such as coal mines. The flowers can survive in poor soils, slowly increasing the fertility of the soil by increasing the nitrogen level.

Butterfly pea flower, tea, recipe, tonic, drink, Butterfly pea flower, tea, drink

Here are the dried butterfly pea flowers. They are used in many Southeast Asian cuisines to color teas, drinks and also in cooking. Blue rice, blue bread, blue cheesecake, blue jelly, blue popsicles, blue pasta, etc. And, wait a minute, I just discovered this, it was used by Starbucks in their Butterfly Pea Lemonade Cold Brew! Interesting… Maybe I'll have to explore all this…

I found these dried Butterfly Pea 蝴蝶豌豆花 flowers at my local Chinese spice shop and also at another Chinese grocery store that sells many different types of edible dried flowers. I didn't know the Chinese used so many types of dried flowers!

Butterfly pea flower, tea, recipe, tonic, drink, Butterfly pea flower, tea, drink

The butterfly pea flower doesn't have much flavor on its own. So we paired it with rock sugar. Rock sugar provides a smooth sweetness, not too sweet, with just a touch of caramel that is perfect for a sweet, soothing drink.

If you don't want a sweet drink, you can pair the butterfly pea flower with a light-colored herbal tea. The flowers will not alter the taste of the tea but will change its color.

Butterfly pea flower, tea, recipe, tonic, drink, butterfly pea flower, tea, drink

Get started with this easy drink. Place the brown sugar and dried butterfly pea flowers in the bottom of the glass. The amount of sugar depends on your preferences.

Butterfly pea flower, tea, recipe, tonic, drink, Butterfly pea flower, tea, drink

Add boiling water to cover the sugar. Cover and allow time for the rock sugar to melt and the color to release from the flowers. As you can see in the photo above I only added one dried flower. I ended up adding another to get the color I wanted.

The color of the flowers is quite intense. In previous tests I had added more flowers and ended up with a rather dark blue tea, which was not what I wanted. So be careful to add the flowers one at a time until you reach the desired color.

Butterfly pea flower, tea, recipe, tonic, drink, butterfly pea flower, tea, drink

Once the rock sugar has dissolved, add cold water to fill the glass. Add a couple of ice cubes and your refreshing blue butterfly pea flower drink is ready to enjoy. Isn't she a true blue beauty?

A simple twist to this blue drink is to add a little lemon or lime. The citrus acid will change the color to an absolutely delicious purple!

Butterfly pea flower drink

Butterfly pea flower tea

(for 1 drink) Preparation time: 5 min

Ingredients:

  • 2 dried butterfly pea flowers
  • brown sugar, to taste
  • 1/3 cup boiling water
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups chilled sparkling water
  • 2 ice cubes
Directions: Add flowers and rock sugar to drinking glass. Add boiling water and cover, stirring occasionally until rock sugar is completely dissolved.

Add sparkling water until the glass is almost full. Add ice, then serve cool, blue and beautiful. Enjoy!

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