The colour changing herbal tea you’ve probably never heard of!
Brightly coloured foods and beverages seem to be taking the culinary world by storm (the recent Instagram fad for ‘mermaid’ and ‘unicorn’ foods being no exception). But if like us, you’re not a fan of sugary syrups and sprinkles then we have some good news! Sometimes nature can be far more magical than anything we mere mortals create! ‘Blue tea’ or ‘Blue Pea flower tea’ is a vivid, blue coloured infusion that turns bright purple when you add a squeeze of lemon. Best of all, it’s incredibly healthy and packed with antioxidants. How can this be a real thing and why have I never heard of this magical tea, you ask? We’ve got the answers to all your questions!
What is blue tea?
Blue tea, is a herbal infusion made from dried ‘Blue Pea’ flowers (sometimes called ‘Butterfly Pea’ flowers) which are native to South East Asia. The first thing we should mention about blue tea, is that technically speaking, it’s not actually a tea! This is because anything that we brew with water that doesn’t come from the tea plant isn’t really a tea. The correct term is a ‘herbal infusion’ (the same goes for ‘chamomile tea’ and ‘mint tea’ by the way, not from the tea plant so technically not ‘tea’!). But we think you’ll agree ‘blue infusion’ doesn’t have quite the same ring to it! To make things a little more confusing, some types of ‘Oolong’ (a semi fermented tea) are also referred to as ‘blue tea’, although they are yellowish in colour. For the purposes of this article, when we talk about ‘blue tea’ what we’re referring to is the herbal infusion made from Blue Pea flowers. Phew, now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s move on to its amazing properties and health benefits!
The Clitoria ternatea commonly know as ‘Blue Pea’ flower or ‘Butterfly Pea’ flower
Blue Pea flower tea, as well as the petals of the Blue Pea flower, have been consumed for centuries in Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and other parts of South East Asia. The flowers are also commonly used in cooking. In Bali, blue tea is a medicinal mainstay called, “Bunga telang” and used to treat everything from inflammation to eye disease. In traditional Chinese medicine, the flowers are said to improve vitality and even raise libido. In Ayurvedic medicine, the flowers are ascribed with memory enhancing, anti-stress and anti-depressant properties. Though blue tea has been widely consumed for its health properties in many parts of the world, it’s only recently gained popularity in the West, particularly as more studies have come to light about the nutritional benefits of Blue Pea flowers.
Pulut Tekan a rice dish with Blue Pea flowers popular in Malaysia and Singapore
Blue pea flowers contain antioxidants called proanthocyanidins, which may help prevent and repair cellular damage from free oxygen radicals. Blue pea flowers also contain anti glycation, which may fight the signs of ageing in the skin (we’ll take that!). The flowers have also been show to have anti-inflammatory properties and analgesic (pain relieving) properties.
One study found that Blue Pea flowers might also assist with memory and brain function, because the flowers help increase Acetylcholine, a chemical that’s important for communication in the brain. As we age, the brain stops being able to produce as much Acetylcholine.
Blue tea served with and without a squeeze of lemon juice
Colour changing properties:
Blue tea is naturally vivid and blue in colour. Depending on the strength and how long you brew it for, the colour will start out a turquoise green, then change to a deep, vivid blue. Because it’s sensitive to changes in pH levels, adding a slice of lemon will cause the tea to turn bright purple! Adding some types of hibiscus will turn the tea red. This doesn’t affect the properties of the tea but it’s pretty fun to watch!
Blue Voodoo: ‘blue tea’ blend with Blue Pea flowers, green tea, Goji berries, Lemongrass & Pomegranate seeds
Our ‘Blue Voodoo’ blend has been designed to optimise the health benefits of blue tea. We’ve blended Blue Pea flowers with complimentary herbs and fruits including immunity-boosting goji berries, lemongrass, pomegranate flowers and antioxidant rich green tea. You can enjoy this tea hot or cold, but we love it as an iced tea. Simply brew your tea as usual, then pour it out into a glass of ice. No need to add sugar, the tea is naturally quite sweet and delicious. Just serve it with a slice of lemon and enjoy the magic!