Butterfly Pea Flower
£2.70 – £15.60
This lovely new product has just landed from South East Asia, where it has been used to brew tea for centuries. Its main notable quality is its bright blue colour, and due to this it has been used as a dye for just as long. In Thailand and Vietnam Butterfly Pea Flower is mixed with honey and lemon for an after-dinner drink to aid digestion, and there is a cold version also enjoyed where the tea is mixed with honey, mint, cinnamon, passion fruit and ginger. The flavour of the tea itself is earthy and woody, similar to a fine green tea. Interestingly the colour of the tea changes when lemon juice is added, from blue to purple. And the tea will turn bright red if hibiscus leaves are added. Another use related to colour is in cocktails, where a butterly pea flower-infused ice cube can be added to a drink, making it turn blue as the ice cube melts.
In Malaysia butterfly pea flower is used to give the celebratory rice dish nasi kerabu its vivid blue colour.