June 30, 2024

Butterfly Pea Flower Drink 蝴蝶豌豆花茶

Butterfly Pea Flower, tea,recipe,Tonic,drink,蝴蝶豌豆花,茶,飲料

Goshdarnnit, it's been so hot these days.  Not only in HK but everywhere...sigh.  No fear, HK Cookery to the rescue, here's a refreshing and beautiful drink for you to revitalize your body from the heat!

Are you not 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 bit cooler, no?  This totally natural color is from the amazing butterfly pea flower 蝴蝶豌豆花.  This little blue flower provides color, is packed with antioxidants and is said to work as a mood enhancer, busting the stress and anxiety right outta your life.

Butterfly Pea Flower, tea,recipe,Tonic,drink,蝴蝶豌豆花,茶,飲料
Butterfly pea flower, photo by Dr Raju Kasambe

This is the butterfly pea flower (also known as Asian pigeon wings, bluebellvine, blue pea, cordofan pea or Darwin pea flower) is grown for ornamentation, as its striking deep blue flowers are most lovely to look at.  Interestingly, this wee flower is also planted in areas that have been stripped and need vegetation revival such as coal mines.  The flowers can survive in poor soil, slowly increasing the soil fertility by increasing the nitrogen level.

Butterfly Pea Flower, tea,recipe,Tonic,drink,蝴蝶豌豆花,茶,飲料

Here are the dried butterfly pea flowers.  They are used in many cuisines in South-east Asia to color teas, drinks as well as in cooking.  Blue rice,  blue bread, blue cheesecake, blue jelly, blue popsicles, blue pasta, etc.  And, wait a sec, I just discovered this, it was used by starbucks in their Butterfly Pea Lemonade Cold Brew!  Interesting...I may just have to explore all that...

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

Butterfly Pea Flower, tea,recipe,Tonic,drink,蝴蝶豌豆花,茶,飲料

The butterfly pea flower doesn't have much taste by itself.  So we paired it with rock sugar.  Rock sugar provides a smooth, not too sweet sweetness with just a teensy touch of caramel that is just right for a soothing cool sweet drink.

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

Butterfly Pea Flower, tea,recipe,Tonic,drink,蝴蝶豌豆花,茶,飲料

Start this easy to make drink.  Place the rock sugar and dried butterfly pea flowers in the bottom of your glass.  The amount of sugar depends on your preference.  

Butterfly Pea Flower, tea,recipe,Tonic,drink,蝴蝶豌豆花,茶,飲料

Add boiling water to cover the sugar.  Cover and allow time for the rock sugar to melt and the color to be released from the flowers.  As you can see in the photo above I have only added one dried flower.  In the end I added one more to get the color I wanted.  

The color of the flowers is pretty intense.  In previous trials I had added more flowers and ended up with a quite dark blue tea which isn't what I wanted.  So be careful to add the flowers one by one until desired color is reached.

Butterfly Pea Flower, tea,recipe,Tonic,drink,蝴蝶豌豆花,茶,飲料

Once the rock sugar is melted add cool water to fill your glass.  Add in a couple of ice cubes and your refreshing cool blue butterfly pea flower drink is ready to enjoy.  Ain't it just a true blue beauty?

An easy twist to this blue drink is to add a twist of lemon or lime.  The acid in the citrus will change the color to an absolutely lovely violet!
Butterfly Pea Flower Drink
(makes 1 drink)  Prep time:  5 min


  • 2 dried butterfly pea flowers
  • rock sugar, to taste
  • 1/3 cup boiling water
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cup cool sparkling water
  • 2 ice cubes


Add flowers and rock sugar to drinking glass.  Add boiling water and cover, stirring every once in a while until the rock sugar is completely melted.

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



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