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Floral Tea Miraculously Changes Colors When Other Ingredients are Added

The Butterfly pea flower tea can best be described as a mood ring in a glass. Depending on the ingredients used, the drink will reveal a variety of vibrant colors. Starting as a dried bloom, it originates in Southeast Asia and has a withered bluish-gray tone. Just add water, however, and a deep cobalt color will emerge. Squeezing in some lemon will alter the look completely and display a rich violet drink, while adding roselle hibiscus flowers will turn it bright red.

Although this magical floral tea mesmerizes us with its color-shifting properties, the real question is: does it taste good? You might expect it to be sweet and syrupy–after all, it is the color of candy and novelty cocktails. It turns out that the opposite is true. The blue water offers earthy and woody flavors, similar to a fine green tea. According to tea expert Kathy Chan, “The Thai like it super sweet so they'll do it with some sort of citrus–lemon or lime is best–and palm sugar.”

What ginger or chamomile is to tea drinkers in the United States, the Butterfly pea flower has the same popularity in Southeast Asia. Often, it's enjoyed as an after-dinner nightcap or offered in hotels and spas as a welcome drink for guests.

If you're interested in trying this tea, the Sugar Elephant Cafe sells it in their Etsy shop.

Above: Butterfly pea flower tea mixed with water.

Above photo source: Siam Herbarium

Photo source: bon apptit

Photo source: Sugar Elephant Natural Cafe

When lemongrass is mixed with the Butterfly pea flower, this colorful combination emerges:

Photo source: bon apptit

Photo source: bon apptit

via [Design TAXI, bon apptit]

Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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