How to make beautiful blue (or purple) jelly using butterfly pea tea
Have you heard of butterfly pea tea?
This herbal infusion made from the Clitoria ternatea plant has a vibrant blue color that transforms into purple when mixed with something acidic, such as lemon.
It creates stunning drinks without the need for artificial coloring.
And not only can you make beautiful tea with it, but you can also create incredible jelly!
Being obsessed with making tea jelly, I decided to try using butterfly pea tea, and I was amazed by the results.
In this blog post, I’ll share how easy it is to make and the tips and tricks for creating stunning drinks and desserts with it.
What you’ll need
Swaps and alternatives
For a vegan version, you could use agar-agar, but then you’ll need to cook the mixture to activate its gelling properties.
Butterfly pea tea
I haven’t tried using butterfly pea powder yet, but I guess it would work as well.
Sweetening your butterfly pea tea jelly is optional.
Usually I don’t sweeten my tea jelly (you can see my “tea jelly” recipe here), but since butterfly pea tea doesn’t really have a distinct taste, I find it more enjoyable adding a little amount of sweetener.
To be specific, I like to use my homemade vanilla infused honey for this jelly.
Time needed: 3 hours
How to make butterfly pea tea jelly
- Hydrate gelatin
Bloom the gelatin according to the type you use.
For gelatin in powdered form, add a little amount of water and mix well with a spoon. For gelatin sheets, bloom them in water until soft.
- Make butterfly pea tea
Steep butterfly pea loose tea (flowers) or teabag in fresh boiled water for 5 minutes.
- Combine gelatin and blue tea
Once the steep time is over, remove the tea solids (strain flowers or remove tea bag).
Then add the bloomed gelatin and stir with a spoon until dissolved. Since the tea will be still very hot, the gelatin will dissolve very easily.
- Optionally sweeten and/or add lemon
If desired, sweeten the liquid mixture to taste.
Additionally, if you want the resulting jelly to have a purple color, add a few drops of lemon juice. The more lemon juice you add, the more the color will turn into a magenta shade.
- Let sit
Wait until the mixture reaches room temperature, then place it in the fridge for at least 3 hours until the jelly becomes firm.
Then cut into small pieces to use it as topping or enjoy as is.
- If you want different shades, pour some of the liquid into one mold and the rest into another mold, adjusting the color by adding more water or lemon.
- Instead of lemon, you can use any acidic juice, such as lime or yuzu.
Ideas to use butterfly pea tea jelly
Honestly, this is the only tea jelly I’ve made so far that doesn’t have a great standalone taste (it’s not bad, just a bit boring).
However, its visual appeal is incredible, and you can have fun experimenting with it as a topping for milk tea or other drinks, or using it to decorate ice or yogurt.
The possibilities are endless!
Here are some creative ideas to spark your imagination:
Cut the butterfly pea jelly into small pieces and use them to beautifully decorate an ice cream scoop, creating the appearance of delicate hydrangea flowers.
Personally, I prefer making my jelly with a softer consistency when using it in drinks. This makes it easier to drink it.
Blue (and purple) tea topping
Cut the blue and purple jelly into small pieces that can easily pass through a wide straw.
Place them at the bottom of a glass and top them off with either coconut water or soda (I personally prefer coconut water as I’m not a fan of carbonated drinks).
It looks so magical!
Hydrangea matcha milk tea
Pour milk over the jelly pieces and then top with concentrated matcha (a matcha shot).
To make a matcha shot, mix 1/2 teaspoon matcha powder with 3 Tbsp. water.
You can do it the traditional way (with a matcha whisk), a handheld frother or by shaking the powder and the water in a cocktail shaker (or a jar).
If you want the drink to have a layered effect, place ice cubes after adding the jelly and milk.
Then when pouring the matcha, try to aim at an ice cube.
For a caffeine-free version, substitute the matcha for butterfly pea tea.
No, butterfly pea tea is a herbal infusion made from flowers that are naturally caffeine-free.
Butterfly Pea Tea Jelly Recipe
- Strainer Optional
- Hydrate the gelatin.If you are using gelatin powder, mix it with the room temperature water.If using gelatin sheets, hydrate them in water until they become soft.
- Steep butterfly pea tea in fresh boiled water.
- After 5-10 minutes, remove the tea solids and combine with the bloomed gelatine.
- If desired, sweeten to taste.For a purple color, add some drops of lemon juice.For varying shades, you can distribute the liquid into separate molds, adjusting the color by adding more water or lemon to each mold.
- Allow the mixture to cool down to room temperature before refrigerating it for a minimum of 3 hours until the jelly sets firmly.
- Once the jelly has set firmly, you can enjoy it as it is or cut it into pieces to use as decorations for desserts or drinks.