Colourful, exotic, and refreshing, this butterfly pea bubble tea is a wonderful variation of classic Taiwanese boba tea. It's dairy-free and vegan, and because it's made with blue pea tea instead of black tea, it's also caffeine-free!
Bubble tea is a cold drink that originated in Taiwan. Also known as pearl milk tea, it consists of tea mixed with milk and sugar syrup. This blend is served in tall glasses with a base of cooked tapioca pearls (boba) and topped with ice.
Our recipe includes the 4 common boba tea ingredients: cold tea, milk, sweet syrup, and tapioca pearls. But, we swapped the classic Chinese black tea with homemade butterfly pea tea and mixed it with dairy-free coconut milk.
Butterfly pea flower, or blue pea flower, is a vibrant blue flower native to Southeast Asia, and it's especially popular in Thailand and Malaysia.
Fresh, dried, or pulverised butterfly pea flowers are great for preparing colourful desserts, like this blue sponge cake; cute rice dishes, like this Thai blue sticky rice; and magic drinks, like this colour-changing lemonade. And, of course, blue boba tea.
Just a few flowers can give your recipes an all-natural blue hue and a floral, wheaty, and earthy flavour similar to matcha but not as bitter.
For the butterfly pea tea, you can use either dried butterfly pea flowers or butterfly pea powder. They're both readily available online, but you may also find them at your local Asian food store.
To make the butterfly boba tea, steep the flowers in hot water until you have a deep blue tea, let it cool down, and stir in the tinned coconut milk. Finally, serve the blue milk tea in tall glasses with cooked tapioca pearls and ice.
The result is a delightfully sweet and creamy drink with a refreshing coconut flavour and grassy notes from butterfly pea flowers. And when you're done sipping, you can snack on those chewy tapioca pearls — so fun and tasty!
Time to gather the ingredients and prepare this wonderful butterfly pea milk tea together!
- Butterfly Pea Flowers (dried)
- Tapioca Pearls
- Syrup (maple syrup or brown sugar syrup)
- Canned Coconut Milk
- Ice Cubes (to serve)
Let's start by making the butterfly pea blue tea.
Add dried butterfly pea flowers to a pot, jug, or bowl and pour in boiling water.
You can substitute the flowers with one teaspoon of butterfly pea powder.
Stir well and leave the flowers to infuse for about 5 minutes or until the butterfly pea tea is dark blue.
Then, filter out the flowers and let the blue tea cool down completely in the fridge.
Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil and add the tapioca pearls.
Cover the pot and cook the pearls according to package instructions (some brands require as little as 3 minutes while others up to 20 minutes).
Then, turn off the heat and keep the pearls inside the pot for 5 more minutes.
Now, drain the cooking water and add the pearls to a bowl filled with cold water.
Let them cool down for 20 seconds and drain the water again.
Then, mix the tapioca balls with maple syrup or golden syrup.
Alternatively, you can prepare a sugar syrup by boiling 40g (1.2 oz) of brown sugar in 120ml (4.2 fl oz) of water until syrupy.
To assemble the blue bubble tea, divide the tapioca balls among tall glasses and pour in coconut milk.
Finally, tip in the cold butterfly pea tea, stir well and serve with ice cubes.
Sip your delicious butterfly pea boba tea with a straw and scoop up the boba pearls with a spoon. Enjoy!
Once prepared, consume the bubble tea within a few hours as the tapioca pearls will get overly soft after a while.