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What Is Blue Matcha Tea (or Butterfly Pea Flower Powder)?

Contrary to popular belief, blue matcha isn't a version of green matcha that happens to be blue. Blue matcha comes from an entirely different plant and, as you'll find out in this article, has several different properties and benefits. 

blue matcha beverage mix with lemon and rosemary

What Is Blue Matcha?

Blue matcha is tea that comes from a plant scientifically called "Clitoria ternatea." We commonly refer to this plant as blue butterfly pea, blue ternate, Asian pigeonwings, blue pea, bluebell vine, Darwin pea, or even Kordofan pea.

Although blue matcha is referred to as tea, it isn't technically a tea but more of an infusion. That's because blue matcha powder is made from the ground petals of the butterfly pea flower and not tea leaves.

Blue matcha tea is essentially a herbal tea and it doesn't come with any caffeine. So, it's a great alternative to green matcha tea, which does contain caffeine and is prepared from ground green tea leaves.

Incidentally, both blue and green matcha teas are different from your regular green tea (in loose-leaf tea or teabag form), where you steep the leaves in hot or warm water and then remove the leaves when you've achieved the required strength. With matcha teas, you're dissolving the stone-ground tea powder into your preparation.

What Is Blue Matcha Good For?

Blue matcha powder is known for having a distinctly beautiful blue colour. As such, it functions as a great natural food colouring for cakes and desserts. It also makes for attractive-looking shakes, juices, and other beverages.

Once infused, the colours can vary between shades of blue and purple, depending on how you blend the drink and whether you're using dairy and cream ingredients.

As we’ve discussed above - you can also use blue matcha to make a delicious non-caffeinated herbal tea called "blue tea," which you can enjoy either hot or cold.

Blue matcha is also incorporated into cosmetics and even culinary delights in South Asian cultures.

Health Benefits of Blue Matcha

We also do not have many verified and quantifiable health and wellness benefits for blue matcha that are based on scientific research.

We do know that blue matcha has antioxidants like Kaemphferol, p-Coumaric acid, and Delphinidin-3,5-glucoside, which are thought to be anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-microbial, and immunity-boosting in nature - however, the science is currently lacking a bit.

One study showed that blue matcha might help in controlling the body's response to high-fat meals, contributing to weight management. There is also some evidence to support that blue matcha may help reduce blood sugar levels.

Indigenous medicinal systems use blue matcha for people with stress and anxiety. It is thought to help relax the body and mind - and calm an overactive nervous system. Regularly consuming blue matcha reportedly benefits the skin too by delaying aging and helping retain its firmness for longer. It has been linked to healthy skin, hair, and nail growth.

Blue matcha may also have benefits for cognitive functions like memory and may also contribute to maintaining good eye health.

Difference Between Green and Blue Matcha

Blue and green matcha may seem like the same type of drink on the surface, but they're very different from each other.

To start with, green matcha is made from the ground green tea leaves of the plant Camellia sinensis. The ground powder, as the name suggests, is a bright shade of green. Blue matcha powder is made from dried and ground flower petals from the Clitoria ternatea plant.

As green matcha is made from ground tea leaves, it has caffeine, more so than regular loose tea, which is steeped and the leaves removed. On the other hand, blue matcha is made from butterfly pea flower petals that have also been dried and ground into a fine blue powder, which is then mixed in beverages.

What Does Blue Matcha Tea Taste Like?

Blue matcha is more subtle compared to green matcha. So while green matcha has a complex, grassy, and earthy taste, blue matcha is more floral and less intense. Because its flavour is mild, blue matcha can easily be incorporated into a variety of recipes to create interesting new flavours and colours.

Blue Matcha Powder Side Effects

There isn't much research to support the idea that blue matcha powder has side effects, although some people have reported diarrhoea, nausea, and stomach pain. Consult your physician before consuming blue matcha if you have any medical conditions or are taking medicinal drugs. It's best to drink in moderation to avoid potentially unpleasant side effects if you're otherwise a healthy adult.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is blue matcha made of?

Blue matcha is made of ground petals from butterfly pea plant flowers. The petals are dried and ground finely. The resulting powder makes for a great food colouring in desserts and drinks because of the powder's vibrant blue hue. You can also enjoy blue matcha like you do green matcha - in endless tea and coffee variations and other beverages like smoothies and cocktails.

Is blue matcha the same as green matcha? (Blue matcha vs green matcha)

Blue matcha is very different from green matcha. The only common factor is the word matcha which means rubbed or ground tea. Green matcha comes from the Camellia sinensis tea plant and is made by grinding the tea leaves to a fine powder. The powder is characteristically green in colour. Blue matcha, on the other hand, comes from the Clitoria ternatea tea plant and is made from the ground petals of the flowers. As a result, blue matcha powder has no caffeine and makes for a great herbal tea alternative.

What does blue matcha taste like?

Blue matcha has a delicate floral but earthy taste. It's easier to like as compared to, say, the stronger flavour of green tea or green matcha. Because blue matcha is made from ground flower petals instead of ground tea leaves, it also makes for a great alternative to other caffeinated teas and coffees.

Is blue matcha good for you?

Based on research, there is some evidence that blue matcha may help reduce blood sugar levels, help with weight management, and support skin and hair health. More research is needed to study blue matcha benefits in depth.

Does blue matcha have caffeine?

Blue matcha is actually made from ground flower petals and not tea leaves. As such, it has no caffeine. Green matcha, on the other hand, has caffeine, and so does regular green tea.

What is in a blue matcha latte?

A blue matcha latte typically contains blue matcha powder, dairy or non-dairy alternatives of your choice like milk, soy milk, or coconut milk and a sweetener like sugar or honey, and vanilla extract. For 1 cup of blue matcha latte, blend a tsp of blue matcha powder in about 1 to 2 tbsp hot water until the powder completely dissolves. Next, add the remaining ingredients and whisk till frothy. But you can mix and match different ingredients to create your own custom blue matcha blends.

Final Thoughts

Blue matcha is a unique herbal tea with a refreshing taste and an exotic blue look. Add blue matcha to your desserts, drinks, and even everyday meals to create interesting new twists on old favourites.

But aside from livening up your food, blue matcha may also have several health benefits - although, likely far less than its green matcha counterpart.

Darcy Ogdon-Nolan

Holding a Bachelor Of Science (Hons.) combined with close to a decade now in the health food and wellness industry, I believe I'm uniquely positioned to provide a depth of knowledge and first-hand experience on emerging health products, trends and ideas! From greens powders and medicinal mushrooms through to protein powders and workout nutrition - I'm particularly interested in what modern science can uncover about what human cultures have been using to treat ailments for millennia!

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