Butterfly Pea Milk Tea (Blue Milk Tea)

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Butterfly pea milk tea recipe is a quick and easy, caffeine-free refreshing drink perfect for summer. This vibrant blue milk tea gets its lovely color from butterfly pea flowers. It’s a sweet and creamy milk drink that’s suited for both kids and adults, perfect for your next party.

Two tall glasses of butterfly pea milk tea.

Complete your next family gathering with these Thai drinks recipes, they’re all unique and delicious in their own way: Nom yen recipe (Thai pink milk), cha manao recipe (with black tea), and green Thai tea recipe with honey and lime juice.

What is butterfly pea milk tea

Butterfly pea milk tea is a colorful, refreshing beverage made with dried butterfly pea flowers and milk. This Thai-inspired drink boasts a unique blue hue and combines fresh, sweetened condensed, and evaporated milk for a creamy and sweet flavor.

Blue milk tea

For Star Wars fans, this blue butterfly pea drink may seem familiar, as it’s inspired by the iconic blue-colored drink from the series. In the series, it’s called Bantha milk or Tatooine milk.

On earth, we simply call it blue milk tea.

In Thailand, we call it anchan nom sod – anchan means butterfly pea flowers and nom sod means fresh milk.

Close-up of a hand gently holding a glass of blue milk tea.

My grandmother always said, “milk is great for spicy food.” This drink is the perfect real-world example. Its creamy texture and sweet taste pair perfectly with the spicy flavors of som tum Thai (green papaya salad) and long bean salad.

But it’s not just about pairing with spicy foods, it’s also the perfect refreshment. In the hot street food markets of Southeast Asia, chilled drinks like boba tea and butterfly pea tea are everywhere. Skilled vendors whip up these refreshing beverages for a delicious escape from the burning heat.

This butterfly pea milk tea, with its blue hue and balanced creamy sweetness, is a favorite in my family. And the great news is that you can easily whip it up at home.

Hand holding tall glass of blue butterfly pea milk tea.

And hey, if you’re not feeling the trio of milk I used, feel free to use whatever you have on hand. This blue milk tea recipe is easy to customize.

Oh, and it has many health benefits too!

Butterfly pea milk benefits

The butterfly pea flower, also known as clitoria ternatea, is a key ingredient in this blue milk tea for its blue hue. Apart from that, it packs in health benefits:

  • Boosts brain health and might enhance cognitive function and memory
  • Contributes to overall wellness and skin health
  • Can lower blood sugar levels
  • Combats oxidative stress
  • It’s rich in antioxidants

For me, the real win here is how butterfly tea helps me unwind. After a hectic day, there’s nothing like a caffeine-free cup of butterfly pea tea. Mix it with some milk, and you’ve got yourself the perfect refreshment for any time of the day. No coffee jitters here!

Got some butterfly pea flowers left? Use them in my Thai purple sticky rice recipe.

Now, let’s make some blue tea with milk.

Ingredients

For the exact measurements, please scroll down to the recipe card at the end of this post.

Ingredients for butterfly pea milk tea labeled: fresh milk, hot water, butterfly pea flowers, evaporated milk, and sweetened condensed milk.
  • Water – Boiling water extracts the deep blue hue and delicate flavors from the pea flowers without needing artificial coloring.
  • Dried butterfly pea flowers – Butterfly pea flowers are a common ingredient in herbal teas and mixed drinks, beloved for their ability to transform any liquid into a deep blue color. They give the tea a subtle earthy taste and colors it without overpowering the natural milk flavors. You can find dried pea flowers at Asian grocery stores or online stores specializing in herbal teas and natural products.
  • Sweetened condensed milk – Brings a rich and sweet taste to the blue pea tea. Sweetened condensed milk is a staple in many Thai beverages, beloved for its creamy-sweet taste.
  • Evaporated milk – Evaporated milk adds even more creaminess and depth to the tea without extra sweetness. It provides a thicker texture than fresh milk, without the added sugar of condensed milk.
  • Fresh milk – Fresh milk adds smoothness, a hint of sweetness, and natural milk flavor. For the creamiest texture and maximum flavor, opt for full-fat milk.
  • Crushed ice – Crushed ice is better than ice cubes for a chilled drink.

Cooking instructions

Butterfly pea flowers steeped in water.

Step 1: Heat water in a small saucepan over medium heat until it reaches a rolling boil. Add butterfly pea flowers to the boiling water and steep for 2 minutes until the water turns blue.

Small measuring glass filled with concentrated butterfly pea flower tea.

Step 2: Measure out 2.70 fl oz (80ml) of the steeped butterfly pea liquid and set aside.

Step 3: In a separate container, thoroughly mix together sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and fresh milk.

Step 4: Fill a tall glass just under halfway with the milk mixture.

Step 5: Add crushed ice to the glass, leaving enough room at the top for the butterfly pea extract.

Step 6: Slowly pour the butterfly pea extract over the ice to form a distinct blue layer on top.

Kitchenware

  • Optional: Tea infuser (tea strine) or tea socks / French press / fine mesh strainer / cloth filter
  • Ice cube trays or crushed ice maker
  • Measuring spoons and cups
  • Saucepan for boiling water
  • Tall glasses for serving
  • Straw or stirrer

Blue milk recipe ideas

Butterfly pea bubble tea: For a blue boba tea, simply add cooked tapioca pearls to your finished drink. Don’t forget a large straw to slurp up your tapioca balls!

Butterfly pea latte: For a richer version, froth your milk before adding it to the tea. This creates a blue milk tea latte.

Purple milk tea: Add a few drips of lemon juice or lime juice to your blue tea and watch the color change from blue to purple, thanks to the natural pH sensitivity of butterfly pea flowers.

Milk variations: Experiment with coconut milk, whole milk, or use dairy-free milk like almond milk and vegan-friendly oat milk and soy milk.

Make it healthy: If you’re in the mood for a healthy milk tea, you can use unsweetened milk and low-fat or non-fat milk.

Spiced blue tea: Add a pinch of cinnamon, cardamom, vanilla extract, or anything you can think of. Even fresh herbs like mint can give it a cool and fresh flavor.

Sweetened: Experiment with sweeteners like simple syrup, maple syrup, and brown sugar.

Herbal tea: For a comforting tea during the cold winter days, simply serve your tea without ice and optionally without the trio of milk.

Ways to enjoy blue tea with milk

Serve in a tall glass with crushed ice for a chilled drink. Chill your glass in the freezer for 5–10 minutes before serving. This keeps your drink refreshingly cold. Garnish with a slice of lemon on the rim or a few mint leaves.

Pair it with one of my many appetizers, like kanom jeeb or Thai chicken wings. If you’re craving something spicy, try my popular authentic Thai basil beef.

Keep your Thai butterfly pea flower tea fresh

Store your leftover blue milk tea in the refrigerator in an airtight container or bottle to keep it fresh. Since it’s a milk-based drink, it should be consumed within 1–2 days. Remember to give it a good stir before serving.

Frequently asked questions

What does butterfly pea milk tea taste like?

Butterfly pea milk tea has a subtly floral and earthy taste from the butterfly pea flowers. This floral taste is complemented by the creamy and sweet flavors of the milk and sweeteners.

What is butterfly milk tea made of?

Butterfly pea milk tea is made from dried butterfly pea flowers steeped in hot water, combined with fresh milk, sweetened condensed milk, and evaporated milk for creaminess and sweetness.

How does the color change in butterfly pea milk tea work?

The blue color from butterfly pea flowers changes to purple when an acidic ingredient like lemon juice is added, due to a natural pH reaction.

Is this blue milk recipe suited for vegans?

No, this recipe contains dairy milk and sweetened condensed milk. However, you can make it vegan by opting for a plant-based milk like almond or soy milk and using a vegan sweetener.

Is this recipe gluten-free?

Yes, the basic ingredients of butterfly pea flowers, water, and milk (dairy or plant-based) are naturally gluten-free.

Authentic Thai drink recipes

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Prep Time 5 min Cook Time 5 min Total Time 10 mins
Servings: 2 Calories: 119

Description

Simple and refreshing butterfly pea milk tea recipe for making the best blue milk tea at home! 

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Heat water in a small saucepan over medium heat until it reaches a rolling boil. Add butterfly pea flowers to the boiling water and steep for 2 minutes until the water turns blue.

  2. Measure out 2.70 fl oz (80ml) of the steeped butterfly pea liquid and set aside.

  3. In a separate container, thoroughly mix together sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and fresh milk.

  4. Fill a tall glass just under halfway with the milk mixture.

  5. Add crushed ice to the glass, leaving enough room at the top for the butterfly pea extract.

  6. Slowly pour the butterfly pea extract over the ice to form a distinct blue layer on top.

Nutrition Facts

Servings 2


Amount Per Serving
Calories 119kcal
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 6.09g10%
Saturated Fat 3.4g17%
Total Carbohydrate 10.31g4%
Sugars 20g
Protein 5.91g12%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Note

  • Use the nutrition card in this recipe as a guideline.
  • Feel free to experiment with other types of milk, or simply serve without the milk for a hot blue tea.
Keywords: butterfly pea milk tea, blue milk tea, blue milk recipe
About Author

Praew

I owned my own Thai restaurant and have years of experience in various other Thai restaurants. I've been whipping up classic Thai dishes by my mother's and grandma's side since I was just a little girl. Now I'm sharing my deep-rooted passion with my authentic Thai recipes on this food blog.

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