Tea

Flower Power – Butterfly Pea and Lavender

The gorgeous color of pure Butterfly Pea Flower
The gorgeous color of pure Butterfly Pea Flower

Recent additions to Adagio Wholesale's bulk Herbs & Spices offering are two popular flowers: lavender and butterfly pea flower. Let us explore these herbs for their traditional uses and how best to use them in your own blends.

Lavender

Lavender is the better known of these two, with a long western history of aromatherapy as well as medicinal use. The fragrance is known for inducing a tranquil state, easing anxiety, insomnia, and stress relief. It is a popular component in cosmetics, lotions, soaps, for its fragrance and in cocktails, desserts, and other culinary applications for its delicate floral flavor. Some preliminary research has show that inhaling lavender aroma can ease some types of pain, including menstrual and post surgical in some instances.

Often in the tea world, it is used to add a French twist to an existing blend, such as in our Earl Grey Lavender, or as a soother in a comforting blend or one to help with sleeplessness. The aroma can be quite pronounced, so we suggest testing a ten percent addition to a blend, then cupping it to see whether it dominates in the cup or hangs back a little. If it seems too light, increase by five percent increments until you achieve the ratio that works best for you. On its own, it can make a pale creamy purplish infusion and add a little color to a light colored infusion

When working with lavender, keep in mind that creamy or citrus flavors either soften or complement its floral aroma, so have a little fun. It can enliven an otherwise herbaceous blend or add depth to something dessert-like or fruity. Experiment and see what you find intriguing.

Butterfly Pea Flower

More recently arrived on the western herbal scene is butterfly pea flower. It is native to southeast Asia and has been commonly consumed there for ages. It is reputed to have soothing effects as a tisane, and so makes a good addition to calming, soothing blends for stress, anxiety, and relaxation.

Its popularity however, is not for these attributes, but because of the beautiful deep blue color of its infusion. This unusual color in the food world has made it the darling of fun infusions, lattes, creamy desserts, and cocktails, but it can be tricky to blend with. The blue color of the infusion quite easily turns violet if any acidic ingredient is added to the blend or to the infusion itself.

Commonly, butterfly pea flower is blended with lemongrass as a base as it does not affect the infusion color while adding some liveliness to the cup. Even the addition of dried fruit pieces are acidic enough to turn the cup to purple, so be careful with your ingredients unless that is the desired effect. Other flowers and some herbs are okay, but the latter such as peppermint have a brown color to their infusion with end up kind of murky when blended with the butterfly pea flower. It is also a very beautiful flower, so you can use it for visual appeal in small ratios to beautify a blend.

Our lavender and butterfly pea flower are located in the Herbs & Spices section of our AdagioXL wholesale website and sold by the pound. If you are an herbalist, tea blender, or an apothecary, checkout the other options we offer as well. Happy to offer these to our creative clients and can guide with blending questions.