Mermaid smoothies, Pink Drink, and Tie-Dye Lattes—these are just a few of the latest crazes to hit the specialty beverage scene. As a rainbow of vibrantly-hued libations fill our social media feeds, so grows our thirst for the unusual, the unexpected.
It's the Butterfly Pea Flower and its alluring azure that we get asked about most often. When one begins to ponder what foods found in nature are actually blue, it's an interesting phenomenon. (Our list quickly ended at blueberries.) This might be the very thing that piques our curiosities and culinary imaginations—something new, adventurous, and oh-so-Instagram-worthy.
But, as products like "Pink Matcha" and "Blue Matcha" hit the market, so does a wealth of miseducation. In particular, beet root powder and blue pea powder are often advertised as just that—a matcha powder product. It's easy to see why they would be commercially aligned with their colorful similarities catching our attention. The problem, though, is that these aren't matcha at all. Nor are they tea. Real matcha is painstakingly produced to ensure antioxidant-rich tea leaves, full of vegetal flavor and bold, chlorophyllic color. Not to mention it's part of a rich history of Japanese culture and tradition.
Don't get us wrong, you won't find us sitting on any high horses (or in this case, bedazzled unicorns) with our noses in the air. No, we LOVE fun, imaginative drinks, too! Instead, our goal centers on educating and informing our customers about the world of tea. For us, matcha isn't a fad. Matcha isn't just tea. It's an experience that begins with tea leaves grown and harvested with extraordinary care. We also believe in blending for flavor and typically steer away from sourcing ingredients that detract from that philosophy. Blue cornflowers, butterfly pea blossoms, and the like add visual impact (likely, some nutritional value, too) but in the end, serve best as mild-tasting natural dyes.
Ultimately, tasty beverages should be about enjoyment. They create space during our busy days to slow down and check-in with ourselves—or to chat up and celebrate in the company of others. All we ask, next time you reach for your morning latte, or afternoon power smoothie, is to make sure you know what you're sipping on.