Herbal ingredient provides dazzling natural color.
One of the peculiar points of the Japanese language is that the word aoi, while most commonly meaning “blue,” can also mean “green.” For example, verdant forests and the traffic lights indicating “go” are both aoi.
However, the hue of Japanese green tea is never described with aoi, So when novelty goods retailer Village Vanguard says its new tea is aoi, they mean it’s blue…really, really blue.
Like the blue apple jam that Village Vanguard started selling earlier this autumn, the Anchan Blue Tea gets its eye-catching color from the use of the butterfly pea herb, called anchan in Thailand, where it’s cultivated. A single tea bag can be used to brew approximately two liters (67.6 ounces) of blue burdock root tea, which is good because once your friends see you drinking a glass they’ll be sure to want to try it for themselves.
The tea can be served either hot or iced, and while it can be drunk without additional flavorings, the makers also recommend stirring in a spoonful of blue apple jam. Alternatively, the blue tea can be mixed with wine, soda water, or even sake, which is said to darken its shade to purple.
Village Vanguard is currently taking preorders for seven-bag packs of Anchan Blue Tea through its online store here, priced at 1,296 yen (US$12.60) and with shipping scheduled for early December.