How to Make Palo Azul Tea So it Always Looks Blue!

Palo Azul Recipe

Is your palo azul not turning blue? This is how we make palo azul tea so that it reveals its extraordinary blue fluorescence everytime!

how to make palo azul tea

  1. Boil 1 oz of palo azul in 1 gallon of alkaline water for 2 minutes, then let it steep for 10-20 minutes.
  2. Use alkaline water! These studies (1, 2, 3) found that palo azul only turns blue in an alkaline solution, so we recommend spring water that is naturally alkaline. Acidic water will not turn blue! Filtered water is usually acidic because filtering removes the minerals which make water alkaline. 
  3. Use a tea infuser, cheese cloth, or strainer to remove the palo azul bark. It can be enjoyed hot or cold.
  4. Pour the tea in a glass cup and take it outside so it can absorb sunlight and enjoy the magic!
  5. If you plan to save it for later, we recommend refrigerating it so that it lasts longer and maintains its antioxidants.

If you want an even more potent brew, you can simmer it on low heat for a longer period of time and this will extract more goodness out of the bark. Additionally, you can use more palo azul or less water to have a more concentrated brew. 

A 2018 study mentions that "traditionally, one or two small pieces of the bark, or approximately 10 g (0.3 oz) of branches and leaves of E. polystachya (palo azul) are prepared as infusion, decoction, or maceration."


Alkaline water is key!

“In a slightly alkaline (pH ∼7.5) water solution, palo azul undergoes a fast reaction giving rise to a strongly blue-emitting compound. The fluorescence intensity of the aqueous solution depends strongly on pH.” 

"The long-sought blue emitting compound of palo azul is a (polyphenol) reaction product, which is formed in a slightly alkaline water solution

“Robert Boyle discovered that addition of acid abolished the color and that addition of alkali brought it back.”


Boiling may increase polyphenol content

In case you were wondering if boiling palo azul would destroy its beneficial nutrients, a 2018 study actually found that boiled leaves "have shown greater levels of polyphenols, flavonoids, and antioxidant capacity compared with fresh leaves." Not only did boiling preserve the nutrients, they found that the "polyphenol and flavonoid contents of boiled leaves were higher than that of their fresh form." 

The authors suggest that the increase in polyphenol content could be attributed to the "breakdown of the complex polyphenolic compounds such as tannins present in the vegetables during heat processing to simple polyphenols" and "the liberation of polyphenols from the intracellular protein complexes, changes in plant cell structure, matrix modifications, or the inactivation of the polyphenol oxidases."


Cold Brew

palo azul tea recipe

  1. Tea bags: For the best cold brew, we recommend using our palo azul tea bags because there is much more surface area so they brew more efficiently. Just add 1 tea bag to 16 oz of alkaline water overnight and next morning it will look like the picture above.
  2. Loose tea: If you just have the loose palo azul, add a few pieces to room temperature water and leave it overnight so that it brews effectively.
  3. Shake it up! For a quick on-the-go drink, simply add some palo azul to your cup, bottle or thermos. Shake it up a bit, and you will see it start to turn blue in 1-3 minutes. 

A cold-brewed infusion will not be as potent or concentrated, so it will have a lighter color...but you should still be able to see the blue fluorescence.



  1. Tea bags: Add 1 tea bag to 16 oz of alkaline water in a microwave friendly cup and microwave for 2 minutes
  2. Loose tea: Add 1 small piece of palo azul bark to a microwave-able cup and microwave for 2 minutes
  3. Let it cool down and transfer it to a glass cup so that your palo azul tea can absorb light and reveal its magic!


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