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Kombucha Beyond The Basic

flavouring kombucha


When you want to experiment with the Kombucha tea recipe

Many people right around the globe drink Kombucha Tea, and the majority of them stick with the basic Kombucha recipe

If you don’t know how to make the basic Kombucha recipe then you will find it all explained here

and if you need a kombucha mother scoby or starter kit you can find them here.

However there is lots you can do to change the flavour of your kombucha.

Changing the base tea.

This is the most popular way to vary your recipe and probably the easiest. All you need to do is change the type of tea you are using.

Now, just before you rush out to the shop and buy the first thing that comes to hand, read on, because there are some things you need to know first.

It is perfectly acceptable to use any variation of standard black or green teas. So you may want to vary between Gunpowder green to Irish breakfast black tea, Ceylon to Darjeeling. Or, maybe some of the organic teas from the ‘fair trade’ companies (DO NOT USE EARL GREY)

You might want to experiment a little further and try a little half ferment “oolong” tea, some fragrant “Jasmine” tea or go for some of the more expensive “white” tea.

What ever your choice there are many varieties available.

All you need to do is substitute part or all of your standard tea with one or more of these other types.

Turn the basic Kombucha recipe into something a little bit special.

BUT It has to be ‘real’ tea.

Fruit teas and Herbal teas are not actually ‘real’. By this I mean that they are mixes of fruit or herbs which, when brewed in hot water, simply give you a hot flavoured drink – not actual tea.

Real tea is from the ‘Camellia sinensis’ plant. As far as I understand, there are more than 3,000 varieties of real tea. So there are plenty to choose from and you can mix some bushes like redbush or Mate however you need to mix them 50/50 with a base of real tea.

But don’t let me put you off using fruit or herbal tea in your Kombucha tea recipe. Just make sure that you add them to your bottle when bottling and not substitute the basic tea.

I often make a fruit flavoured Kombucha tea using the standard quantity of gunpowder green as my base and then add a few inches of fruit tea to the bottle when i bottle (or you can use fruit juice). 

DO NOT ADD ANYTHING THAT HAS BEEN FLAVOURED WITH OIL IN THE BREWING STAGE these teas can be used but only when the kombucha is bottled so they do not affect the scoby.

Tea with a high oil content such as Earl Grey (it contains bergamot oil) and some of the spiced teas should only be used once the kombucha is being bottled and should never come into contact with your scoby.

The problem is that the oil interferes with the culture and its Kombucha tea making process.

Others have used these teas successfully in a recipe with non-oil teas. Just make sure that you always have a back-up culture that has not been contaminated with oil. Too much oil, and you will kill the culture.

Adding herbs or fruit etc for flavour and health

Getting a little more adventurous, you can also add dried fruit or fresh fruit (or fuit juice) and herbs when bottling your tea.

Try adding a favourite dried/fresh fruit (or fruit juice) or herb to your bottled tea. You can do this for flavour and / or health benefits.

The sort of items added could be Elderflowers/Elderflower cordial or Rose petals to give subtle flavour changes or St John’s Wort for it’s health properties. Vanilla pods, ginger and fennel are a nice addition. Experimentation is key, not everything will taste how you imagined just keep experimenting and trying new things.

Use your imagination but, do remember, if the item is not already dried then the tea will have a shorter ‘shelf life’.

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