Sooo… I just killed an hour getting sucked into Pinterest. Which is my main reason I try to stay away from pinterest… I didn’t even get anything productive done, like adding things to The Paleo Homesteader pinterest page. Instead I got sucked into the world of etsy and jewelry and fashion. Whoops. And the ironic part – I hate shopping. I’d rather find exactly what I want and then perform a surgical strike and be in and out. Done! Apparently this was my window shopping. Ah well… at least I had a productive morning and pulled myself away before… I don’t know. Before I became an internet zombie? You know what I’m talking about.
So before I go “something shiny” on you and get sucked into something else that would probably be a huge waste of time. I’ve been doing this a lot today… I should start on the actual purpose of this post! (Because let’s face it… in the amount of time it’s taken me to type out these 2 paragraphs.. I’ve already “something shiny’ed” on you about four times. It’s true. ahem…. back to work….
Flavoring Your Homemade Kombucha
So I am going to assume that you already know how to make and brew your own kombucha. And if you don’t then you should read Carrie’s post about it here:
Now we get to discuss the flavoring portion of this awesome thing we call kombucha brewing!
1. Use flavored teas.
Admittedly this works much better using the batch method for brewing your kombucha rather than the continuous brew method because then you can use whatever teas you’d like and you won’t be mixing the flavors. Doesn’t make sense? Well… I guess you’ll just have to wait for our batch brewing kombucha video…
- My daughters favorite kombucha is made using a white pomegranate tea. No need to flavor it when it’s done brewing – just bottle it up!
- My husbands favorite kombucha is made brewing a combination of green tea and ginger tea. Again, no need to flavor after it’s done brewing – just bottle!
- We have made kombucha using oolong teas, chai teas, earl grey tea (yum by the way. yum.), acai berry teas, mint tea (this one is pretty good too!), black teas, red teas – really – any teas that contain caffeine so that your kombucha scoby will thrive – should work!
2. Flavor after brewing
For this one, you want to use a tea that does not have any particular flavor to it, like a green tea or a black tea. You want a “plain” kombucha taste so the flavors will not be competing with each other. There are many many many ways to flavor your kombucha once it is done brewing. Use your imagination! Try anything that sounds like it might taste good to you!
- Fresh fruit. When you bottle you kombucha, add in about 1/4 cup fresh fruit of your choice. We have done strawberry, mango, blueberry and ginger. (ok ok, ginger isn’t a fruit, but you get the idea!) This is actually easier if you just pour the desired amount into a mason jar and then cover it with a rag and rubber band like you would your kombucha brew and let it ferment for 24-72 hours for what we call – the second ferment. This is when the kombucha takes on the flavors you would like and gets it’s extra fizz! So – pour the kombucha and fruit of choice into a mason jar, cover, and let sit for 24-72 hours, after that time – pour the kombucha into your bottle while leaving the fruit behind and now enjoy! Now your kombucha can be refrigerated to stop the fermentation process. If you choose not to refrigerate it – that’s ok. However, you are going to want to open every bottle once a day… to make sure you don’t have exploding kombucha.
- Fruit juice. This one is really easy! Again, you want to brew a plain black or green tea for your kombucha base. We have done many different flavors, just because it is so easy! My girls’ favorite is the grape juice I can with concord grapes every summer. We have used pure organic fruit juice we purchased from the store too. Just add about 1-2 inches of juice to the bottom of your bottle (depending on how big the bottles you’re using are) and then top with kombucha. Done. We have done grape juice, cranberry, mango, lemonade, strawberry, grapefruit, lemon/lime squeezed, carrot juice, prune, mixed fruit juices, you name it! Seriously, any flavor of juice you normally like – will be good in kombucha!
- Other. Yep. Other. Things I have used to flavor my kombucha: Cinnamon, nutmeg, liquid chlorophyll, fresh ginger, maple syrup, 1 tbsp maqui berry powder, chai tea concentrate. The possibilities are endless!
- Chia seed. Ok, I have to be honest here. I had never actually tried to make my own chia seed kombucha before because I had tried the GT Kombucha ones and I just wasn’t a huge fan of the consistency. So when I started planning this post, I conceded that I would have to figure it out! Well… turns out that chia seeds make kombucha really fizzy… so. there’s that. I had multiple bottles explode all over my kitchen while I tried to figure out how much chia seed should be in each bottle and how long I should let it do it’s second ferment stage. Yeah… I gave up. I googled it. I found this awesome post by The Wellness Mama. Which you can find here. She recommends making a chia seed “gel” with water and then mixing in your preferred amount of chia into your kombucha. I tried it. It watered down my kombucha. LAME. So I did this instead: Make your chia seed gel with whatever juice or flavors you want to make your kombucha. So – if you want cranberry chia kombucha: Mix 1 cup cranberry juice and 2 tbsp chia seeds and refrigerate overnight the day before you will be bottling your kombucha. When you are ready to drink your kombucha – fill your glass with kombucha 3/4 full. Mix your chia seed gel well. Then add in the desired amount of flavored chia seed gel to your kombucha. It’s pretty good – if I do say so myself.
So now that you have the basics, I thought I’d give you some combinations that we have really enjoyed.
Taevia’s favorite “pink kombucha” is made with Trader Joes White Pomegranate Tea which you can find here if you don’t have a TJ’s around.
Tim’s favorite is made by brewing 6 bags of green tea and 4 bags of ginger tea.
I have enjoyed almost all of the kombucha brews I have made but some of my favorites are:
- Bottle kombucha – add in 1/2 tsp cinnamon – mix.
- Add 1 inch apple juice , 1/4 tsp cinnamon and 1/4 tsp nutmeg – fill with kombucha.
- Mango kombucha is one of my favorites. 1-2 inches mango juice and fill with kombucha.
- Chai kombucha is delicious. Try it. You can thank me later.
- Brewing your kombucha with Earl Grey Tea. Yum. That is all.
One of Carrie’s favorite combinations is: candied ginger (1-3 pieces depending on how gingery you want it) fresh lemon juice, fresh lime juice (about a tbsp of each).
Another favorite of hers is: fresh mango pieces with candied ginger.
And a favorite of everyone’s is: The homemade grape juice that I can every summer. Really. If you have access to concord grapes in the summer, I highly recommend making some juice with it! It makes yuuuuuuummy kombucha!
I hope this helps you in your kombucha flavoring journey! Just remember 1 tsp / 1 tbsp / 1 inch – this will usually make some good kombucha in whatever you are using!