Kombucha tea is not only delicious, but super simple to make at home, making it very affordable. Additionally, one can experiment with lots of flavors to make the kombucha even more delicious. Flavoring my kombucha was how I was able to get my kids hooked on it. They now drink it plain too, but it was the blueberry and raspberry flavors that first won their taste buds over to this probiotic enzyme rich beverage. So, if you are trying to convince someone of the joys of the booch, you may want to start them off with a delightfully flavored glass instead of the plain. Plain kombucha is a hard sell at times, as many of you may know, especially for those new to kombucha. (I still love it though!)
How to Properly Bottle and Flavor Kombucha Tea
Let the tea fully ferment with the kombucha culture in it for 7 to 10 days minimum, optimally 10 days to 2 weeks and if you want to be sure the sugar is as minimized as possible go a full 30 days.
Then remove the culture and place in a glass jar with a small amount of the fermented tea, transfer the rest of your fermented tea into an airtight vessel, such as a Fido jar, or individual wire stopper bottles. (You can find such bottles, here). I buy mine at a local brewing supply company, or you can purchase a case of Grolsch for a party and ask everyone to recycle the bottles and collect them all. Make sure to sterilize well, especially if you are gluten free.
Once the tea is bottled add your flavor. It could be some juice, dried fruit, fresh fruit, or an herbal tea tincture. Make sure that these additional ingredients never come in contact with the kombucha culture. Keep in mind with each fresh fruit flavor you want enough fruit to basically cover the bottom of the bottle. Make sure you leave very little headroom. However, if I know my kombucha is very fizzy already I do leave about an inch of headroom to avoid exploding.
Allow the flavor to second ferment for 1-2 days. If the weather is hot, check it before a full day is up. Consider second fermenting in a bin in a cupboard during the summer months, just in case you have an explosion. *Note: I had my very first bottle explode on the 4th of July this year after 4 years of home brewing and bottling kombucha.
(per bottle add:)
- 7-10 raspberries, 1 tsp. lemon juice, 1 tsp. of grated ginger
- 5-8 pitted and halved cherries
- 5 organic strawberries sliced thin to fit through the bottle opening, maybe add 1/3 of a already scraped out vanilla bean pod
- Fresh apple,1 Tbsp. finely chopped, with pieces of a crushed cinnamon stick or part of a vanilla bean –Cinnamon Apple Kombucha
- Chopped peaches to cover the bottom of the bottle- 1 Tbsp.
- Blueberries, 1 Tbsp. and 1 tsp. lemon juice
- Grated ginger to cover the bottom of the jar- 1 Tbsp.
- Mixed berries, 2 Tbsp. and 1-2 tsp. of grated ginger
- Hibiscus flowers (dried), orange zest and grated ginger to mimic one of the GT flavors- 1 tsp. of each – Orange Hibiscus Ginger Kombucha
- A few sliced and pitted dates, or a few dried apricots, apples, or cranberries. Sour Date Booch.
- Elderberry tea brewed for therapeutic effect and use about a shots worth in your tea
(you could do this with any medicinal herb tincture you like – although this will somewhat ‘water’ down your fizzy tea)
- Whole spices, such as chai tea blend – crushed a bit (put the spices in a plastic bag and crack with a rolling pin a little)
- Elderberry Syrup – 1 Tbsp.
- Nectarine -1 Tbsp. chopped pieces, Nectarine Blueberry -1/2 Tbsp each, Nectarine Ginger -1 Tbsp. chopped nectarine, 1 tsp. grated ginger
- Spicy Pineapple Cranberry Kombucha
- Pumpkin Pie Kombucha
- Strawberry Hibiscus Kombucha
- Orange Spice Kombucha
- Apricot Star Anise Kombucha
- Lemonada Kombucha
- Chia Seed Kombucha
- Nectarine Kombucha
- Orange Fennel Kombucha
Once you have flavored your tea how you prefer place the bottles in a cupboard to sit for at least 2 more days until drinking. Then place in the fridge. Are you new to water kefir or kombucha and need a scoby or water kefir grains? Kombucha Kamp is a great resource for you for all things kombucha and water kefir. You can order water kefir grains or a kombucha scoby and get started brewing at home quite easily!
That’s it! Super simple! What are your favorite flavors for kombucha?
This post contributed to Traditional Tuesdays.