Making Kombucha is an investment. If you’re willing to put in the effort, start with the top ingredients to ensure the highest quality outcomes. The primary input is the Tea itself – in the end, Tea brewed is the fermented base of Kombucha.
The big issue for brewers of Kombucha is: what is the best tea for kombucha brewing?
In simple terms, the finest Tea can make the best Kombucha.
We spoke to an expert in fermentation, beverage consultant, and owner of Prohibition Kombucha, Nate Uri, to learn how to select the right Tea for brewing kombucha. We’ll provide his tips for making Kombucha and explain the research behind the brewing process of Kombucha.
Fermented Tea with five ingredients
Kombucha is a tea that has been fermented and comprised of five ingredients: Tea, water, sugar or honey bacteria, yeast, and. It results from a symbiotic community of yeast and bacteria (a.k.a. SCOBY). The kombucha drink is made by mixing the colony with Tea brewed using honey and sugar as a natural replacement and then letting the mixture ferment. The SCOBY consumes the bulk of the sugar in the Tea, transforming it into a sweet, fizzy, and fermented (but generally non-alcoholic) drink that is low in calories and sugar and boasts many health benefits. A lot of claims of Kombucha’s health benefits are about gut health. It’s awash with probiotics (a result of the fermentation process) which make the intestines feel happy and aid in improving our body’s overall health.
Best Tea For Making Kombucha
Black Tea The tea leaves are oxidized for an extended period (longer than the green and Oolong teas), resulting in a strong taste. The most popular varieties of black Tea that are effective in Kombucha are Ceylon and English Breakfast (avoid Earl Grey, for example, see “tea to avoid” below). If you are growing a SCOBY, only make use of black Tea. After your SCOBY has gone through four or five batches, you can add different teas.
Green Tea The tea leaves are not oxidized to create a subtle earthy taste. Green Tea can be used in conjunction with other teas or by itself.
Oolong Tea tea leaves that are partly fermented (more than teas like green, but lesser than black Tea) produce a light fruity, grassy flavor. Oolong tea can be used in conjunction with another tea or by itself.
White Tea The black, green, and oolong teas are made from mature Tea leaves. White Tea is made of young leaves and is very lightly oxidized. This gives a subtle taste and light shade. Combine white Tea with green, black, or oolong tea (at minimum 25% adult tea leaves ).
The Essential Ingredient of teas for Kombucha?
Tea (made by removing the leaves from the Camellia sinensis plant) is an essential ingredient in the health and growth of SCOBY. The vitamins and minerals found inside tea leaves (like nitrogen, caffeine, and theanine), together with sugar, nourish the colony of Kombucha so it can continue to thrive. If you want your SCOBY to be healthy and your Kombucha to be delicious, It is crucial to select the best Tea. Here are some suggestions:
Use True Tea Leaves:
Utilize pure green, black-white, oolong, or black Tea to make Kombucha. You’ll enjoy the most refined taste and maximum impact by consuming the nutrients found in green leaves from the Camellia sinensis. It is possible to mix different tea leaves to make distinct flavor profiles. Do not use flavored or scented teas, as the chemical components employed in flavoring could negatively impact the development of your kombucha-based culture.
Avoid Herbal Tea:
Avoid using herbal teas such as chamomile or peppermint as your brewed tea base. They won’t provide the essential nutrients needed to nourish your kombucha brewing. Herbs could also introduce natural oils, which could hinder the SCOBY’s capacity to absorb oxygen or antibacterial properties, affecting the bacteria that make up the SCOBY.
Have you realized that the first time that tea leaves are cleaned is when they are steeped in hot water? If the tea leaves are coated with pesticides, those chemicals will be present in your drink, and you’ll be able to inhale the chemicals. The same chemicals could hinder the fermentation of Kombucha and the fermentation process and could eventually cause the death of your SCOBY.
How to Flavor Kombucha With Herbal Tea
Have you got a favorite tea, flavored or herbal Tea, that you’d like to convert into Kombucha? Here’s how you can get the most out of it!
In fermenting Kombucha, the Tea will lose a lot of its flavor. This is why we don’t advise making Kombucha using Tea that has been flavored. Kombucha. Additionally, certain flavored teas are enriched with substances like natural oils and artificial flavors that could weaken the microorganisms present in the scoby of Kombucha.
To prevent this, special teas are made to flavor the Kombucha that is already in its natural form.
- Create plain Kombucha using black or green Tea
- Let it ferment
- Take out the kombucha-SCOBY
- Drink the rest of the Kombucha with the Tea you like best.
This is the process we employ in our kombucha recipe with chai. We begin with a simple tea; then, we add the chai at the end of the second fermentation to truly enjoy its flavors.
This method has a variety of advantages:
- The flavor that the infusion imparts stronger
- The mother of Kombucha is not able to retain the taste of the previous flavor
- The Scoby is healthy and stable in the long-term
Utilizing these infusions to flavor when bottling, we ensure that our SCOBY is in good health!
Kombucha teas to avoid
The most herbal teas: Most herbal teas don’t work to brew Kombucha because they lack the nutrients required for your ferment to flourish. Tea that has added flavor: Many teas are not just tea leaves but also the inclusion of spices or oils. Beware of teas that have anything added because it could react with the fermenting Kombucha and cause it to turn bad. Examples of teas that have additional ingredients include:
- Earl Grey Don’t drink this type of black Tea that has added bergamot oil.
- Chai Do not drink this particular black tea type with spiced up.
Is It Possible to Make Kombucha Without Tea?
Many home brewers would like to learn: can I make Kombucha using herbal Tea for making Kombucha? Although it is an option to drink Kombucha with an infusion of herbal Tea, it’s extremely difficult to keep SCOBY healthy and longevity without Tea.
Brew and expert on fermentation Nate Uri explain in more specific detail:
“You can make delicious first generation tisane kombucha that is, it is cultured using a tea kombucha. In a subsequent tisane-only generations, the SCOBY’s composition of the biotics can change and cause problems due to an imbalance in yeasts as well as bacteria. It can impact acidity and alcohol levels and is an issue for safety. The most noticeable result is that the consistency will be affected. .”
If you decide to make the best tea for kombucha brewing, keep these suggestions in your mind:
- Begin the fermentation process with tea-based kombucha cultures
- Be aware of the level of acidity and alcohol.
- To prevent security issues, begin fresh batches using a tea kombucha culture, not using the traditional herbal cultures