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:

For 1 Litre of Kombucha nutrient:

  • 1 Litre of Water (filtered, bottled, distilled or boiled and cooled)
  • 80g – 100g white sugar
  • <1 – 2 teaspoons of tea or tea bags (5 gram) – green or black

But then, sometimes we like to experiment with different flavours.

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

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 like Ambar Tea or Arbor Tea.

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.

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.

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 normal tea base 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 fruit tea bags to the mix. I get these from my local supermarket, both Twinnings and Tetley make fruit and herbal teas. Try some of the ones you get yourself. You can also get herbal teas from various online sources.

I add them at the same time as the rest of the tea and strain them all together.

Not too much oil.

Tea with a high oil content such as Earl Grey (it contains bergamot oil) and some of the spiced teas are not so good to use.

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 etc for flavour and health

Getting a little more adventurous, you can also add dried fruit and herbs when bottling your tea.

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

The sort of items added could be Elderflowers or Rose petals to give subtle flavour changes or St John’s Wort for it’s health properties. You can get these from various health food shops around the country.

People have also added a few dried raisins or a piece of ginger to their bottled tea. Not liking ginger myself I cannot comment, but the rasins do add a pleasant taste – all you need is 3 in a litre bottle.

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

If you have tried anything else and found it to be useful, please let me know and I will consider trying it and / or using the example here.

Remember, get the hang of the basic Kombucha recipe before trying out any of these other ingredients.