10 Easy Recipes for Flavoring Kombucha

Flavor Flav wants more Flavor from his Kombucha!
Flavor Flav wants more flavor from his Kombucha!

One of the funnest (yes, I said funnest) things about Kombucha is inventing new flavors.

I am a prolific experimenter; from exotic South American super foods to seasonal fruit to healing herbal blends, I continue to push my creative boundaries.

However, improving the flavor is not the only reason for adding these healthy elements to your Kombucha. That’s because the healing properties, anti-oxidants and other vitamins & minerals present in the flavoring agents are also passed on to you in the final beverage.

Allowing the flavored bottles to condition outside the fridge gives the KT a chance to soak up the goodness and get extra bubbly (watch out for too much built up carbonation).

Have you ever noticed that a piece of fruit such as strawberry or blueberry loses all of its color and turns mushy when left in a bottle of KT? That’s because the Kombucha sucks out all the flavonoids, folate and phytonutrients and passes them on to you in a form that is more bioavailable, which means it is easier for your body to absorb the nutrition.

Here is a quick refresher on flavoring:

How to Flavor Kombucha

Insert Flavors directly into the Bottle
Flavorings go into the bottle first.
  • Flavorings are added only AFTER the primary fermentation brewing cycle – this is to protect the mother culture. To ferment the flavor with a culture, use a spare from your SCOBY Hotel.
  • A little bit goes a long way. Start with ¼- ½ tsp of flavoring per 16oz bottle, then increase or decrease as desired.
  • Allow the bottle to condition outside of the fridge for 24-36 hours. Remember, carbon dioxide may build up during this period, so store your bottles in a cooler, box or burp them to prevent explosions.
  • Taste your creation! Once it has reached the flavor you like best, move it to the fridge to slow the fermentation process.
  • Lost your fizz? Let the bottle warm up for an hour or two to reactivate the yeast and natural carbon dioxide.
  • Experiment! Fruity, green-y, citrus-y, herbal-y or garlic-y, etc.
  • It’s okay to pour unsuccessful experiments down the drain. You might feel attached to all of your KT, even if it isn’t exactly to your liking. No harm in letting some go as part of the experimentation process.
  • Use old KT to make fruit fly traps. You can also use it as hair tonic but make sure all of the sugar has been fermented out of it otherwise you end up with sticky hair – yuck!

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10 Kombucha Flavor Recipes
to Spark Your Imagination**

**Note: These flavoring portions are for one 16oz bottle. Use less or more depending on how much Kombucha you want to flavor and your own taste preferences.

Summer Breeze

  • ¼ tsp of lavender – lavender is a member of the mint family and is used to calm and soothe
  • ½ tsp of chamomile – chamomile is a flower that has been used traditionally to promote a sense of well being
Summer Breeze Kombucha by Hannah's Homebrew - Lavender and Chamomile
Summer Breeze Kombucha - Lavender and Chamomile

Apple Pie

  • fresh apple slices, cored – apples help regulate blood sugar and have a positive impact on the bacteria in the large intestine
  • ¼ tsp chai spice - cinnamon increases circulation, cloves are anti-inflammatory, allspice improves digestion
Apple Pie Kombucha by Hannah's Homebrew - Apple & Chai Spice
Apple Pie Kombucha - Apple & Chai Spice

Cuzco Chocolate

  • ¼ tsp lucuma – a South American super fruit known as the “Gold of the Incas” that is high in beta carotene and B vitamins
  • ¼ tsp raw cacao powder – cacao is literally the “food of the Gods” and is high in magnesium, which is good for building strong bones
Cuzco Chocolate Kombucha by Hannah's Homebrew - lucuma powder & raw cacao powder
Cuzco Chocolate Kombucha - lucuma powder & raw cacao powder

Vanilla Rooibos

  • ¼ inch organic vanilla bean – vanilla supresses the appetite and soothes the nerves
  • ¼ cup of brewed rooibos tisane – rooibos is high in ant-oxidants and naturally caffeine free
Vanilla Rooibos Kombucha by Hannah's Homebrew - Vanilla Bean & Rooibos Tisane
Vanilla Rooibos Kombucha - Vanilla Bean & Rooibos Tisane

Cacao Pow

  • ¼ tsp raw cacao powder
  • ¼ tsp maca powder – a powerful South American adaptogen that boosts adrenal and other gladular function improving energy and libido
Cacao Pow Kombucha by Hannah's Homebrew - Raw Cacao Powder & Maca Powder
Cacao Pow Kombucha - Raw Cacao Powder & Maca Powder

Green Machine

Green Machine Kombucha by Hannah's Homebrew - Green Superfood Powder
Green Machine Kombucha - Green Superfood Powder

Mate Mint

  • ¼ cup brewed yerba mate tisane – chockfull of B vitamins and anti-oxidants, mate provides energy without the caffeine crash
  • ¼ tsp organic peppermint – soothes the tummy and kills bacteria
Mate Mint Kombucha by Hannah's Homebrew - Yerba Mate & Peppermint Tea
Mate Mint Kombucha - Yerba Mate & Peppermint Tea

Hibiscus Ginger

  • ¼ tsp hibiscus – lowers blood pressure and is high in vitamin C
  • ½ tsp ginger – aids in digestion and makes great carbonation
Hibiscus Ginger Kombucha by Hannah's Homebrew - Hibiscus Flower & Organic Ginger
Hibiscus Ginger Kombucha - Hibiscus Flower & Organic Ginger

Roseberry

  • 1 tb organic rose petals – mild sedative with soothing effects
  • ¼ tsp rose hips – packed with vitamin C, excellent for combatting colds
  • ¼ tsp elderberries – boost upper respiratory health – perfect for cold season
Roseberry Kombucha by Hannah's Homebrew - Rose Petals, Rose Hips & Elderberries
Roseberry Kombucha - Rose Hips, Rose Petals & Elderberries

Brain Brew

  • ½ tsp of Brain Brew – comprised of gotu kola & gingko biloba – improves mental clarity and stimulates circulation in the brain
Brain Brew Kombucha by Hannah's Homebrew - Gotu Kola & Ginko Biloba
Brain Brew Kombucha - Gotu Kola & Ginko Biloba

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Check out the

FLAVOR SAVER Special

at the Kombucha Kamp Store

and save even more on Kombucha flavorings!

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Have any favorite flavoring combinations?

Leave comments about them below!

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Check Out These Related Blog Posts!

Responses to 10 Easy Recipes for Flavoring Kombucha

  1. Sometimes I think big brother has a chip in my brain…all morning I’ve been thinking of how to make a pumpkin spice KT and here you are talking about flavoring ideas!

  2. Ha Ha Kelly – though I like to think of myself more as “Friendly Sister” than Big Brother ;) I recommend using a canned pumpkin to get more of the flavor into the KT – my carrot ginger and yam sage didn’t turn out as carroty or yammy as I had hoped with just using fresh chunks.

  3. I was thinking about roasting or baking first. I was also going to try freezing and straining. Maybe you know, like when you freeze bananas and thaw they’re extremely juicey.

  4. As much as I love “regular” kombucha, I’m also really big on flavoring… (enough so that I add more flavoring than you, Hannah.) Fave of most folks is strawberry/mango (I add pureed fruit) and cinnamon/clove. My new fave, however, is cinnamon/chipotle… totally rocks! Like fireworks going off in your mouth. :-)

  5. Does the primary fermentation of kombucha contain alcohol, or does this only occur after the secondary fermentation? My favourites so far are fresh grated ginger (and lots of it), and strawberry! I tried mango but it was a little too subtle for me – I prefer strong flavours. Today I made up a batch with dried organic blueberries, but only after I added them I noticed the packet says they contain sunflower oil!! Will this still be ok in the secondary fermentation?

    • The amount of alcohol in KT varies from .3-.8% when unflavored – about the same amount as in unpasteurized fruit juice. The small amount of oil on the dried blueberries shouldn’t adversely affect the flavor of your KT. Though for future batches you may want to try frozen or fresh fruit.

      • Can’t the berries cause Botchalism? I was using berries in mine and my boyfriend who works for the city water department got all upset talking about Botchalism! Also has anyone had cans explode?

        • The Kombucha is at a pH that prevents botulism. Even the FDA website says that they’ve never found a case of botulism in anything with a pH of 4.6 & lower. Kombucha is 2.5-3.5

  6. Is it OK to mix fresh, unpasteurized fruit juice with homemade kombucha?…

    Absolutely, if you mean adding the juice during the flavoring or second ferment stage, sometimes known as bottle conditioning. Or fresh juice is a great way to cut the (deliciously) sour initial taste of Kombucha, especially for a newbie. There are lot…

  7. Thanks for putting together this website. It’s amazingly simple and straight to the point but left me with enough information to feel like a Kombucha expert! Just finished bottling 2 days ago and this morning had my first taste of ginger, goji berry & lemongrass. It’s super fizzy and delicious thanks to all your great tips. Keep loving, take care!

    • Pat, I am going to try adding lemon essentail oil….I would definitely wait until you take out the scoby…do it for the second ferment, or like I do, in the big jars for one night, (after I have taken out the scoby), I am afraid the oils would ruin the integrity of the scoby.
      There is also a strawberry lavender one that I might use the lavender essential oil. Make sure your oils are pure and that they are ingestible.
      Good luck!

  8. Thanks for sharing the k tea flavours with us. I CANNOT WAIT TO TRY IT OUT. One question . Why are some teas I see so light in colour because mine is always a tea colour. I USE ROOIBOS TEA AS I AM FROM SOUTH AFRICA. The rooibos factory is not far from where I live

  9. How does one add ginger (or other flavors) to home brewed kombucha?…

    Add the ginger in the secondary fermentation, either directly to the bottle or to another vessel after removing the culture and starter liquid for the next batch. Watch out though, ginger is a rhizome and tends to create A LOT of carbonation. EXPLODING…

  10. […] great flavor. Want some more great flavoring ideas? Hannah over at Kombucha Kamp has some really great recipes.  Remember the SCOBY hotel I linked to last week? Yeah, Hannah again! Even though I am doing a […]

  11. definitely ginger is my husbands favorite . . . . I grate it. Going to have to try it with some cocao nibs next time! sounds yummy

  12. I love to add Kombucha to my wine .I have been putting club soda in my wine for years but have been looking for an alternative that is much healthier .Yay kombucha ! It smooths it out and the bubbles are great.I control how sweet or sour it ends up by mixing straight kombua or a secondary fermented one that is either carbonated or flavoured .Yum!

  13. I’m pretty much a newbie to making Kombucha and I just gotta tell ya….I am very thankful for this site:) My husband’s favorite flavor is from Trader Joe’s unfiltered grape juice. Love it! My girls’ fave is the orange peach mango juice from Trader Joes. I use 2.5 oz per 16 oz. bottle of Kombucha.

  14. We love holy basil kombucha…for flavor and healing. Also what we call the master cleanse…lemon peel and thai hot pepper!!

  15. I just finished my first batch of bucha and it came out pretty sweet and slightly vigary but drinkable. I let it go for 2 weeks to try to get the sugar down. I siphoned it off because I didnt want my scoby to go hungry (oh, Im doing continuous brew method). My question is, can I second ferment even if the finished bucha has been in the fridge for 48 hours? I would really like to make the sweet, vinagary brew taste better.

  16. I have hung a bag in the second ferment with lemons sliced up with peeling on and about 1 inch of peeled raw ginger….so good! And also hung a bag of frozen strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries over the side for second ferment! RIDICULOUSLY DELICIOUS!!!!!

  17. I ferment in the big gallon jar for about 6 days, then take out the scoby and hang the flavoring hops bags in overnight….then take them out and now pour into my bottles and let them sit for 3 to 5 days to get bubbly.
    Works great!!!!

  18. What about the Brain brew tisane and the lavender and yerba mate? I am confused on how to use them. Do add them to your initial brew with the scoby and green and black tea? Thanks for your help!

    • They are used in the flavoring stage. After the Kombucha has the sweet/tart balance that you prefer, then add a pinch of the herbs to your bottle, fill with Kombucha, cap and let sit at room temp for a day or two until you see bubbles form. If it is cold, it may take longer for the fizz to build or if coming right out the fridge. Enjoy experimenting!

        • I used the brain brew in the initial brew. Do you think my scoby is ruined? I have been still been making batches from it and it tastes fine.

          • As long as the culture appears healthy and reproduces, a variety of herbs may be mixed into the primary fermentation tea blend. We do recommend always having some tea in order to nutrify the culture. Experiment and enjoy!

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