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!

********

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

********

Check out the

FLAVOR SAVER Special

at the Kombucha Kamp Store

and save even more on Kombucha flavorings!

********

  ********

Have any favorite flavoring combinations?

Leave comments about them below!

********

Hannah Crum, the Kombucha Mamma!Hannah Crum is The Kombucha Mamma, founder of Kombucha Kamp, Industry Journalist & Master Brewer, educating others about Kombucha since 2004. Connect with her on Google +
Kombucha Mamma SCOBYs & Kits ship free in the US!
44 Responses to 10 Easy Recipes for Flavoring Kombucha
  1. Kelly Jenkins Villarreal via Facebook

    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!

    • Rick

      They do sell pumpkin powder on amazon, so maybe I will give the pumpkin spice recipe a shot. Who knows?!

  2. Catherine Reiter via Facebook

    I love the ginger lime white tea booch!

  3. CustomPens ByDavid via Facebook

    i just bottled and yes that was my thought like,i hope i don’t get bored of the same boochaa!! thank you.

  4. 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.

  5. Mmmm – ginger lime white tea sounds delightful!

  6. You got that right David – never be bored by your booch!

  7. Kelly Jenkins Villarreal via Facebook

    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.

  8. Vicki

    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. :-)

    • Those who like it spicy would really dig the chipotle. I’ve also added jalapeno. I do a just jalapeno KT and then mix it with my other flavors so I have more control over the amount of fire I inject into the flavor.

  9. Really great ideas there. Thanks!

    • Thanks – do share some of your creations with us here.

  10. what do you do about the left over chunks (esp of fruit) left in the tea? i flavored some kt with frozen rasberries and it was delicious AND pretty, except for the seedy brown sludge on top :/

    • You can filter out the leftover fruit pieces and put them in the compost or worm bin (or trash). Sometimes they can be tasty to eat – like a fruit pickle.

  11. 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.

      • Mindy

        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

  12. Greg

    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!

  13. sydney

    Cocoa nibs and fresh chopped ginger…this is one experiment that will become a regular!

  14. Pat

    Is it possible to flavor KT with Essential Oils??

    • Shelly

      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!

  15. VeronikaC

    Can lemon zest be added after bottling?

    • Yes! Lemon zest or lemon juice – avoid adding the pith (the white part) as it will make your booch bitter.

  16. gavin

    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

    • Depends on the type of tea used. The color of the tea & sugar solution lightens through the fermentation process as the culture uses the tannins.

  17. Thank you for this video! I can’t wait to start adding fruit!

  18. Bonny

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

  19. Penny

    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!

  20. Rebecca

    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.

  21. Kiki Sepulveda

    Hi there! Can you make kombucha with white tea? Never heard of it.

  22. Andrea Myers

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

  23. Ginger

    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.

    • Yes – you may flavor it anytime after the primary fermentation. You may also mix or dilute it with juice or water to improve the drinkability.

  24. Shelly

    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!!!!!

  25. Shelly

    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!!!!

  26. Danae Bloise

    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!

      • Danae Bloise

        Thanks very much!

        • Danae Bloise

          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!

Leave a Reply

Wanting to leave an <em>phasis on your comment?

Trackback URL http://www.kombuchakamp.com/2011/09/10-easy-recipes-for-flavoring-kombucha.html/trackback
type your kombucha related question here
Loading

Continuous Brew mini-FAQ

How does it work?

By changing the starting ratio from…
1 Part KT:9 Parts Starter (orignial method)
to
3 Parts KT:1 PART Starter Liquid (CB method)
…the brewing cycle is dramatically reduced (just 1-2 days to complete).

Posted in: Continuous Brew mini-FAQ

What about the Sugar?

Your colony of bacteria and yeast will be hungry and will very quickly process the small amount of sugar into mature KT.

Posted in: Continuous Brew mini-FAQ

I don’t want to take on more work.

Actually, CB results in less work.  One example: a more streamlined bottling experience, without the need to lift your brewing vessel, clean it every week or deal with the mess afterwards.

Posted in: Continuous Brew mini-FAQ

I can customize the flavor?

Sure, just drain mature KT and add starter liquid to taste.  Or for bottles, flavor as desired – no funnel, no mess!

Posted in: Continuous Brew mini-FAQ

It’s actually healthier?

So says Michael Roussin and experts worldwide.

Posted in: Continuous Brew mini-FAQ

Will I have too much Kombucha?

Not at all.  Having it on tap will change your perspective.  Plus, you’ll find friends, family and neighbors eyeing your Kombucha set-up with envy and maybe even helping themselves to a fresh glass.

Posted in: Continuous Brew mini-FAQ

Really? You’re telling me it’s fun?

Yes.  With a straight face.  It is.

Posted in: Continuous Brew mini-FAQ

I’m nervous. Is it hard?

Don’t be nervous.  You have the experience of hundreds of homebrewers backing you up in the form of my detailed instructions and maintenance plan.  You will be guided along the way.  You will save time and effort.

Posted in: Continuous Brew mini-FAQ