Flavoring Kombucha: 10 Easy Recipes

Flavoring Kombucha is Flava Flav's Fave!
Flavoring Kombucha is Flava Flav’s Fave!

One of the funnest (yes, I said funnest) things about brewing your own is flavoring Kombucha any way you want!

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 for flavoring Kombucha.

However, improving the flavor is not the only reason for adding these healthy elements to your brew. 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 Kombucha 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:

Flavoring Kombucha: Basic How-To

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. See Flavoring and Bottling Safety Tips Here
  • 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 Flavoring Kombucha 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 combinations for flavoring Kombucha?

Leave comments about them below!

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Responses to Flavoring Kombucha: 10 Easy Recipes

  1. I have a question, is it ok to blend the ingredients (ie lemon juice with ginger) and then pour it into the kombucha for the 2nd fermentation? or is it better to just put in the pieces of kombucha chopped? or it does not matter?

  2. I recently started to use green tea and it makes a lovely KT. I love ginger and whatever flavour I add to my 2nd ferment I always add some crystallised ginger and always get a good fizz. Lemon peel, blackberries, cherry, banana etc are all improved with the addition of the ginger. Must try chocolate as suggested in previous posts.

  3. Is it OK if strands of yeast go into bottles when you pour the kombucha for the second fermentation? Also, can you use too much fruit puree when doing the second fermentation? If so, what are the potential problems?

  4. Some of my favorite combinations so far (amounts are in a 1-liter bottle):
    Per-cinnamon – 2 tbsp diced persimmon, 1/4 tsp cinnamon
    Rose Hippie-biscus – Emptied the contents of 3 Traditional Medicinals teabags, Rose Hip with Hibiscus flavor. Then I tried the same + 1/4c chopped frozen cherries. Even better.
    Grandma’s Garden – 1tsp each of edlerflower, chamomile, lavender
    Bluemint Citrus – 1/4 C blueberries, 2 tbsp orange juice, 1 tsp fresh mint
    Pineapple Fire – 1/4 C of diced pineapple, 1/4 tsp cayenne powder, a couple pieces of fresh ginger
    Gin & Tonic – 4 tsp juniper berries, 1/2 tsp lime zest
    Pineapple Ginger – 1/4 pineapple & 1 tbsp fresh ginger

    I’m also trying to copy GTS’s current seasonal flavor they call “Pure Love,” which is blood orange, hibiscus & rose. So far I haven’t nailed it.

  5. Thank you for these great ideas.
    I copy the ingredients of my favorite Synergy flavor, Trilogy, sometimes adding a little mango, lime juice, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, apple slices. Doesn’t the fruit, or anything sweet,cause a ‘secondary fermentation”, or does the initial tea just keep fermenting even without the SCOBY? Would it be less fizzy if I only add herbs (no sugar)? And is it not advised to keep the flavored tea warm or can it be room temp, even if my room temp is quite cool ( 60-63 degrees)?

    • 1) yes, the fruit and nutrients/sugars it provides creates a 2nd fermentation process which is what makes it fizzy – read this for more details
      2) Even herbs can have enough nutrients to create fizz – a good one for that is ginger but other ones will as well. Some will prevent fizz if they have strong essential oils like clove
      3) Flavored Kombucha will keep indefinitely – whether at room temp or in the fridge – it will continue to ferment so you may or may not enjoy the flavor after much time has passed but it doesn’t typically get moldy (unless we leave fruit bits in it, so strain them out if storing for a long time)

      • Hi Hannah, If I use 32 oz. jars for second fermenting with flavors is the 1/4 tsp accurate or is that for 16 oz or gallon or what. I’ve been following your site since 2017 and I have still not managed to get really good tasting KT. I’ve tried literally 50 combos and they all are off. The flavor combos are great but I cannot get the measurement right. I had to just do one gallon KT with cinnamon sticks and now I am addicted to coffee booch. But I want to flavor one gallon of KT and get the flavor right!!

        • The measurements are for 16oz bottles. To flavor 32oz, double the amount of flavoring. Keep in mind, these are suggestions and you may need to adjust the quantity based on your personal taste preference.

  6. I began brewing and drinking Kombucha 3 months or more ago. Almost immediately I noticed my FMA related restless legs which I have had for 6 yrs calmed down and I was able to sleep without having to walk the floor all night. I used green tea bags. Some other flavoured teas are not as successful. Worked for me worth a try for anyone having this painful and frustrating condition. Sent with love Patricia

  7. Didn’t carbonate. Your website is the BEST ! Just started brewingjust recently. I’m on batch #5. Tried lemon/giner flavor. Cystalized ginger and fresh squeezed lemon juice, 1/4 t. per bottle and a pinch of zest. Tast great but did not carbonate on the 2nd fermentation. I always ad 1/2 T sugar to my gallon to ensure addfitional fermentation when bottling. Did the lemon juice affect it? Usually I worry about too much carbonation.

  8. Hi Hannah, I got my booch brewing start, and SCOBY, from you…thank you! I have a continuous brew set-up going as I share with a couple of friends. So far our faves are blueberry/ginger/turmeric–to which I add a dash of pepper to release the anti-inflammatory properties of the turmeric– and blueberry or strawberry/ mint, made with fresh mint from my garden. I grow strawberries too, but can’t bring myself to putting them anywhere but directly in the belly :o) I’m going to try an orange/ginger/turmeric flavor on the batch that’s ready now. Oh, and I like drinking it unflavored as well. Thanks again for sharing all your Kombucha knowledge.

  9. I make my own „Kefir Quark“. For that I let the ready milk kefir for about 24 hours Or until it has the dryness I desire. I end up with delicious whey which I add 1:1 to my drink bottle (400 ml whey to 400 ml KT). I experimented first by pouring the whey as a second ferment into the KT, but because the whey ferments as well, the KT became vinegary too fast and too strong to drink, so now I add it to my drink bottle. Often I add the juice of a lemon as well. I always have to sweeten my KT. I put 4 bags of any fruit tea to the second fermenting for about 24 hours (that is for 2 litres of KT)

  10. I am having trouble getting the second ferment to carbonate. I have tried several times. Some times burping, some not burped, cool location, warm location, earlier in the first ferment, later in the first ferment. Adding up to a tsp of sugar to a store bought size bottle, less sugar, no sugar, fresh fruit. I have left it up to a week for the second ferment. It doesn’t seem to make a difference. FYI: if I leave the first ferment for two weeks (hot summers – about 80* inside house), it has some caronation – we are at 4500′ elevation. What do I need to do to get carbonation on the second ferment?

  11. How do I remove the fruit from the second ferment bottles whithout losing the bubbles? When I filter the second fermented kombucha, I lose the carbonation! :-(((
    Thank you for answer!

  12. Failed Kombucha tea experiments or over fermented Kombucha tea make an awesome cleaner (fridge, countertop, cabinets, etc…) if you strain it and put it in a spray bottle, and it is non-toxic. 🙂

  13. Thank you Hannah and all you brewers for sharing great ideas. I just finished a Jun watermelon brew that knocked our socks off! On 2nd brew I added 1/2 cup of watermelon puree and fermented for 2 more days in a dark cool closet, then to the fridge for 4 days.
    Beware upon opening (fizzage)!

    • I’m happy with my cucumber ginger mint chlorophyll experiment. Just put pieces of cucumber and ginger in with a splash of mint chlorophyll.
      Accidentally left the 2nd ferment bottles out for a week instead of just 3 days as I normally do and they were so fizzy! Yum! (But I am lucky they didn’t explode!)

  14. For the second ferment I have had some success with fruit peels – grapefruit in winter and pineapple in summer. When I am able to overlap, as I stick to local fresh produce, the result is sensational. I use raw honey as my scoby food as I find it gives a fuller taste and black loose leaf tea grown in the rainforests of Far North Queensland in Australia.

  15. Is it ok to use cherry pie filling in the second fermentation? I’m allergic to raw fruits and vegetables. But if they are processed I’m ok with it.

    • Sure – just use less because the extra sugar may turn your bottle into a bomb – especially in summer! Burp daily or store in a safe location (box or cooler) so that should a mess occur, nobody gets hurt.

    • Hi Mariah, I’m also allergic to most fresh fruits and a lot of veg (cross-reactivity says my allergist!), and you will prob find that the fermentation will actually be a form of processing that breaks down the molecule you react to. In my case, it is a protein in pollens, and there are many enzymes in fresh produces that are so similar on a molecular level that my body attacks them…. But being enzymes, they are easily broken down by heat, or freezing for long periods of time, or in the case of berries, if they are super ripe, blending is enough to break them down too.

      I would suggest using fruits that are preserved without sugar… Canned/jarred fruit preserved in its own juice, or pear juice, rather than light syrup… Much better for us!

      On another note, I took gluten and eggs out of my diet for almost a year a few years ago, and during that time, my allergy to fresh produce all but disappeared… I could eat fresh apples again…. It was heaven. When I reintroduced them, the allergies came back, but I did find ONE type of apple I can still eat! 😉 Small miracles, hey?

  16. Today is the day! I am going to begin flavoring today and got PURE ORGANIC COCONUT EXTRACT, 100% Crystalized TRUE LIME and shredded ginger!
    I just returned from BEND, OR and was amazed at the Kombucha movement going on there right now! There are about 4 brewers in the town and every local eatery, craft brewery, etc has offerings of Kombucha on tap! It is HUGE there! Anywhoo, got the idea for this flavor from HUMM KOMBUCHA which makes a Coconut Lime…very delish! Thank you for sharing your awesome info!

  17. How is it that your Kombucha in your video here is clear; mine and all the photos I’ve seen online are a golden tea-color….?

  18. I just brewed and flavored my own kombucha for the first time and it is amazing! I flavored with lilikoi (passion fruit), strawberry, and pineapple. So in love with it all, can’t wait to try new flavors on the next batch!

  19. 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!

  20. 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!!!!

  21. 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!!!!!

  22. 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.

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

  24. 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.

  25. 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!

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

  27. 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.

    • 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!

  28. 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!

  29. 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

  30. 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.

  31. 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.

  32. 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.

  33. 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.

    • I found an exceptionally refreshing mix: add alittle pineapple and ginger juice from the extractor then two or three basal leaves to each bottle

  34. 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!

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