Flavor Experiment

For me, flavoring is one of the most fun, creative parts of making Kombucha and can be really rewarding.

So with my latest batches of Kombucha, I whipped up some new flavor combos. Here’s how they turned out.

Recycled bottles filled with homemade Kombucha labeled by handwritten tags and stacked together.

I have never brewed my primary brew with honey, but decided I’d like to add it to the 2ndary fermentation to see how it would taste. The results were fabulous! Especially for those out there who are a little put off by the tartness of Kombucha, adding a little honey to the decanted brew was excellent. It also added increased carbonation by giving the yeasties some more sugar to create a little more fizz. It really mellowed out that tart flavor but for my tastes, I’d let it ferment 5 days or longer to let some of the sweetness subside.

I created a few different Honey combos:

Honey, lemon, ginger: I LOVE lemon and ginger and the honey rounded out the flavors with a tad of sweetness to balance the natural tartness of the lemon and Kombucha

Honey, vanilla bean: Incredible! Sweet and tart with flavors like an old fashioned italian vanilla soda. Definitely use real vanilla bean to achieve this unique and smooth flavor

Honey, ginger, blueberry: Really nice flavor. There is a complex bouquet of flavors. The initial taste is the tartness of the Kombucha but right behind it is the spice of the ginger and the fruitiness of the blueberries. Like appreciating fine wine.

Also in the sweet vein, I added some “Trader Joe’s Sipping Chocolate” to a small bottle of booch. WOW! It practically exploded with carbonation when I opened the bottle (GT’s new caps also help keep the carbonation in). The chocolate flavor was very present and I found it to be a bit too sweet for my tastes. I think I’ll try it with cocoa powder next time and see how it turns out. The first sip started out super chocolatey and the tartness of the Kombucha was nearly completely sublimated, but just a hint of it finished off the taste. Fun for dessert Kombucha.

What yummy flavors do you love?

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Responses to Flavor Experiment

  1. I have tried cherries, blueberries, raspberries and apples in different bottles, 2nd brew….I like them all but the apples are great! I froze the organic fruit last summer and use it now. So much fun experimenting with flavors and fizz!

  2. My first batch of booch is just about ready to bottle. I like the ginger/turmeric combination. I plan to finely grate fresh ginger and turmeric and add to the bottom of the bottles with a little honey. Will this work?

  3. OMG Hannah, My first batch is FANTASTIC! Sitting the continuous brew crock on my oil burner held the temp at 90 degrees and apparently that’s perfect for my brew. Admittedly, we on the east coast are a bit slow on the uptake but we get there eventually – glad I found you and Kombucha Kamp!

  4. Hi! I am located in San Fernando Valley. First time I made it! Do you believe that?! I followed instructions from your great website. (Thank you). I waited for 8 days. I have a new over half an inch new mushroom. I put my flavoring in the bottles. Some lemon grass, ginger and some cardamom seeds and lemon peel. Flavoring is quite eminent and good after few days BUT the KT is not gaseous as you open, hear and taste a commercial one at WH for $4 a bottle. Please help! Thanks.

  5. I can’t wait for summer to try some new flavors. Has anyone tried watermelon basil or anything with cucumber? What about vanilla and rose flavored? I’m planning to do lots of experiments once my garden starts to bloom.

    • All of those flavor combos sound delicious! I make a flavor called “Cool Hand Cuke” with cucumber & mint. I LOVE roses and “Love Potion #99” is blueberry, lavender, rose. The Vanilla Rose is also nice. Please share your experiments with us here!

  6. I have only just completed my first brew ever, but the strawberry, blood orange juice (I literally cut the BO in half and squeezed it into the brew) and ginger is my favorite flavor so far.

  7. My kombucha tasted much stronger than the storebought kind when I decanted it. I the baby was very strong and well formed but the liquid was both syrupy and very sour. . .did I get the proportion of sugar wrong? not sure what to do now.

    • Home brew may have more bite than store bought because it is a fuller ferment. If the flavor is too strong, you can dilute with juice or water. For the future, taste your batch frequently until is has the right balance of sweet and sour that tastes good to you!

    • Coffee is a fun one to experiment with – beans or brewed. Beet Kombucha is beautiful! I’m a huge fan of beet kvass – love the salty, earthy flavors and the pink “mustache” is fun!

  8. I have flavord my 1 liter bottels whit 2 teaspoon selve maid honny and vanilla bean. Let it stan for 3 days but 1 bottel i coudend weat and after 1 day i have open it and starded to drink of it. Verry nice
    thanks fore your beautiful website hannah. Its verry help full

  9. I diced a large plum & put it in a 24 oz. Bottle of kombucha & let it ferment a 2nd time for 2 days, then strained out the fruit & refrigerated. It is sooooo yummy!

  10. flavoring is fun! in the past week i have made…

    fresh ginger.
    Ginger/ mint.
    strawberry lavender. amazing!
    orange zest/ginger.
    purple basil flower!

    more fun to come. basically whatever fruit i have on hand and herbs i have from the garden. was thinking about melon, apple, maybe even tomato.

  11. This site is great! My favorite flavor is Concord grape. You only need a few grapes per bottle of booch. You end up with a delicious grape soda. Niagra and other flavorful grapes ( not regular supermarket grapes) work also.

  12. I’ve only tried 2 flavorings. The first was peach. Just added a few peach slices to the bottles and they turned out wonderfully refreshing.

    Also, Strawberry Lemon. I used 1 strawberry sliced up and 1/2 tsp of fresh lemon use. This was awesome too!

    I plan to try to recreate a mojito flavor using lime juice and mint on my next brew if it will ever finish…

  13. I use organic cantaloupe. I also do raspberry ginger and watermelon. The melons make it fizzy, more so than the other fruits. Fresh melon tastes soooo great in kombucha.

      • My fruit always floats to the top. I find that annoying. I don’t want to gulp soggy fruit. :0) I just received an email from KK that is genius. Strain it and re-bottle it or even make a large amount in a big mason jar and then bottle it after straining.

  14. Just wondering on your flavorings, that sound really great, what are the measurements? Not sure how much to use of these combos.

    • How much flavoring to use depends on your own taste buds. For 16oz bottles, 1/2-1tsp of flavoring works great or if it is fresh fruit than a single layer at the bottom of the bottle. See if you like that amount and then tweak according to your taste. Its fun to mix it up!

  15. Hi Hannah,
    thank you SO much for this inspiring post! I do LOVE my kombucha flavored with ginger so much, I don’t know why I did not try this months ago, when I used to drink my mineral water with ginger 🙂 I think in summer I will try my kombucha with peppermint (fresh from our garden), too. Maybe some fresh strawberries are an experiment option, too?! 🙂

    By the way, have you ever tried to make KEFIR (this milk drink) on your own? For years I drink it every morning, I love it!

    Cheers from Germany,

  16. Hellin says: Peel some tangerines and put some fresh rosemary in the fermanted Kombucha. Cover and let it sit for 6-12 hours. Then take out the fruit and rosemary. I have also found throwing in a couple of Rasberry Zinger tea bags to the initial batch makes an amazing tea when fermented.

  17. My favorite is raspberry…it doesn't take much for a great berry tartness.
    I also have used vanilla bean and frozen dark cherries.
    Often when my 2nd brew turns out tasting exceptionally well I think I must have messed up during the brewing process because I think "this tastes too good to be this healthy!"

  18. WOW, the flavors sound so tastey. How about some mint??? I grow lots of mints in my garden. Peppermint & spearmint I dry for the winter for tea. Catnip for the cats. St. John's Wort & camamile. I have lemongrass inside due to the climate. Would any of these be good flavors? They make good tea, I know they wouldn't be good for brewing, but maybe for flavor.

  19. Hannah-

    Thanks for giving me a few more ideas for flavor! 🙂

    You know how it goes when you get into the brewing mode of the same flavors? I'm going to try these!

  20. No Trader Joe's here in KC, MO. Anything you could suggest as a sub for the chocolate? I am a devout chocoholic, and boochaholic, too, so the two might just be right up my alley!

    • There are 2 Trader Joe’s in the KC area: 86th & Ward Pkwy and one on 119th St in Leawood on the Kansas Side. Hope this helps!

  21. 2ndary fermentation occurs after you decant your Kombucha from the large vessel in which you are brewing it to smaller bottles. You can add flavors or not.

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