Herbal Kombucha (Kombucha culture with herbal teas)
Brewing Kombucha from herbal tea is much easier than most people think. It is true that traditionally Kombucha has always been prepared and fermented with black and green tea (here are the instructions for classic Kombucha fermentation). This is why the Kombucha fungus grows most safely and easily in black and green tea. Nevertheless, there are many reasons to try making Kombucha with herbal tea. Many Kombucha friends want to do without the caffeine in normal tea and enjoy their Kombucha also in the evening. Others simply want to try out new aromas and exciting compositions. Or - last but not least - they attach importance to the valuable, healing and beneficial ingredients of the various herbs.
But which herbal teas and mixtures are suitable for Kombucha and which ones are harmful to your Scoby (Kombucha fungus)? If you look at the huge range of herbal teas even in a small supermarket, you will quickly lose track and, if in doubt, prefer to skip Kombucha experiments with herbs. But don't worry! The Kombucha tea fungus also grows in pure herbal teas. If you take a few important basic rules to heart, real herbal Kombucha should also work well. Here are the most important points you should be aware of:
1. Do not use herbs with a high content of essential oils!
Strong smelling, essential oils often inhibit the fermentation of your Kombucha culture. You should therefore avoid peppermint and other types of mint, orange peel, lemon peel, ginger, sage, camomile, aniseed and caraway. Especially when it comes to mint, this is quite a nuisance, because hardly any herbal mixture can do without it. Because of its fresh and pleasantly sweet taste and because it can be grown in large quantities anywhere, manufacturers add mint to most herbal teas. Unfortunately, this limits the choice of teas considerably. However, you don't have to be more of a pope than the pope himself when it comes to avoiding mint: a small amount is usually fine. Mint and highly ethereal ingredients should not be predominant. If the ingredients listed above only appear in the third or fourth place in the list of ingredients, then Kombucha usually works as well.
2. Avoid artificial aromas!
Many herbal blends from large suppliers are unfortunately spiced up with artificial aromas and then sold using the most adventurous fantasy names. Many friends of herbal teas believe that they are doing themselves some good, while in reality they make their tea infusions from interchangeable, rather inferior and tasteless herbs. The intense taste (from "Tropical fire" to "Christmas punch" to "Apple strudel") comes almost exclusively from the added artificial aromas. Added apple pieces and colored blossoms often have more of a decorative function than one of taste or even health. Malicious tongues claim that instead of using herbs, you could just as well brew wood flakes that were previously mixed with the artificial aromas. Many of the artificial aromas are also not without controversy from a health point of view. Even though they are not directly harmful, many of them are suspected of having negative effects on the microbiome and the gastrointestinal tract. Even Kombucha does not like many of the artificial aromas and reacts with growth inhibition to the unknown chemical substances. Even if Kombucha can tolerate some of these flavors, the artificial flavors are rather penetrating, and in our opinion these tea blends taste of little else. It is therefore worth taking a closer look at the list of ingredients in order to avoid artificial flavors. If the ingredients list says "flavor" (without the word "natural"), then you should better choose a different blend for your Kombucha.
3. Only use well dried herbs and always brew herbal teas with boiling water!
No matter if you bought the tea or collected the herbs yourself, no matter if you use a herbal mixture or a single herb - you should always use only well-dried herbs for your Kombucha. Unfortunately, fresh herbs are loaded with many microspores. Living yeasts and bacteria are found on the leaves. Even if you infuse the fresh herbs with boiling water, your Kombucha Scoby will quickly become contaminated. However, the precaution also applies to dried herbs: Kombucha should always be prepared with herbal tea that has previously been properly boiling, at least for 20-30 seconds.
4. Watch your Kombucha culture with herbs carefully!
Especially when using a herbal mixture for the first time, you should take a critical look at the culture. Sometimes the Kombucha fungus stops growing in herbal teas. To be on the safe side, if the Kombucha does not tolerate your herbal mixture, you should let a small piece of tea fungus grow in a glass of black or green tea as a reserve. If the Scoby doesn't grow in the herbal infusion anymore, you can simply return to the "normal" culture without having to get a new Kombucha right away. A very good possibility is also to mix the herbal blends with 20 to 50 % black or green tea, as these are still the best nutrient solution for the tea fungus. Then there are hardly any problems with growth.
These were already the most important points you should consider. The production of herbal Kombucha basically works like all other Kombucha preparations:
The ingredients for herbal Kombucha (basic recipe):
- 1 Kombucha fungus (Scoby) of Wellness-Drinks with at least 100ml Kombucha drink as preparation liquid
- 1 liter brewed, well cooled herbal tea
- 90-100g sugar
And this is how it works:
- For one liter of herbal tea, depending on the desired strength, you need about 8-12g of dried herbs, which you infuse with boiling water and leave to steep for about 12 minutes.
- Dissolve the sugar in the still hot herbal tea and then let it cool down to room temperature.
- Then prepare the herbal tea with a Kombucha Scoby and the preparation liquid as described on our page with theKombucha basic recipe. After 8-14 days the drink is completely fermented.
To make it easier for you to choose your herbs, we have some recommendations for you. Anyone who wants to use ready-made herbal mixtures can find them in retail stores or order them on the Internet.
If you enjoy making your own blends, you can of course also mix herbal teas yourself. All the herbs listed in the following mixtures can be combined very well for your own blends and have proven themselves in practice with Kombucha.If you enjoy making your own blends, you can of course also mix herbal teas yourself. All the herbs listed in the following mixtures can be combined very well for your own blends and have proven themselves in practice with Kombucha.
Herb mixture 1
Ingredients: Rosehip peels, nettle leaves and green tea mixed in equal parts
Herb mixture 2
Ingredients: Yarrow, nettle leaves, chickweed, dandelion, woodruff and dost mixed in equal parts
Herb mixture 3
Ingredients: Blackberry leaves, raspberry leaves, black currant leaves and wild strawberry leaves mixed in equal parts
Herb mixture 4
Ingredients: 1 part lycopod, 1 part nettle, 2 parts dandelion, 3 parts yarrow
Herb mixture 5
Ingredients: Yarrow, dandelion, raspberry leaves, nettle and elderflower mixed in equal parts
Herbal Kombucha (Kombucha culture with herbal teas)
- Description: Herbal Kombucha (Kombucha culture with herbal teas)
- Category: Getränke, Cuisine: Asien
- Tags: Kombucha, Kräutertee, Kombucha selber machen, Kräuter, Kombucha-Pilz, Kombucha-Ansatz, koffeinfreier Kombucha, Fermentation, Vegan, Vegetarisch
- Prep Time: 25 Minuten , Fermentationszeit: 10 Tage
- Yield: 5 Portionen, Nutrition facts (calories): 220 (ca.),
- Author: Wellness-Drinks, Published: 1.3.2019
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When following our recommendations, tips, and notes, please also use your own personal judgment and experience in the proper and safe handling of food.