By: Brew Your Bucha Posted: September 25, 2017 in Kombucha
Kombucha brewing is simple and the beauty of it is you can add some character to it! One of the key ingredients in Kombucha is tea. Loose leaf teas, such as black, green, white, pekoe, and oolong are used to brew kombucha because of their level of minerals and nitrogen. Using organic tea when brewing helps ensure your SCOBY isn’t exposed to pesticides and other chemicals/additives.
Although you can use various types of tea, our favourite types of tea are:
We use Organic Ceylon black tea, traditionally used as the base for many kombucha brewers, because of the levels of nitrogen which helps the SCOBY ferment the sweet tea. Additionally, it is considered one of the best teas to maintain a consistent pH level, which helps keep your SCOBY healthy and happy. Depending on the type of black tea you use, you may get various flavour profiles such as oaky, smoky, deep earthly, woody, and fruity. We don’t recommend brewing kombucha with teas that have oils, such as pre-flavored tea from David’s Tea, Earl Grey, and chai tea. These may adversely impact your SCOBY and the pH levels of your brew.
Green tea, such as Sencha and Jasmine are both popular amongst brewers for their light, and nutty flavours. Additionally, they include the necessary nutrients and nitrogen similar to black tea that are great for SCOBY health. Although green teas tend to ferment faster than black tea, it is not as ideal as black tea for the fermentation process since the level of nutrients are not as concentrated. If you choose to brew with green tea, we recommend using Jasmine loose leaf tea, especially if you are drinking your kombucha raw. The light flavour profile is crisp and light. You will also notice that your kombucha after being fermented has a lighter color than kombucha brewed with black tea.
The smooth floral taste of white teas has increased in popularity amongst new and experienced kombucha brewers. White tea is typically blended with black and/or green tea to enhance the overall tea flavor in the final brew. We typically find a ratio of 40%/60% (white/black) or 30%/70% (white/green) blend to be our favourite.
Other Tea (Herbal and pre-mixed tea blends, etc)
It is best to consider blending herbal teas with black tea to ensure your SCOBY gets the necessary nutrients, and nitrogen. This will also help ensure your SCOBY remains at the appropriate pH level which is very important while brewing. Since many types of herbal teas contain oils and additives, your SCOBY may be adversely impacted resulting in an undrinkable batch of bucha. If you choose to use herbal teas or flavoured teas, it is important to monitor your SCOBY and brew on a regular basis. If you think your brew may have taken a turn for the worse, it’s best to discard your brew and start over.
Conclusion: The best tea for your brew
As a kombucha home brewer, you have limitless options on the blends that you use to make your tea. We have tested various blends ourselves (see recipes) and some have turned out well and some haven’t. The great thing is that you can keep trying various mixes to meet every discerning palate. Give them a shot and let us know what you think is best!
Chris – Brew Your Bucha