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Caffeine in Kombucha: Can you Increase or Decrease It?

By: Brew Your Bucha Posted: January 29, 2018 in KombuchaHealthNutrition

Caffeine in Kombucha

One of the most frequently asked questions we get is how much caffeine is in kombucha.  Kombucha & caffeine are synonymous with one another given that tea contains caffeine.  However, the amount of caffeine content in each cup may be significantly different based on these factors:

  • Type of Tea: Black tea typically has the most amount of caffeine (60 – 90mg).  This is followed by green (35 – 70mg), white (30 – 55mg), decaf (2 – 4mg), and herbal tea (0mg).  This is in comparison to coffee which is 150 – 200mg per 8oz cup.  You will find the caffeine content to increase with the quality of the tea.
  • Steeping time: The longer you steep your tea, the more caffeine that can be extracted from the tea leaves.  You will find the flavour to also be stronger the longer you steep your tea.

Caffeine is suggested to have many health benefits, such as lowering the risks of Alzheimer’s and liver cancer, improve cognitive abilities, and decrease fatigue. If you are looking to enjoy a less caffeinated beverage relative to pure steeped tea or coffee, kombucha is a great alternative.  Compared to the tea that is used for brewing kombucha, approximately 1/3 to 1/4 of the caffeine remains in the final product.

Reducing Caffeine in Kombucha

Individuals with high blood pressure, pregnant women, or young adults, may be sensitive to caffeine.  Kombucha has been known to be a healthy alternative to traditional soft drinks or other beverages.  There are some ways in which the caffeine levels can be reduced to be suitable for those who require even less caffeine in their kombucha.

Brew with a Blended Tea 

Black tea has higher concentration of caffeine; using a blended tea such as green and white will help reduce the initial amount of caffeine in your tea.  You can also determine the perfect blend for your needs by experimenting with various combinations of tea.  You may want to try 50% black and 50% green on your first batch and then reduce the ratio of black tea over time.  If you do decide to use herbal teas, it isn’t recommended to use teas that have been flavoured.  The oils blended with the teas can harm your SCOBY.

Steep and Discard Your Initial Batch of Tea 

Steep your tea once for a few minutes and discard it before you make your sweet tea. This process will help reduce the amount of caffeine in your brew by up to 75%.  The caffeine in the tea blend will be left in your initial batch, whereas the leaves remaining will have a lower concentration of caffeine.

Continue to Brew for Longer 

You can leave your brew to ferment a couple days longer than you would typically let it ferment, so the caffeine levels decrease.  Although this may make the flavour profile a bit different than if you remove the SCOBY once the initial brew is done, the levels of caffeine will be less.  The longer you allow your brew to ferment, the less the caffeine concentration will be.

If you want to learn how to brew kombucha, check out our Learn Page.

If you have any comments or questions, please shoot us a message!  We would love to hear your thoughts and whether this worked for you.

Cheers!

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