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Kombucha with winter flavours

It’s important to create a strong, vibrant flavour before adding your SCOBY: kombucha are much tangier drinks than water kefir, which means delicate flavours (ideal for water kefir) can be overpowered and lost. This is a basic tea-based kombucha recipe which you can serve as is or add seasonal fruity twists.


Basic kombucha:

Makes 1 litre

Fermentation time: 5-14 days

Brew the tea with the boiling water. Steep for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Strain, whisk in the sugar until dissolved. I tend to brew in a 1.5 litre glass Kilner-style jar but you can use a large jug.

Add your SCOBY to the tea once it has cooled to room temperature. Pour in 2 tablespoons kombucha from a previous brew or apple cider vinegar - this helps kickstart fermentation; add more if you want to speed up the brewing process.

Cover with a clean cloth and leave to brew at room temperature (18-22°C) for anywhere from 5 days to 2 weeks. In the summer, unless your house is air conditioned or unusually cold, your kombucha will brew much faster, and in the winter, much slower.

Winter Kombucha or Jun Flavours:

Once you have your kombucha base, blend 150g fresh fruit and 1 tablespoon of herbs or ½-1 tsp spice with the kombucha, then strain through a cloth and pour into bottles. Seal and ferment at room temperature for a day before placing in the fridge. For best flavour, drink within one month – after this time, the sugar will have been fermented out and the drink might have become too tangy.

  • Blood orange and cardamom
  • Cranberry, fresh ginger and star anise
  • Dried figs, clementine and mixed spice
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4 tea bags or 4 level tablespoons of loose leaf tea (black, green, white or herbal)

1 litre boiling water

85g sugar

1 kombucha SCOBY

2 tbsp kombucha from a previous batch or 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

You will need: 1.5 litre jar; Cheesecloth or a clean tea towel; Bottles for storage