Make Kombucha with Herbal Tea

Do you kombucha? Some might wash my mouth out with soap for that kind of language. It sounds like a Russian cuss word. Maybe it is! It is touted as the elixir of life! Great for the gut, and a fun replacement for soda. I have put off jumping on this bandwagon for a long time as I follow a religious code of health that forbids tea. Some may argue that the tea is long gone by the time you have the finished product, but we can justify anything we want. I for one, was uncomfortable with the black, white, or green tea called for here. So, imagine my delight when I found some information in the wonderful blogosphere out there that you can make kombucha just fine with herbal raspberry leaf tea. Most herbals will not work because they still contain their awesome essential oils and the oils disrupt the process. I have been experimenting ever since.

The end result for us is a sour soda that most of my family really loves. We get one gallon a week and it lasts a few days, unless I hide it behind the quarts and quarts of goat's milk, then I might get a sip. I have found that my favorite way to drink it is with a splash of organic grape juice and some chia seeds. You can buy that in stores, by the way, but it costs close to $3 a jar and I guarantee is not made of herbal tea. But it is delicious. My home made version is as well and closer to $3 a gallon.

The key, we have found, to making herbal kombucha is that you need to keep a mushroom growing in a black tea because after a few batches, a new mother will not grow in the herbal concoction. This is a little extra work, but not overwhelming.

Directions for Black Tea kombucha:

When you get a starter from someone, say thank you so much, make sure you also get 2 cups of kombucha to start it in. Then grow a new starter in black tea kombucha.
In a big pot, add:
10 cups of filtered water
8 black tea bags (organic preferred, but we have found not necessary)
1 cup of organic sugar for the bugger to feed off of. (You must use white sugar and must be organic)

Bring water to a boil, add the sugar and the tea. Let seep 8-10 min, but I usually forget and just take the tea bags out of the water once it has cooled. It is not very picky about this.
Once the tea is at room temp, add it to the starter and the 2 cups of komubcha. Put a coffee filter and rubber band over it. Always use glass!

Wait a week to ten days and see the new baby grow on top of the old one. The baby is for your herbal kombucha. Transfer it to a new jar with 2 cups of the black tea kombucha.

Directions for Raspberry Leaf Tea Kombucha:

10 cups filtered water
1 cup organic white sugar
8 organic raspberry leaf tea bags
Heat the water to a boil, add the sugar and the tea. Allow it to seep for 8-10 min, then throw the tea bags away.
Once the tea is cooled to room temperature, add it to the new starter and the 2 cups of black tea kombucha. You need this to make it go. You will not have to add black tea again.
Cover with a coffee filter and a rubber band. Allow it to "ferment' for 7-10 days. It is done when it is fizzy and sour tasting.
Using a cheese cloth or flour sack, strain the kombucha into a new glass jars. It will be fizzier if you have tight fitting lids.

Always organic sugar
Never let the kombucha touch metal.
Use a wooden spoon or clean  hands to handle the mushroom
Always bring the tea to room temperature before adding to the mushroom or it will kill it.
You can grow a new mushroom in the herbal tea, but only one or two, they get smaller and smaller.  You need to keep a black tea going (even if it is just a half batch) at all times to grow the new mushroom.

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  1. Love your posts! Thanks for linking up with me. I'm featuring you this week!

  2. Hi Janine,
    What a great recipe and I can't wait to try it. Hope you are having a great day and thanks so much for sharing your awesome post with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  3. This sounds amazing! I'm getting ready to start brewing kombucha soon, and this sounds like a flavor the whole family will like.