kombucha flavor combinations

7 Tantalizing Kombucha Flavor Combinations You Must Try

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This article will give you seven tantalizing kombucha flavor combinations for those of you that make your own kombucha. 

If you are new to making kombucha, please read our Easy Beginners Guide: How to Make Your Own Kombucha for easy step-by step instructions

We’ve been making kombucha for years, and although we have our family favorites that we make every time, we experiment with new kombucha flavor combinations here and there. Trying new flavors is always an exciting venture, because you have to wait for the final fermentation to finish before you can taste your creation.

So, the process forces you to wait in anticipation, but in a rather exciting state of anticipation.

As you’ll see below, adding flavors to your kombucha comes after your first fermentation. Thus, you don’t need to reference this article right away when making kombucha, but a little further along in the process. 

Hopefully, you will enjoy these kombucha flavor combinations as much as we do, or will be inspired to create slight variations of your own! Like with any cooking project, flavoring kombucha is very much tied to personal preference, where you have the wonderful flexibility of tweaking certain ingredient quantities and components to your liking.

As a side note, you should also read our article, Top 4 Kombucha Health Benefits – Why You Should Drink Kombucha, if you want to learn more about kombucha benefits.

Why You Should Add Kombucha Flavor Combinations 

kombucha flavor combinations

Unflavored kombucha carries a rather tart, sour flavor. I liken the flavor to a slightly milder version of apple cider vinegar. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I enjoy regular, unflavored kombucha. However, most times, I prefer flavored kombucha.

Adding kombucha flavor combinations makes fermenting and drinking kombucha a lot more exciting. Most people welcome variety and subtle challenges in the kitchen. You don’t even have to risk a lot to try different kombucha flavor combinations.

The biggest risk of trying a new flavor is not liking it, but even with flavors that were not fan favorites, we didn’t dislike the flavor enough to not drink it. 

Plus, you can mitigate the risk of disappointing kombucha flavor combinations by making a small batch of any new flavor. That is, just make 3-4 bottles of a new flavor to try it first. If you end up liking it, then you can make more next time!

Also, making different flavors will increase the odds that different family members or visitors will like at least one of your kombucha creations. In our family, different family members tend to prefer different flavors, so having different options in the fridge is nice.

When You Should Infuse Kombucha Flavors During Fermentation

kombucha flavor combinations

To make good, carbonated kombucha, you should do two fermentation phases. As we explain in our Easy Beginners Guide: How to Make Your Own Kombucha, you can skip the second fermentation, but will likely regret it.

If you want to add kombucha flavors, you would add your flavoring ingredients during the second fermentation. Please reference the “Second Fermentation” section of our Easy Beginner’s Guide for more precise instructions on adding flavors, including timing.

Also, read our section on “Containers” below to note that we prefer flavoring our kombucha while still in large jars versus in individual bottles, contrary to many popular suggestions.

As you may know, any second fermentation requires added sugar to activate the bacteria in your kombucha brew to increase carbonation. If you use fruits to flavor your kombucha, then the fruits may add enough sugar to eliminate the need for additional cane sugar. Otherwise, if you’re only flavoring with non-sugar ingredients (e.g. spices), then you need to add cane sugar. 

In our experience, using fruit seems to create more carbonation in our brew than simply adding sugar. However, I know some people don’t achieve the same success, so results can vary per your particular kombucha batch and practices. 

How to Infuse Ingredients for Kombucha Flavor Combinations

kombucha flavor combinations

Here’s a brief guideline on how to infuse different types of ingredients, such as in what form you should add ingredients like fruits, herbs, and spices.

Fruit 

The easiest way to infuse fruit flavors is to mash or blend up the fruit first. 

Generally speaking, either fresh or frozen fruits can work. However, the more flavorful, the better. We generally find frozen fruits to have sweeter flavors, and the mushy texture when thawed makes them very easy to use.

If you prefer to use fresh fruit, try to find overly ripe fruit. The flavors are usually more pronounced, and the sugar content is higher. 

Since we tend to work with rather mushy fruit, a potato masher works well. You can use a blender instead, but only need to blend the fruits into small chunks (like a chunky fruit puree). Don’t blend it into fruit juice. 

Herbs

If you want to add herbs, like mint, you should very lightly crush them and then throw them into your kombucha. 

Spices

If you want to add spices to your kombucha flavor combinations (e.g. cinnamon, cloves, etc.) then you simply add them to your kombucha brew as-is. We always use whole forms of spices instead of ground.

How Much Fruit, Spices, or Herbs to Use

kombucha flavor combinations

We tend to use about 300 grams of fruit per gallon of kombucha, but feel free to experiment with more or less fruit per your flavor preferences. Just remember that if you don’t add enough fruit, you may need to add more sugar to ensure proper fermentation. 

I provide suggestions on the quantity of spices and herbs to use as well, but again, you can vary the amounts per your taste. Some people like more intense spices like ginger or cinnamon, while others may like less intensity. 

The beauty of making your own kombucha is the ability to adjust ingredients to your exact liking!

What Containers to Use for the Second Fermentation

Many guides will tell you to transfer your kombucha into individual bottles before adding flavors. That means, if you ultimately store your kombucha in swing top bottles, you would transfer your brew into these bottles and then add your fruits or other ingredients to each individual bottle.

We prefer not to transfer the kombucha yet before flavoring. Why? Because doing so creates more unnecessary work and effort.

Instead, we keep our kombucha in the one-gallon jars that we used for first fermentation and simply add our flavoring ingredients to these jars. 

Keeping your kombucha in one-gallon jars for flavoring eliminates the need to divide ingredients amongst smaller bottles or to deal with straining ingredients out of each bottle before drinking (unless you prefer consuming the ingredients).

Thus, instead of dividing ingredients into eight pint-sized bottles and then straining them, you only have to go through that process once for every gallon. 

7 Tantalizing Kombucha Flavor Combinations 

kombucha flavor combinations

To avoid repetition, I’ll mostly list the ingredients for each kombucha flavor below, and you can reference our How to Infuse Ingredients for Kombucha Flavor Combinations section above on how to add the specific ingredients. 

Otherwise, repeating similar steps under multiple flavor headings will add unnecessary wording and filler that may bore you. However, if you have any unanswered questions, please feel free to ask in the Comments section below.

1. Cherry Kombucha Flavor

kombucha flavor combinations

Cherry kombucha is the most popular flavor we make within our family and extended family. So, we make cherry-flavored kombucha with every batch. 

Cherries add just the right amount of sweetness, without being too overwhelming in flavor or sweetness. The end result is reminiscent of a mild and pleasant fruit soda.

Frozen dark tart cherries tend to provide the most intricate version compared to sweet cherries. Cherries are one fruit where we would recommend using frozen versus fresh, because of the more consistent sweetness in frozen.

2. Strawberry Kombucha Flavor

kombucha flavor combinations

Strawberry kombucha has a very pretty light pink color. It is usually sweeter than cherry, so is a good choice if you want a sweeter, fruitier kombucha flavor. My daughter alternates between preferring strawberry and cherry kombucha.

Like with cherries, we prefer using frozen organic strawberries because they are consistently sweeter and juicier than fresh strawberries.

3. Blueberry Ginger Kombucha Flavor

kombucha flavor combinations

Blueberry ginger kombucha combines the sweetness of blueberries with the spiciness of ginger. You can adjust how much ginger infusion you like, or omit it altogether if you don’t like ginger. Plain blueberry kombucha is a fine flavor by itself and another flavor that our family really enjoys.

We also tend to use frozen organic blueberries, because they are a lot sweeter and mushier than fresh, which makes for a more pronounced flavor.

To add ginger, chop up and mash fresh ginger and then add about ¼ cup per gallon of kombucha. We prefer using chopped up ginger pieces as opposed to ginger juice.

4. Orange Spice Kombucha Flavor

kombucha flavor combinations

If you like orange spice tea, you should try orange spice kombucha. Although orange spice kombucha is especially nice in the autumn, it’s delicious any time of year! 

Per gallon, zest one orange. Remove the rind and then mash or cut up the fruit (It’s okay to include the membranes, but not the rind). Add the orange pieces and zest to your kombucha. 

Add cinnamon sticks and cloves. I would recommend starting with two cinnamon sticks and 10 cloves per gallon, and then adjusting the spice level to your liking with subsequent brews. 

5. Lemon Ginger Kombucha Flavor

kombucha flavor combinations

Lemon ginger is a classic kombucha flavor that you can find with just about any store-bought brand. It’s also easy to make at home. Ginger adds a nice spicy bite, while lemon adds a sweet tang.  

(If you prefer less zing with ginger, you should try the blueberry ginger kombucha flavor listed above.)

Mash or cut up two large lemons per gallon of kombucha (without the rind). 

To add ginger, chop up and mash fresh ginger and then add about ¼ cup per gallon of kombucha. We prefer using chopped up ginger pieces as opposed to ginger juice.

6. Cinnamon Apple Kombucha Flavor

kombucha flavor combinations

Cinnamon apple kombucha is another wonderful autumn flavor that can be enjoyed year-round. As you may imagine, the flavor is subtly reminiscent of apple cider.

Not all apples have strong flavors, so you should use an apple more likely to impart a stronger flavor, like Granny Smith or Honeycrisp. You should also blend the apple up to a chunky marmalade consistency rather than adding chopped, dry pieces.

I’d recommend adding two cinnamon sticks per gallon initially, which you adjust with future brews according to your preference.  

7. Chai Kombucha Flavor

kombucha flavor combinations

Last, but certainly not least, we present chai-flavored kombucha. Chai is actually a favorite among the adults in our household, but is surprisingly my son’s favorite as well. 

The spices impart a pleasant, underlying flavor reminiscent of roses, but with an added layer of typical chai spices on top. The more complex flavor profile is what makes chai kombucha so tantalizing.

For your first time, I’d recommend adding the following spices per gallon: two cinnamon sticks, seven cardamom pods, six cloves, two star anise, and one teaspoon of black peppercorns. Also, add ¼ cup of chopped and mashed ginger.

You can adjust the amount of each ingredient to your liking with subsequent brews.


Please comment below on your favorite kombucha flavor combinations, or if you have any questions or comments about our article.

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