Making Your Own Kombucha

Making Your Own Kombucha: Oolong Tea Edition

Kombucha is a fermented tea drink that has gained popularity in recent years for its probiotic benefits and unique flavor. While it is traditionally made with black or green tea, it is possible to make your own kombucha using oolong tea. This article will guide you through the process of making your own this wonderful drink using oolong tea, including tips for a successful fermentation and a recipe for making your own. 

Before getting started, it’s important to note that different types of tea may have different levels of caffeine and tannins, which can affect the fermentation process and the final flavor of the kombucha. Oolong tea has a moderate level of caffeine and tannins, so if you are sensitive to these compounds, it is recommended to stick to lower caffeine teas like white tea or to brew your oolong tea for a shorter time before making the kombucha.

To make your own kombucha with oolong tea, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 3-4 tablespoons of loose leaf oolong tea or 4-5 tea bags
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 kombucha SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast)
  • 1 cup of kombucha from a previous batch (also called “starter tea”)
  • 4 quarts of filtered water
  • Glass jars for fermentation and storage

Here is the step-by-step process for making your own kombucha using oolong tea:

  1. Brew a strong oolong tea by bringing 4 quarts of filtered water to a boil and adding 3-4 tablespoons of loose leaf tea or 4-5 tea bags. Steep the tea for 3-5 minutes, depending on the desired strength.
  2. Remove the tea leaves or tea bags and add 1 cup of granulated sugar to the hot tea. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.
  3. Allow the tea to cool to room temperature. Once cooled, add 1 cup of kombucha from a previous batch (also called “starter tea”) and 1 kombucha SCOBY to the tea.
  4. Pour the mixture into a glass jar, leaving about 2 inches of headspace at the top. Cover the jar with a clean cloth or coffee filter and secure it with a rubber band.
  5. Let the kombucha ferment in a warm, dark place (around 75°F) for 7-14 days. The exact fermentation time will depend on the desired level of acidity and the temperature of the fermentation area.
  6. After fermentation, use a clean spoon to remove the SCOBY and set it aside for your next batch.
  7. Strain the kombucha and transfer it to glass bottles for storage. Seal the bottles and store them in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours to let the carbonation build up.
  8. Enjoy your homemade kombucha made with oolong tea!

It’s important to note that the fermentation process can vary depending on the temperature, humidity, and conditions of your brewing area. Keep an eye on it and make sure it doesn’t develop mold. The pH should be around 3.2-3.8. If you notice mold or any other off-putting odors or flavors, discard the batch and start over with a new SCOBY.

Making your own kombucha with oolong tea is a fun and rewarding process, and the end result is a unique, delicious drink that’s packed with probiotics and antioxidants.

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