Coffee Kombucha - the Perfect Match of Two Trends of 2020
Kombucha has become extremely popular a few years back as there are many health benefits in it and it is a naturally fizzy drink with sweetly fermented flavor. It has been around long before the hipsters found it and it became part of the today’s heath trend of functional beverages. Study of Wiley University tells that it originally comes from China where it was used for its health benefits as early as 220 BC. In 414 AD it was bought to Japan by physician Kombu to help Emperor Inkyo with digestive problems. This where the name Kombucha is also derived. Traveling on trade routes Kombucha found its way to Russia and into Eastern Europe where it has been used ever since.
Process can vary but kombucha is traditionally made from sweetened black or green tea by double fermentation. The fermentation is done with scoby, culture of bacteria and yeast. Readymade kombucha and scoby work as a starter and sugar work as fuel for the fermentation process. Sweetened tea, starter kombucha and scoby are placed in a large container for a 1-3 weeks and cover with a breathable cloth or household paper. After required taste is archived scoby is removed and liquid bottled. Second fermentation is done in bottles for about a week. Kombucha can be flavored by adding fruits, spices or berries to the kombucha mixture at stage where it is bottled. Kombucha should be served cold or room temperature, heating destroys the beneficial bacteria’s and might change the flavor.
Kombucha is pretty easy and safe to make at home. There are various starting kits sold to experiment with and many groups of enthusiasts sharing their information and even scoby’s. Before starting experimenting, it is good to get some tips on how to succeed.
Last summer we hosted a pre-party before Flow Festival and I was talking to talented blogger Jella Bergman and for some reason we started to talk about coffee kombucha. Jella asked if making kombucha from coffee is something I have tried and that is when I started experimenting. However, the original inspiration for the coffee kumbucha I have to thank Jella :)
It’s good to remember that when using coffee instead of tea there are differences in both flavor and way of working. Coffee is highly acid therefore, you don't necessarily need starter kombucha for getting the fermentation process going. Also remember to use different scoby for tea and coffee kombucha’s as using the same one for both beverages will transform taste and odor from one another. However, luckily at least my scoby is wildly productive, making lots of new layers to take some spare parts for experimenting. In addition, coffee might stain or change the color of your scoby, which is fine.
In tea, there is no fat but coffee is a different story. Due to the fats, it is possible to rancidity to happen so try to limit the fermentation time to minimum to achieve the taste you want. Moreover, never ever drink kombucha that has unpleasant smell, taste or it looks weird!
I used light roasted coffee for my kombucha for higher in acidity and fruitier flavor. I used the following recipe:
- 2 liter of freshly made coffee
- 1 dl of sugar
- A disc of scoby
- Make the regular filter coffee with your regular brewing method.
- Dissolve sugar to the hot coffee and let the mixture to cool down.
- Pour the sweetened coffee to large container (2,5 l for this recipe) and add scoby.
- Cover with a cloth or paper and secure with rubber band.
- Let it sit for about a week and after start daily flavor testing with a straw (be careful not to put the straw first to your mouth and then to the container or you will transform bacteria from your mouth the drink in making).
- Halt the fermentation by removing scoby and bottle the drink. Leave the bottles to room temperature to create fizz for about a week. Remember to open the taps time to time to prevent explosion as CO2 is released during this phase.
- Move to fridge and enjoy cold over ice.
Next experiment would be to make some lovely cocktails and mocktails from coffee kombucha. Or what does coffee kombucha martini sound like?? I will keep you posted about the next steps.