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Old 09-12-2010, 09:06 PM   #1
digdan
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Default Types of Tea used in Kombucha

I have done a little research on what type of tea works best with kombucha, and I have found that a lot of people say blacks and green teas. That is a huge spectrum of tea, and comes with a lot of varieties and flavors.

My question is how much does the tea play a role in the Kombucha? Can I get a low grade oolong and have the same results as a ancient mandarin Pu-erh?

Or better yet, can I use my favorite tea, Yerba Mate, even though its not really a tea(not made from a tea leaf)? I know that Yerba Mate has much more nutrients than normal tea, so I would think that it would work...
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Old 09-14-2010, 09:12 PM   #2
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I think you have to try different varieties/brands and see the differences for yourself. I've found cheap black tea (Lipton) to almost disappear in flavor completely, but this actually works pretty well when I am making a fruit kombucha. I have used green tea and that adds some tannins and flavor that come through. I've used green tea about 20% with black tea to have a bit more tea flavor. I have also done 100% green tea and carbonated it with honey for quite a tasty beverage.

I haven't tried yerba mate. I have read that it is not advised to use herbal teas due to some herbs have preservative qualities. However, this doesn't mean it won't work for yerba mate. I say try it if you want, but only with an extra SCOBY.

Experimentation is very easy with kombucha. Many websites say to use glass only, but as this is a brewing forum we know that any food grade plastic works fine for fermentation. I have cheap food grade plastic iced tea containers that hold a gallon that I picked up for $4 at the grocery that I use for experiments.
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Old 09-15-2010, 03:59 PM   #3
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as long as the tea doesn't have flavorings from oils, go for it with an extra scoby. the oils can damage the yeasts/bacteria.
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Old 09-15-2010, 06:33 PM   #4
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if you're wondering about Yerba Mate I've got good news, it works. I do a continous feeding cycle, taking off 20% of the kombucha every 2-3 days, then adding that amount back to the fermenter (I've read many good things probiotic-wise doing this). When I feed my culture, I trade off doing Yerba Mate and a cheap Irish breakfast tea (100% assam). I always use an unrefined cane sugar when I feed it as well, to make sure it has enough nutrients.

Tastes great.
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Old 09-26-2010, 10:02 PM   #5
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Here is my Yerba Mate Experiment


From what I have seen and tasted it looks like Orange Pekoke tea is the way to go! None the less Im going to try this Yerba Mate.
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