Flavoring Kombucha with Essential Oils

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A few years ago I brewed kombucha regularly.    In the moving process 2 years ago, I gifted my scoby (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast) to a friend and only until recently began brewing again.

(Just a note on the scoby…. read more in the article I linked below. It looks like a slimy pancake and it’s what ferments the tea. Every batch you brew a new scoby is made so your initial scoby is the mother. If friends want to try to brew themselves, you can simply peel one of the baby scobys off the mother, jar it with some of the tea and give it to them to brew their own kombucha. You can find a starter scoby online.)

Ive been buying a bottle in stores here and again but the $4 drink and endless glass bottles didn’t seem sustainable on my budget and on the earth.

If you don’t know what kombucha is, here are the basics.  This isn’t a detailed post on how to brew, but you can find a good one here.

I had read somewhere that you could flavor kombucha with essential oils and I was so intrigued.  Kombucha that is flavored after the initial brewing is flavored simply by adding fruit pieces, juice, or herbs directly into the bottle.   This isn’t difficult, you just have to have everything on hand (frozen fruit works well too).   Now that I live that crazy, mom at home life, adding a drop or two of essential oils to the bottles after brewing sounded sooooooo easy.

So a few weeks ago I did just that: my kombucha had sat for 21 days, I bottled it in recycled glass bottles and then flavored away.  To keep track of the bottles, I used washi tape to label them.   There’s a store-bought bottle of kombucha I buy and love, it’s lavender + melon flavored.  In one bottle I put 2 drops of lavender and it was the first bottle I drank, or rather, attempted to drink.   Essential oils are highly concentrated, so when I sipped on this bottle it tasted like I was drinking perfume, no bueno, and it made me afraid to try the rest of the bottles I had in the fridge. When I got the courage a few days later, I tasted another bottle and it was tasty!  Today I cracked open On Guard + Lemon and it was really good!

I definitely recommend trying this if you brew your own kombucha!

Here are some flavor combos I loved and will experiment more in future batches:

Flavor your home brewed komucha with essential oils (only  1-2 drops needed)

On Guard + Lemon

7up: Lemon + Lime

Ginger

Grapefruit

Wild Orange + Ginger

Zendocrine (detoxifying blend)

Tangerine + Ginger

Grapefruit + Lime

You can mix and match these oils to find your favorite.  Try lavender at your own risk! haha

You might be reading this and wondering a few things…. I’ve imagined some of those questions and answered them below….

  • Is brewing komucha hard?  It’s actually really easy.  You add 3 things in a large wide mouth jar: sugar, brewed black/green tea and a scoby (bacteria that ferments).  Once you place it all in the jar, it needs to sit undisturbed for 7-21 days (this explanation is very basic and if you are really considering brewing, learn more with the links I added above).  I’m happy to put the work into brewing and bottling because it costs very little to made a huge jar, yielding 10 bottles of kombucha vs. paying $4-6 dollars a bottle!
  • You can drink essential oils?!?!?  YES, but quality, pure oils, like the ones pictured.  If you’d like to learn more, contact me!  I always encourage you do your own research too, to decide if internal use is right for you.
  • But oil and water don’t mix…?!  This is true, basic science, but the oils are concentrated, so you get the taste of the oil in every sip of the drink.  Because kombucha is slightly carbonated, I would recommend shaking the bottle, but a couple inversions of the bottle help to blend the bottle before drinking.
  • Does it taste oily? No! When I first started putting oils in my water, I thought the water would taste weird, or the flavor of the oil (grapefruit is my go-to) would taste like the rind of the fruit.   This was not the case at all!  It tasted like an actual grapefruit.

I also wanted to share an update…. as I continue to share about essential oils and my business is growing… I decided to start an Instagram for my oil business– Aceite Mamá (oil Mom). I will also be opening a small online shop!!! More details definitely to come. The Instagram will go live soon, the new shop will open after the new year.

Stay tuned!

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