This recipe for Coffee Kombucha is the best of both worlds, packed with caffeine to get you going and probiotics to keep you going.
Coffee kombucha might sound weird, but I’m here to assure you that it is not! It’s bold, tangy, and absolutely delicious. The real fun of home fermentation lies in continuously learning and experimenting with new things–so even if you hate it, maybe it will inspire you to try something else! Set your expectations low, and you’ll never be disappointed, right? The bitter acidity of coffee diminishes during the fermentation as the kombucha’s tartness starts to shine through. The coffee flavor is still there, but it’s not as prominent as you may think. The first thing you taste is the tartness, and the coffee shows up in the background. Not only is coffee kombucha surprisingly tasty, but it’s also simple to make!
COFFEE KOMBUCHA: A PRIMARY FERMENTATION
Brewing homemade kombucha is typically a two-step fermentation process. First, you make kombucha, then you flavor and carbonate it if desired. For coffee kombucha, we are altering the base in the first step, or primary fermentation, using coffee as our main starting liquid instead of tea. You can either use freshly brewed coffee, cold brew, or simply collect any leftover coffee from your pot every day until you have about 3 cups (keep it in the fridge). If you’re using fresh brewed coffee, be sure to let it cool to room temperature first. If you are using store-bought cold brew coffee, make sure to choose plain, unsweetened coffee so you can control the amount of sugar going in. This recipe makes one quart of coffee kombucha but can be scaled up or down easily. The sugar ratios are the same as traditional kombucha – 1 cup per gallon, or 1/4 cup per quart. You’ll need some kombucha to get the fermentation started (aka starter tea). You can use less starter tea for coffee kombucha than traditional kombucha since coffee is already acidic, requiring less starter to bring down the pH. For a 1-quart batch, use just 1/4 cup of starter tea. If you have extra pellicles, this is a great way to use them – cut a piece of pellicle to fit inside the jar and that can be used in place of the 1/4 cup of starter tea to introduce the microbes into the coffee.