Kombucha Tea was originally created using black tea. For this reason, it’s crucial to make sure at least 75% of your tea supply is from green or black tea. Green tea and black tea are the same type of tea; camellia sinensis. The difference between lies in when they’re harvested, green tea is harvested earlier and black tea is harvested later on. That doesn’t mean your limited to just green or black you can use any of the different types of camellia sinensis leaf.
These tea leaves are harvested from the top of the plant. A noticeable characteristic is its white hairs. They’re harvested from the youngest buds and are gently sun-dried for minimal oxidation another important feature of white tea. The taste it provides is subtle. Others will disagree with me but I see the smoothest tasting results from white tea batches.
Green tea leaves are unfermented when processed. These unfermented tea leaves are dried using various techniques like baskets, sun-drying, charcoal firing and many other artisanal ways. Green tea is loaded with anti-oxidants and can help your body in a variety of ways. All green tea batches are great for making beautiful all white healthy thin Scoby’s. The taste of your final batch is a little more earthy than white tea but not as much as black tea. I’ve made some delicious, crisp tasting kombucha using only green tea. My two favorite types being gunpowder and imperial but here are some other notables types of green teas:
See more about how each type of green tea is specifically produced. Click here.
Black tea is more oxidized than green and white teas and is considered fermented. The taste that black tea brings is a full, fruity, and earthy kombucha. If all you have at home is a bunch of tea bags it’s completely ok to use those for kombucha brewing. Black tea kombucha batches go great with sweet fruits like cherries or strawberries. Here are some notable types of black tea:
- Lapsang Souchong
Disclaimer: No earl grey’s allowed! Earl Grey tea comes with essential oils in the leaves. While some believe this type of tea works fine, I’m 100% again this type of tea. Essential oils like bergamot(used in earl grey) can harm the life of your Scoby. Keep your Scoby healthy, just like how you would with your child or your pet. You shouldn’t give dog chocolates and you should give your kombucha teas essential oils or soy.
Here are more teas that will not allow your Scoby to properly grow:
- Chai tea
- Soy flavored teas
- teas with essential oils