What Is Tea?
Tea is the world's second most popular beverage, trailing only water in popularity. All teas (Black, Green, Oolong, White, and Pu'erh) come from the same plant, which is sometimes shocking to tea newcomers. Camellia sinensis is the scientific name for this adaptable plant. Camellia sinensis is a subtropical, evergreen plant that originated in Asia and is now cultivated all over the world. The tea plant thrives in soil that is loose and deep, at high altitudes, and in subtropical climates. In short, "tea" refers to any product derived from the Camellia sinensis plant.
Is Tea Healthy?
According to research, tea has healing properties that Kombucha's fermentation process helps to unlock. The polyphenols and anti-oxidants become more bio-available with Kombucha's assistance, which simply means they are easier for your body to absorb. Kombucha, once again, collaborates with nature's own processes to increase its efficiency.
It's no surprise that Kombucha has so many healing properties. It's made from a beverage that already has incredible health benefits. Then, by the magic of fermentation and a small colony of unique bacteria and yeast, Kombucha makes it possible for the body to consume those benefits, providing plenty of vitamins and enzymes that weren't previously there. Woohoo!
Kombucha cultures like both black tea and green tea, and both produce rich, balanced SCOBYs. However, since black tea provides more fuel for the SCOBY to expand, the cultures normally grow faster and more robustly.
Best Tea for Making Kombucha?
Camellia Sinensis, the plant that produces black, oolong, orange, white, and pu-erh teas, is the source of all of them. The distinctions between them are largely determined by the level of development at which the leaves are plucked and how they are processed.
Black Tea: Tea leaves that have been oxidised for an extended period of time (longer than green or oolong teas), resulting in a deep taste. Ceylon and English Breakfast are two popular forms of black tea that function well in kombucha (avoid Earl Grey, see “tea to avoid” below). Just use black tea when growing a SCOBY. Once your SCOBY has gone through four or five batches, you can start introducing other teas.
Oolong tea is made from tea leaves that have been slightly oxidised (more than green tea but less than black tea), giving it a slight grassy to fruity taste. Oolong tea may be used in conjunction with other teas or on its own.
White tea is produced from young tea leaves and is minimally oxidised, while black, green, and oolong teas are made from mature tea leaves. As a result, the taste is delicate and the colour is light. Combine white tea with black, green, or oolong tea (at least 25 percent of mature tea leaves)
Here are a few examples of herbal teas: The word "herbal tea" refers to any tea that is not made from tea plant leaves. Herbal teas may be made from a variety of herbs, spices, or vegetables. Although most herbal teas are unsuitable for fermentation, there are a few exceptions:
- Rooibos Tea: This is a distinct species of tea that is made from the leaves of a South African shrub and adds an earthy taste to kombucha. Combination of rooibos tea and black tea (at least 25 percent black tea).
- Hibiscus Tea: Made from dried hibiscus leaves, this bright pink kombucha has a tart, floral taste. Hibiscus tea may be used in conjunction with other teas or on its own.
- Butterfly Pea Flowers: This vivid blue/purple kombucha has a floral, somewhat earthy scent and is made from the dried flowers of the butterfly pea plant. Butterfly pea flower tea may be used in conjunction with other teas or on its own.
TEA TO AVOID WHEN MAKING KOMBUCHA!
Most Herbal Teas: Most herbal teas are unsuitable for kombucha brewing because they lack the nutrients needed for your fermentation to succeed. Herbal infusions – as previously said, these do not contain any Camellia sinensis. Any herbal infusions with high levels of volatile oils, which have a bactericidal effect, can slow the culture's development (kill bacteria).
Tea with added flavour: Many teas incorporate spices or oils in addition to tea leaves. Avoid tea with additives, as they can react with the kombucha and cause fermentation to fail. Teas flavoured with essential oils, such as Chai, can be harmful to the culture. Earl Grey is controversial because it contains bergamot oil, but some people have successfully brewed Kombucha with it. You may not choose to use it as your primary tea, but it does add flavour and body.
Below are few examples of teas with additional ingredients:
- Earl Grey: Avoid this black tea with added bergamot oil.
- Chai: Stay away from this spiced black tea range.
- Teas with a strong smokiness, such as Lapsang Souchong. Although they won't damage the Kombucha, the taste isn't a good match in most cases.
Does tea ratio effect Kombucha flavour?
The blend of the teas you use to make Kombucha has an effect on your final tasting Kombucha and here at KARL we take all these factors into account and have taken time to develop our own ideal High-Quality Kombucha Tea Blend of organic black tea and green tea. Not only is this the perfect balance and ratio to make amazing tasting Kombucha! This organic signature blend tastes amazing on its own! Don’t believe us? Check out the reviews as they say it all, take a look at this tasty tea blend! High-Quality Kombucha Tea Blend.
Why Loose Leaf Tea is Better?
When you steep tea in a teabag, the scale of the teabag limits the infusion. Packing whole-leaf tea into a small tea bag would not result in a flavorful cup. The teabag industry spent several years adapting tea to the teabag. The surface area and infusion rate of the tea were improved by filling teabags with smaller tea particles rather than entire leaves. The outcome was a more aromatic (though not especially nuanced) brew. It was popular because it was cheap, easy, and good enough for the average "milk and sugar" tea drinker.
Any tea merchants have recently agreed to tailor the teabag to the tea. Instead of using flat-tasting grades of tea (tiny, broken leaves known as "dust" and "fannings"), they choose higher grades with more sophisticated flavour profiles and aromas. They're getting more brews out of these leaves than they can for standard teabags by holding them in plus-size teabags, "tea pouches," "tea socks," and "pyramid pockets" (pyramid-shaped teabags). All of these teabag variants cause the leaves to expand further than standard tea bags, resulting in a better brew. Here is a link to our Large Tea Bags if you are interested.