Mint Kombucha

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Fresh mint leavesRecently, I went to this yummy restaurant in Montpelier called Samosaman. They sold kombucha that was made by a local person in small batches.  I was intrigued.  In addition to the ubiquitous ginger flavor, this kombucha brew-master also offered cardamom-something-or-other and mint.  After a little sample, I bought a cup of the mint.  It was unusual and refreshing.  It had the typical kombucha tartness with a cooling breeze of mint.  Clearly, my next fermentation adventure was in front of me.

 

Early in my kombucha days, I read somewhere that certain tea-flavorings can cause the kombucha mother to mold and die.  This makes sense as different volatile oils have anti-bacterial properties and could likely kill the kombucha mother's necessary bacteria.  Because of this concern, I have used unflavored teas:  roobios, white, green, yerba mate, honeybush, assam, english breakfast, etc, etc.  I have religiously stayed away from flavored teas and strong herb teas like lemongrass and mint.

But this mint kombucha piqued my curiosity, so I came home and made a small batch with a piece of mother that I divided off.  Please see the recipe below:

  • 1TB Assam
  • 1TB Moroccan Mint Tea which has gunpowder green tea and mint leaves
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 gallon water

It started growing a new mother after about 2 or 3 days, and I let it ferment for 10 days in a coolish spot.  I bottled it with a pinch of crystallized ginger in my old, recycled beer bottles and let it sit for another week in the bottle.

Success!  I popped the first bottle and was pleased with the results of this kombucha experiment.  The kombucha was mildly fizzy, lightly sweet and had a balanced mint flavor.  It also had a little bitterness.  I am inclined to think this property is more a result of the gunpowder green tea than it is of the mint leaves.  Clearly, I have more work to do on this fermentation adventure, and I will post updates as this journey unfolds.

In the meantime, be brave!  Fool around with the teas you use for kombucha making with caution.  If kombucha mothers are hard for you to come by, always keep a portion out of your experimental brews and in either kombucha or sweet tea.  Also, remember mothers that you use in flavored tea will probably impart some of that flavor on subsequent batches.  With this in mind, I am keeping my "mint mama" separate, and I will use it in forthcoming mint kombucha adventures.