Ever wonder if you can make kombucha with coffee? Showing you how to make a foolproof Coffee Kombucha that you’ll actually love!
Here’s the thing about information online…it’s not always true. I know, crazy right? 🤯
After hearing so much buzz about coffee kombucha in the online brewing world, I knew I had to try it. So I replaced the black tea in my first fermentation with some strong coffee, added my SCOBY and starter kombucha, and began counting down the days until my magical coffee kombucha would be ready.
What followed…was a nightmare. The kombucha, if you can even call it that, tasted somewhere between beef jerky and how feet smell. It was absolutely undrinkable.
But I was determined to make coffee kombucha happen, so I tried it in a second fermentation instead. The result? AMAZING. Now I get what all the fuss is about. Let’s brew!
There are two main fermentation phases when making homemade kombucha:
- First Fermentation: This is when you transform sweet tea into tart and delicious kombucha (see our guide to homemade kombucha here)
- Second Fermentation: This is when you carbonate and flavor the kombucha by adding sugars and flavors, then bottling it.
I do not recommend using coffee in the first fermentation. Coffee naturally has a lot of oils, which have a greater likelihood of going rancid and spoiling your batch. Instead, we’ll use coffee as a flavor in the second fermentation, which means you will need to have completed the first fermentation already and have some kombucha that’s ready to be carbonated!
Ingredients to make Coffee Kombucha
- Kombucha from a first fermentation: You’ve brewed your kombucha with the help of your SCOBY and it’s the perfect balance of sweet and tart (step-by-step first fermentation instructions here). I used black tea kombucha, but I suspect green tea would also be great with coffee, and will probably bring out the coffee flavors more.
- Coffee: Brew up some strong coffee and let is chill (or go with a cold brew for less acidity).
- Sugar: Just a dash of sugar will help carbonate the kombucha, giving the bacteria and yeast something to “feed” on!
- Optional flavors: Feeling adventurous? Try adding vanilla extract or cocoa powder!
How to make coffee kombucha
Making your own flavored kombucha with coffee is simple. The process goes something like this:
- Bottle: Pour coffee, sugar, and optional flavors into each bottle. Pour in kombucha from a first fermentation, leaving 1 to 2 inches free at the top.
- Ferment: For 3 to 10 days, until it reaches the carbonation level you like.
- Enjoy: Chill in the fridge before serving.
- ½ gallon kombucha from a first fermentation this is not store bought kombucha, 1.9 L
- ¼ to ½ cup strong coffee chilled* 60 to 120 mL
- 2 tsp sugar
- Optional flavors: ½ tsp vanilla extract, 2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- Bottle: Evenly distribute coffee, sugar, and optional flavors into fermentation bottles**. Pour in first fermentation kombucha, leaving 1 to 2 inches free at the top.
- Ferment: Place in a dark, room temperature area for 3 to 10 days, until it reaches the carbonation level you like. This process will go faster in warmer climates, and slower in cooler climates.
- Enjoy: Chill in the fridge before serving. Can be stored in the fridge, tightly sealed, for several weeks.
Tips & Tricks
- *How much coffee? ¼ cup of coffee will give a hint of coffee flavor, while ½ cup will be more prominent. I prefer ½ cup!
- **Pressure gauge: If this is your first time brewing, it may be helpful to use a plastic water bottle as a gauge. Fill a disposable plastic bottle with kombucha (leaving 2 inches empty at the top). When this bottle becomes rock hard, you’ll know the glass bottle are also ready. This will help you gauge how quickly kombucha brews in your climate and will prevent bottle explosions.