How to Make Lavender Kombucha

One of my favorite indulgences when I’m grocery shopping is lavender kombucha. (We shall not speak of Trader Joe’s salted caramel sauce). It’s bubbly, tart and has the distinct flavor that only lavender buds can bestow upon a beverage.

How to Make Lavender Kombucha

Yes, it’s hippie refreshment at its finest.

Kombucha is a drink made by placing a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) in a jar full of super-sweet tea. The jar is covered with a coffee filter or cheesecloth and very carefully placed in a dark, out of the way spot for a week. The result is a mildly fermented, bubbly beverage (there is no alcohol – ok, maybe just a little, depending on how long you ferment it).

Because the SCOBY is a living organism, the result is a live food. Kombucha is full of probiotics and it’s a great drink for the whole family. My kids love it (especially my toddler) and even my husband has started drinking it.

Unfortunately, it’s also expensive to purchase. And even though it comes in a recyclable glass container, I still prefer to refuse before I recycle.

Naturally, I had to learn to make it myself. I had made kombucha before, but had never added anything to it. After a lot of unsuccessful Googling, I decided that I’d need to figure out how to make lavender kombucha on my own.

After taking note of the warning not to mix lavender with the SCOBY (the essential oils would have unpleasant side effects on the organism), I figured out that I’d need to make kombucha and then do a secondary fermentation with the lavender buds, which basically means that you let the lavender buds sit in the kombucha for two more days.

Ready to get started on the first round?

You will need (for 1 gallon of kombucha):

  • 6 bags of tea (I use 3 black, 3 triple berry)
  • SCOBY – ask around for one or check out Cultures for Health (check out their free ebooks)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 quarts water
  • 1/2 cup kombucha (for a starter) or vinegar.
  • 1 gallon sterilized jar (I use ones like this … but I reeeeeeeeally want this jar.)
  • Sterilized stirring spoon
  • Sauce pan
  • Rubber band
  • Coffee filter or cheesecloth

1. Pour one quart of water in the sauce pan and turn on medium high heat. Add the cup of sugar and stir until it’s dissolved. Bring the water to a boil, then turn off the heat.

2. Add the tea bags and let them steep for 15 minutes. Once they’ve steeped, remove the bags, cover and let cool.

3. To the gallon jar, add the other 2 quarts of cold water and the cooled tea (the SCOBY can’t get too hot). Stir in the 1/2 cup of starter/vinegar.

4. Top with the SCOBY, cover the jar with the cloth/filter and secure it with the rubber band. Put it away in a dark place where it won’t be bumped or anything. Mark one week from the current date on your calendar so you can check your kombucha. If it goes too long, it will turn into vinegar (though I now prefer to ferment it for about 2 weeks). Your toddler will probably still be more than happy to drink it.

Now it’s time to kick it up a notch.

lavenderkombucha

Once your kombucha is done, remove the SCOBY and put it in another clean jar. Top it with some of your fresh kombucha – just enough to cover it. Put it away until next time or leave it out and get started on another batch.

This is where I have to fend off a parched toddler insisting that he must have ”bucha” right now (I also have to do that when I’m pouring starter into the sweetened tea. He’s crazy for kombucha!)

Let’s add some flavor now, shall we?

You’ll need:

1. Put 2 tsp of lavender buds in each jar. Pour kombucha over the lavender buds, leaving about 1 inch head space. Cover with lids and put back in your dark, out of the way, fermentation place for 48 more hours.

2. Remove kombucha from fermentation cave, strain out lavender buds, cover back up and refrigerate.

3. Repeat the process to get more kombucha brewing, because you know that toddler is going to guzzle it all up.

Are you a kombucha fan? What’s your favorite kind?

Nina Nelson

Nina Nelson is an unconventional mom determined to live a life of adventure and purpose. She does that alongside her husband, Ian, and their four crazy, adorable kids. She loves reading, snuggling and giggling at miniature horses.

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Comments

  1. Linda Tyler says

    Hi Nina,
    Just wondering what brand of triple berry tea are you using for your kombucha? We are looking for different flavors to try. I did try ginger in a batch by putting one slice in a re-purposed 20 ounce Snapple tea bottle with about 16 oz of “tea”. I liked it much better than just the straight stuff.
    Thank you for all you do to help others find a more peaceful life!
    Aunt Linda

  2. Jen says

    Hi Nina,

    Do you know how long a scoby will last in the fridge if unused? I was making kombucha before I was pregnant and then was so sensitive to smells that I had to stop for quite awhile. I am now trying to figure out if I can use my old scoby or need to start fresh.
    Also, have you tried bottling on grolsch bottles for carbination?

  3. says

    I haven’t used them, though I’d love to. I store mine in a dark cabinet and it’s been in there for several months and still going strong.

  4. Jenny says

    I am cracking up reading this! Our toddlers are just alike – mine LOVES kombucha (“bucha”) and will also drink it no matter how vinegary it is! When it’s strong, she coughs and sputters and says “whew!” and asks for more! I was wondering about your measurement of 1/2 cup of starter per 3 quarts? I use 1/2 cup of starter per ONE quart – that’s what my instructions said to do. So far so good, though – my batches have turned out fine. And thank you for this post – I’ve been wanted to make lavender kombucha for a while!

  5. Verily says

    Not gonna lie, the whole “living organism” part of this out freaked me out a bit so I wikipedia-d it and they said there were harmful side effects and even deaths attributed to this. I know you wouldn’t feed your family something potentially deadly but are you 100% sure this doesn’t leave any unwanted side affects?

  6. says

    Kombucha is a probiotic drink drink that has live cultures in it, so think yogurt or kefir vs. a dangerous drink. I know some people get an upset stomach when they drink kombucha, but I haven’t heard of extreme detrimental side effects and definitely haven’t experienced them in my house. Here’s a link to a study on pub med about kombucha: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24192111. It also has some related studies in the sidebar.

  7. Gina says

    Does it have to be put in a dark place? How about on top of the refrigerator for the warmth?

  8. says

    i LOVE kombucha.. i’ve never tried using lavender before, that sounds really interesting! The favorites around here are strawberry-pineapple, cherry (there’s a sour cherry tree here, and we froze a bunch so i can make a syrup from them), and blackberry-cranberry! The pineapple and cranberry i use from the juice form, but i’ve found making syrups by adding water to fruit preserves, and cooking it a bit then straining it, works really well!! That’s generally how i get my strawberry and blackberry syrups, although fresh strawberry kombucha is even more awesome. shalom! ♥

  9. says

    Is the black tea necessary to make this? I can’t have anything with caffeine, even decaf which still has a little. Can I use mint tea or something else totally herbal?

  10. Kya says

    What is the best way to use frozen diced up pineapple or whole blueberries? Can I add them frozen to the kombucha or defrost first? If frozen does that harm the drink? If I defrost, use a blender and strain would that make it have more flavor? Fresh compared to frozen fruits does it taste different on the final product?

  11. Rachel says

    Can you make this with herbal tea? We only drink herbal (religious reasons) but this sounds so interesting I really want to try it!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Try switching to kombucha instead of soda or juice. This probiotic beverage is beneficial in a number of ways. It promotes health by helping your body detoxify, strengthening gut health, improving joint health and boosting your immune system. Plus, you won’t find excess sugar and empty calories, like you would in juice or soda and you can save lots of money by making your own kombucha. [...]