The drink of the summer at the Cultures For Health office this year is hibiscus kombucha. We originally just wanted to make a batch of hibiscus kombucha to get a pretty pink SCOBY, but then we tried it and realized that we needed to spread the word because it was so good! We started experimenting with different flavors, and flavoring in different fermentation steps.
Once we finally perfected our recipe for hibiscus kombucha, we couldn’t wait to share it with you! In this recipe, we flavored ours with ginger because it was our favorite, but feel free to flavor it with anything you want—we won’t judge.
Now, let’s dive into how to make the best hibiscus kombucha recipe! Here’s what you’ll need to start:
Equipment to Make Hibiscus Kombucha
- Bottles - you can use Grolsch-style flip-top bottles or any other recycled bottles as long as they have matching lids
- Funnel - this is optional but helps make the bottling process easier
- Scale—this is only really needed if you measure weights
- Knife and cutting board
- Microplane—this is optional but it will help grate your ginger if you choose to use it
- Pot or tea kettle to make the hibiscus tea
- Spatula or spoon to stir hibiscus tea
- 32 oz jar for fermenting kombucha
- Coffee filter and/or cheesecloth + rubber band
Hint: Our kombucha starter kits come with most of this equipment!
Hibiscus Kombucha Ingredients
- 1 SCOBY—this can be either a hibiscus or black tea SCOBY
- ½ cup of starter tea (hibiscus or black tea)
- ¼ cup of sugar—Plain white cane sugar is recommended
- 2 hibiscus tea bags or 1.5 tsp of loose dried hibiscus flowers
- 3 cups of water—filtered if possible
- 0.5 - 1 oz or 1 - 2 Tbsp of roughly chopped ginger—no need to peel the ginger unless you plan to eat it
As a preface, we flavor our kombucha with hibiscus in the primary fermentation as a preference. You are able to flavor in the secondary fermentation, but for this recipe, we will not be discussing adding the hibiscus in the secondary fermentation, only the ginger.
Now that you have everything you need, let’s talk about how to actually make your hibiscus kombucha:
Instructions to make Hibiscus Kombucha
- Bring one cup of water to a boil and remove from heat.
- Add your tea bags to the hot water and let steep for 10-15 minutes.
- Add the sugar to the tea and stir until it is dissolved.
- Pour the sweet tea into a clean jar and add 2 cups of cold water. (You could also add the sugar after this step; sugar is water-soluble, so it will dissolve no matter the temperature. The only difference is that it will dissolve faster in hot water.)
- Add your ½ cup of starter tea to the jar and top off with a SCOBY.
- Cover the jar with either a coffee filter or cheesecloth and a rubber band.
- Ferment your kombucha to your liking. We usually ferment for 7-14 days.
- Once the kombucha is the way you want it, it is ready to flavor!
- If you are using ginger, roughly chop your ginger into pieces small enough to fit in your bottle.
- If using ginger, add the ginger to your bottle first; otherwise, fill your bottles with kombucha, leaving about 1 inch for headspace (air). This will help prevent kombucha explosions from hitting the ceiling!
- Let ferment at room temperature for 2-5 days, burping the bottles every 12-24 hours.
- Now that you have finished the second fermentation, you are ready to drink your delicious fizziness! If you used ginger or you do not like to drink SCOBYs, we recommend straining your hibiscus kombucha prior to drinking.
Here are some little tips we discovered as we were perfecting our recipe:
Tips & Tricks for Hibiscus Kombucha Tea
- Heating only ⅓ of your water for your tea and adding the rest of the water cold helps cool the tea faster and reduce the amount of time it takes.
- If you do not have a hibiscus SCOBY to make your fermented hibiscus tea, we recommend brewing your first and second batches with the black tea kombucha starter to give your kombucha a good jump start.
We recommend flavoring this hibiscus kombucha recipe with ginger, but it’s also amazing on its own. This is because the hibiscus adds a subtle florally sweet flavor. You can also flavor your hibiscus kombucha with lemon to make it extra refreshing. This is the perfect drink to sip on while laying out in the sun!