The joy of kombucha brewing
by Liang Cha
I started on the journey of kombucha brewing as a pastime but little did I know, it would develop into a business that I am passionate about. The volume of my brewing grew from 2L to 5L in just a short span of three weeks. Today, I require 2 x 18L brew jars to meet the demand of my orders.
To produce satisfactory kombucha flavours, I have tried using different types of tea during the fermentation process, namely, Black, Oolong, Green and White Tea. These teas are from the Camellia Sinensis plant. With different harvesting and processing methods, an array of flavours are produced.
Currently, I prefer using Black and White Tea for the tea base. Black Tea is bold, strong and aromatic. It also contains particularly high levels of tannins which are well-loved by scoby*. White Tea is the least processed among the different types of tea so it retains the highest amount of antioxidants. I enjoy using white tea because it gives a refreshing light shade upon brewing.
Green Tea is well-loved by many for its high antioxidant content and other health-promoting compounds. However, it is my least favourite for kombucha tea base as there is a slightly bitter aftertaste which is not to my liking in a kombucha brew.
For my second fermentation experiment, I used seasonal fresh fruits, vegetables, spices and botanicals. I gleaned some inspiration from the cocktails, food and drinks which I have tried. The experiment yielded some unexpectedly amazing tea flavours, albeit with some not-too-good flavours as well. Constant experimentation is required to produce optimal flavours because the taste profiles after fermentation often deviate from the original taste of the fruits and vegetables.
Tropical fruits are my favourite so far as they are very flavourful. The sugary fruits contributes to the sweetness for the second fermentation. It can be tricky to use fresh ingredients as it is hard to attain consistency in taste. Furthermore, additional effort is required to smash or juice it. Dried botanicals are the easiest to use as it has great consistency and are relatively easy to prepare.
In contrast to beer brewing, there is currently no extensive information regarding the brew ratio, technicality of the water and method of fermenting kombucha. After extensive experimentation in the kitchen, in-depth research with books available, and several funky brews, we have launched Liang Cha in Oct 2020.
The journey of kombucha brewing has just begun for us but we believe that exciting adventures lie ahead. Come join us in this journey! We cannot wait to deliver more innovative and high-quality kombucha to you.
SCOBY is stands for "symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast". It is formed after the completion of a unique fermentation process of lactic acid bacteria (LAB), acetic acid bacteria (AAB), and yeast to form kombucha.