Raspberry Lavender Kombucha

This spring, my boyfriend Eric decided that he wanted to make his own kombucha.  I was not interested in doing so however, because it seemed a bit intimidating and time consuming.  But somehow now 3 months later he convinced me to try it!  It was not as hard as I thought surprisingly.  I made mine with green tea and agave (although it is traditional to use sugar) because it is what I have on hand.
It did take a week to brew, but it turned out perfectly and rather than simply making plain kombucha, I made raspberry lavender. Since I am not one to make the basic recipe even when it is my first go at it.  Eric was a bit skeptical about my flavor combination but he helped me anyhow.
The kombucha I buy at the store GT's Kombucha Lavender no 3 is my favorite. I love lavender and fruit.  But  I had raspberries which is why I made raspberry lavender for mine.
I was so excited to taste it.  It was hard to wait the 3 days it took to ferment, but it was well worth it.  I was rewarded with a sweet tart raspberry kombucha scented with lavender.  I am excited to try out other flavors in the future now that the process does not intimidate me.
Raspberry Lavender Kombucha
Makes about 4 quarts
4 quarts filtered water
5 Tbsp loose green tea placed in a piece of cheesecloth and tied (like a sachet).
1 cup raw sugar or maple syrup
1 large glass jar (large enough to hold the 4 quarts liquid)
1 cup starter tea (half a 16 oz plain kombucha from the store will work )
1 Scoby*
Cheesecloth
4 32 oz glass jars
1 cup pureed fresh organic raspberries
¼ cup lemon juice
4 Tbsp dried lavender flowers
To make the kombucha, wash your hands very well with apple cider vinegar or soap (but not antibacterial because this can contaminate the Kombucha and make it not work).  Wash out the glass jar you will be using to make the kombucha with the cider vinegar as well to sanitize it. 
Next, fill a 3 liter pot with 4 quarts of filtered water, and bring to a boil.  Boil for 5 minutes to sanitize it. 
Add the green tea sachet, and let steep for about 3 minutes (or as long as you would normally brew tea).  Turn off heat and add 1 cup raw sugar. Stir to dissolve, then let sit until the water cools to 75 degrees F.  You do not want to add the culture when it is hot, or it will kill it. 
When the tea is cool, pour it into the glass jar and add the starter tea, Sanitize hands with the cider vinegar and gently put the scoby into the tea, cover the top of the jar with the cloth, and secure it tightly with rubber band.
Put the jar somewhere warm and dark where it won't be disturbed (I put mine in a closet on the top shelf). Temperature should be consistently at least 70 degrees if possible. Lower temperatures will make it grow slowly, but below 70ºF makes it more likely that unwanted organisms will start growing too.
Wait about a week. When the tea starts to get smelly like vinegar, you can start tasting it.  The scoby should form another scoby in the jar, and it may sink and it may float. If it floats though, it helps prevent mold. Note that if you see mold you have to throw the batch away and start over with a new scoby. 
When ready to test, remove a small amount.  The best way to pull a sample is with a straw. Dip the straw about halfway into the tea, cover the end with your finger, pull the straw out and drink the liquid inside or put that liquid on the test strip.  If the kombucha tastes really sweet, it is not done, and it needs more time to eat the sugar.  If it tastes slightly vinegary, it is done and ready to be put in jars.
Gently remove original scoby and new baby scoby with clean hands (sanitized with the vinegar is fine) and set them in a clean container. They may be stuck together. Pour a little of the kombucha on them and cover them to save them for another batch (they should be kept at room temperature. 
Pour the brewed kombucha into clean jars (but reserve 1 cup of the kombucha to make another batch next time).  Fill them almost to the top but leave a little space for them to get fizzy and to add the flavor.  Add ¼ of the berries to each jar, 1 Tbsp lemon juice, and 1 Tbsp dried lavender.  Put the lids on tight and let sit 3-5 days at room temperature to ferment and become carbonated.  Once they are fizzy, you can strain them into other clean jars (or not depending on your taste).  Store in the fridge. 
*a scoby is a culture that is used to make kombucha, you can read more about them here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kombucha
I got mine from my boyfriend, and most people get them from people they know (since once you start brewing kombucha you have a lot) but you can order them online as well.
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About the Author

I am a vegan girl who loves to make healthier desserts and dishes with lots of veggies. Recipes are meant to be shared, that is why I started blogging!

16 Comments
  1. June 8, 2013 at 12:10
    Reply

    Yummy! I've been making my own booch for a few months now, and at first I thought it sounded way too hard as well, but it's pretty hands off so it isn't too hard. My most recent batch has been peach, peach ginger, and peach cinnamon. Sometimes I make some and it's amazing and I'm super proud of myself and sometimes I make it and it's horrible. Alas :)

    • June 8, 2013 at 12:27
      Reply

      Your flavors sound wonderful! Can't wait to experiment!

  2. June 8, 2013 at 14:19
    Reply

    I love homemade kombucha! I wasn't going to try it because I thought it was going to be hard but when my mother came for a visit she brought me her SCOBYs and made me make it. I'm so glad! I usually drink it plain, but I'll have to try this flavor.

    • June 8, 2013 at 23:10
      Reply

      I hope you do :)! I know, it is so good, and not as intimidating as you would think. Good thing we both got over our fears ;)!

  3. June 8, 2013 at 15:28
    Reply

    I have never made kombucha myself. Will have to give it a go!

    • June 8, 2013 at 23:10
      Reply

      You should, it is so fun to choose your own flavors :)!

  4. June 8, 2013 at 15:51
    Reply

    Wow I feel lame for never have made or even had kombucha before! Sounds awesome, definitely going to mess around with this. Thanks for sharing :)<br /><br />

    • June 8, 2013 at 23:11
      Reply

      You definitely should, so worth it and way cheaper than buying it at the store.

  5. June 9, 2013 at 13:26
    Reply

    Super cool. I've wanted to try to make my own for awhile now. Now I have the blue print!

    • June 10, 2013 at 14:25
      Reply

      You definitely should try it :)!

  6. Sunnie
    June 10, 2013 at 23:42
    Reply

    NO WAY! That's awesome, for 3 reasons:<br /><br />1) I just started brewing my own kombucha about a month ago<br />2) I noticed on the bottle that it said "raw & vegan" and I thought of you, and were curious if you had ever tried it<br />3) GT's lavender kombucha is my favorite (well . . . it ties fr first place with the multi-green kind!), and I made my own version with lavender<br /><br />So, basically that's awesome! :D Ha-ha although I think yours is a far prettier color than GT's (and mine!). Good work as always!

    • June 11, 2013 at 11:00
      Reply

      Awesome :)! It is wonderful that you are experimenting with it as well! Thank you, the color turned out prettier than I thought it would ;)!

  7. Jess
    June 19, 2013 at 20:59
    Reply

    You can make your own SCOBY from GTS,too!! Thank you for sharing this awesome recipe :)

    • June 20, 2013 at 02:15
      Reply

      I am happy to share :)!

  8. Jess
    June 21, 2015 at 11:57
    Reply

    Yay! I can't wait to try this recipe, my favorite is pomegranate but this raspberrie lavender will be perfect for summer! Did you know that you don't need the kombucha starter though. That you can simply add your SCOBY to the tea and sweetener. I have never used a starter and my kombucha always turns out really well. If you try it and it doesn't seem to work as well I'd up your sweetener to two cups and then try it again! Just thought I'd share that with you!! Thanks for these awesome Kombucha recipes, always looking for new ones!!

    • June 21, 2015 at 12:40
      Reply

      I will have to try that sometime! I was just going off the directions online that I found the first time I made it and haven't changed since ;).

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