Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Persimmon Hongcha Kombucha

Our lovely friend L recently gifted me a kombucha starter called a SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast) so I can start brewing my very own.  Kombucha(紅茶菌)'s basic inputs are sugar and tea. Since I don't have cane sugar readily available in the house,  I used the diabetes inducing cans of Korean persimmon punch (soojungwa) I had procured for post earthquake refreshments.

Not sure if the resulting brew would be something worth drinking- I experimented with a nano batch only with the persimmon punch thinking the SCOBY would consume the sugar within days. The fermentation took a lot longer than expected- over two weeks.  I suspect this is because the antiseptic cinnamon oil probably is not friendly to SCOBYs and also they cannot really thrive without tea of the Camelia Sinensis variety. So after a week I added some random hongcha being the traditional tea type for kombucha - not the Indian and Ceylon teas.  As the cinnamon and persimmon flavors are so dominant,  the tea taste barely registers. The now much lighter beverage has a nice vinegary tang and I should do a picobatch of persimmon vinegar to see how they compare.  I harvested most of it tonight in another bottle to undergo secondary fermentation to get the fizz.

Green tea makes for the healthiest SCOBY and I naturally have sheng brews in mind once I grow enough SCOBY to play with. But first I must also get over my inability to buy a bag of sugar.  I would not be surprised if shu kombucha turns out gnarly and gross but according to Kombucha Brooklyn, both shu and sheng provides worthwhile kombuchas.  I got a tad suspicious when I saw they source from David Hoffman.  I guess I will just have to empirically determine the truth behind puerh kombuchas for myself.


  1. Can't wait to see the outcome of this!

  2. New reader here, reading through your blogs, and just wondering, Why were you suspicious when you learned they sourced from David hoffman?

  3. Dear Teateatea95,

    It's just a shared tea community past time to make fun of Hoffman, you can see us dishing on him here:

    His puerhs are extra extra dry stored.