I’ve consumed a lot of unusual foods, drinks, and supplements on my journey to find health answers. From the green smoothies, to the fermented fish livers, to the marine phytoplankton, I’ve tried some interesting things over the years.
Of all the strange things I’ve tasted, this recipe has to be close to the top of the list of unusual flavors.
It isn’t bad, but it is certainly unusual … it’s kombucha … made from coffee instead of tea…
Our family has been drinking kombucha for years, and about a year ago, I tried brewing kombucha with coffee at the suggestion of a friend.
It definitely worked, and the result was a probiotic coffee that was very much an acquired taste.
I did find a few tricks to make it taste better, like doing a second ferment with simple syrup and flavored stevia, creating an effervescent and slightly tangy chilled coffee drink.
- If you’ve never brewed regular kombucha before, I would suggest starting with that to learn the brewing process with its natural ingredients (here is a tutorial).
- Since coffee is naturally acidic, I found that less additional starter liquid is needed.
- Use an extra baby SCOBY and not the SCOBY you use for brewing regular kombucha, as once a SCOBY is used for coffee, it should not be used for tea kombucha again.
- I found that coffee komucha brews more quickly, so test it often and be ready to start a second ferment or put in the refrigerator to stop fermentation after a few days.
- The second ferment is necessary for the flavor of coffee kombucha. Without it, the finished result will be very tangy and bitter.
Coffee Kombucha Recipe
- 3 qts brewed coffee
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 kombucha SCOBY
- 1 TBSP brewed kombucha or make your own (unflavored)
- ¼ cup simple syrup (2 TBSP sugar dissolved in 2 TBSP hot water)
- 10 drops vanilla creme stevia (or English toffee flavored)
- Add the sugar to the coffee while it is still hot and stir to dissolve.
- Let the coffee cool to room temperature.
- Pour the brewed coffee into a gallon size glass jar.
- Add the SCOBY and the 1 Tablespoon of brewed kombucha to the jar.
- Cover with cheesecloth or a coffee filter and a rubber band.
- Let sit at room temperature for 3-5 days or until it reaches desired flavor. It will still be slightly tangy and bitter at this point.
- Remove the SCOBY and use to make a new batch.
- Pour the brewed coffee kombucha into quart size mason jars or bottles for the second ferment.
- Divide the simple syrup and stevia evenly between the jars or bottles.
- Place airtight lids on the glass jars and leave at room temperature for an additional 24-48 hours for a second ferment. This will add carbonation and a little more sweetness to the brew.
- Refrigerate and serve cold as desired. I recommend serving over ice and adding coconut milk and additional flavored stevia to taste if desired.
What is the most unusual thing you’ve ever tried in the name of health?
Discussion (36 Comments)
Have you ever taken kombucha while breastfeeding? I love kombucha and this recipe looks amazing, I just am wondering if it’s okay to take while breastfeeding.
Yes, I have. Always check with your OB or pediatrician though if you have concerns…
I have been making tea and coffee kombucha for some time using the continuous brew method and of course it will not taste the same. First kombucha is cold beverage and fermented and therefore you cannot heat it. I don’t do any of the second brews i just tap both half and half (half tea half coffee) in a glass or bottle to take to work. If you brew it correctly and catch it at the right time, it is a perfect taste but a taste unique to itself and nothing like hot coffee with milk or cream. Since it is a type of vinegar the milk or cream would not mix well anyway. I also make water kefir and sometimes mix all three, the kefir gives it a sweeter taste. I also do the kefir by continuous brew method.
My preference for coffee is 1/4 cup of French vanilla creamer and the remainder of the cup coffee with sweetner, I usually use artificial sweetner.
How can I make the coffee kombucha taste like that?
It was my childhood drink…. We use to drink IT in hot summer’s days..
after some of my experiments i have decided my favorite combination is in the second brew i fill the bottle half with coffee kombucha and half with water kefir and let it sit for a few days like a second ferment. the water kefir gives more carbonation and i like the taste. both done with my continuous brew. i have not done the tea kombucha since i let my tea go too long and it is vinegar but i have decided to try to make balsamic vinegar with it. I know that will take some time but since it is already vinegar why not try. The grape orchards near me that make wine will have organic grapes soon so i will try it and let it sit.
on the water kefir in the 3 gallon continuous brew i also take all of it out each time. part goes for second ferment with fruit and part goes to the coffee kombucha/water kefir drink. kebucha!!!!!!!
Can you comment on your experience with marine phytoplankton? It tastes so awful I’m wondering whether we should persevere!
Katie - Wellness Mama
It helps oxygenate the cells. I have noticeably more energy when I take it.
Thanks for sharing, I got rid of my SCOBY as I have recently found out I have salicylate sensitivity and cannot drink tea, I’ll be giving this a go.
For the coffee scoby, do you need to store it separately from your regular kombucha scoby?
For kombucha, one usually makes a weak tea–is this making a weak coffee, or a regular coffee? Your picture looks too clear and light to be a regular brewed coffee base. For regular coffee, I use around 5 tablespoons of coffee beans for one liter of water. For 3 quarts of coffee, that translates to around 14 tablespoons of coffee. Did you brew yours full strength?
Katie - Wellness Mama
I do brew full strength, but some of the color seems to settle during the brewing process
Oh cool! Thanks for letting me know–I will totally try this once I get my current batch of kombucha cycled, in a couple of weeks.
I make tea kombucha and I make the tea very strong. The finished product certainly is not tea-flavored.
This has become such a staple in our home! We love it with a dollop of coconut cream or plain. But my favourite is adding fresh Whole spices at the second ferment then leaving them in there for another week sometimes longer before drinking it. Best so far with star anise and it tastes like root beer!
Trying saffron threads for the first time.
Interesting! I am wondering if I can use my kombucha scoby to ferment maple water (Trader Joes just started selling this pasteurized maple sap-it has 5 grams of sugar per cup). Kefir grains might work better but I don’t have those anymore…..
i have been making coffee kombucha for some time using the continuous brew method.
it actually will continue to ferment in the refrigerator although i do the second ferment first and then put it in the refrigerator. I like to experiment so i also do a continuous brew with my water kefir and i put half of the water kefir and half of the coffee kombucha in the second ferment bottle and let it sit. you don’t need additional sugar or stevia and it will carbonate. One of my favorite flavoring for just the coffee kombucha in the second ferment is to use star anise. I had one bottle in the refrigerator for some time (i forgor it was there) and it was just like root beer. I do three continuous brews, water kefir, coffee kombucha and tea combucha.
Laura, I’ve read about continuous brew Kombucha, but not kefir. How is it done with water kefir?
I was wondering the same thing so I googled it and found this site
If for some reason the link doesn’t show up just google “continuous brew water kefir” and it’s the first link from livingforlife
i do it basically the same way as the tea and coffee for the first ferment
i have three gallon containers with the spigot. on the tea and coffee of course the scoby is either on top or sometimes under the liquid and it is easy to tap the spigot and fill the narrow neck bottles.
on the water kefir i use the same set up but the grains sit on the bottom below the level of the spigot. i sometimes just tap it for a drink because plain it tastes good but when it is ready for second ferment
i take out a gallon at one time and put it into one gallon glass jars. I use the kind that you can buy with pickles (I know someone that buys them and gives me the jars) and i do the second ferment in the 1 gallon jars with my fruit juice and fresh fruit with the coffee filter top for a cover. Sometimes i will take the grains out and give them a wash and put them back for the new batch and sometimes i just add more sugar water to the liquid that is left. When i think the second ferment is done then i put in the narrow neck bottles with the wire closure and i have started to learn not to fill too much but it builds up carbonation fast and a few have done the pour all over routine on me. I have the stained ceiling from one.
However sometimes i tap the water kefir into the narrow neck bottles half and fill the other half with the coffee kombuca and i like that combination a lot.
I have a stand that just holds the three on separate shelves, tea, coffee and water kefir.