Imagine a tasty kombucha spiced with chai… You’ll see, this delicious drink is easy to make!
What Is Chai?
Chai, also known as chai tea or masala chai, is a mix of black tea and spices.
“Chai” actually means “tea” in Hindi! As “chai tea” is redundant, we prefer to talk about “chai” or “masala chai” or “tea and spice mixture”.
The composition of chai varies according to the region and the spices available. Most chai contain cinnamon, ginger, and cardamom. Chai can also contain pepper, mint, or rose hip.
To balance the spices, chai also contains a robust black tea. Assam tea is usually chosen for its strong flavour to balance the spices and sugar.
Traditional chai is usually boiled in a mixture of water and milk. A little sugar is added to the mellow drink, and chai is served hot!
Choosing Your Chai Tea for Kombucha
Chai kombucha lacks the mellowness of traditional chai, but it acquires its delicious spicy flavours!
To get the kombucha taste you want, choose your chai carefully.
You can go for a traditional chai with spices like cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg.
For a different experience, opt for a more adventurous chai, with pink pepper, orange peel, and star anise.
You can also make your own chai! Choose a robust black tea, and add to taste the spices of your choice:
- Cinnamon stick
- Star anise
- Black, white, or pink pepper
Start with small amounts of spices and adjust as needed to suit your taste!
Infusing Chai for Kombucha
There are two ways to use chai to make kombucha.
Our preferred method is to use chai in the second fermentation, to flavour the already fermented kombucha. The result is a fuller and more flavourful kombucha.
The method is quite simple:
- Prepare a plain kombucha
- Remove the kombucha scoby
- Place a chai tea bag in the kombucha
- Let it infuse overnight
Chai can be used in the first fermentation to replace tea. Indeed, as chai contains black tea, it provides the necessary nutrients for the kombucha scoby.
However, repeated use of chai in the first fermentation may weaken the kombucha scoby over time. Furthermore, the next recipes will also taste of chai! We prefer to use it occasionally.
For more information, see Which tea to choose for your kombucha.
Chai Tea Kombucha Recipe
Fermenting the kombucha
- Place the tea bag in the jar.
- Pour 500ml of boiling water and let it brew for 15 minutes.
- Remove the tea bag.
- Add sugar and stir until dissolved.
- Pour 3 litres of filtered water into the jar. The tea should be lukewarm or cold.
- Add the kombucha scoby with its liquid culture.
- Cover the jar with the cloth and tie it with the rubber band.
- Let it ferment for 10 to 15 days at room temperature.
- Taste regularly from day 5. As soon as the sugar and acidity levels are to your liking, move on to the next step.
- Set aside the kombucha scoby and about 500ml (2 cups) of liquid in an airtight container in the fridge for your next recipe.
- Put 1 ritual tea bag (12g) in the jar. Close the jar.
- Place the jar in the fridge.
- Let it infuse overnight.
- Remove the tea bag.
- Pour the flavoured kombucha into pressure resistant bottles.
- Store the bottles at room temperature for 3 to 4 days to allow the fizz to develop.
- When the fizz level is reached (watch out for the pressure!), put the bottles in the fridge.
Do you like well-spiced kombuchas? Try our other recipes: