Making kombucha isn’t a super complicated process, but there are a few details that you want to make sure you get right in order for your booch to turn out as great tasting and as healthy as possible. One question people often have about their kombucha brew is how long should they steep the tea for?
The length of tea steeping time when brewing kombucha will depend on what kind of tea the brewer uses. Tea bags can be steeped for up to 30 minutes to add enough flavor to the kombucha. Black loose leaf tea should be steeped for around 5 minutes and green loose leaf tea should be steeped for 3 minutes.
If that’s not enough of an answer for you, in this article I’m going to share with you exactly how long you should be steeping the tea for your kombucha, and why it’s important you steep it for that amount of time.
How Long Should You Steep Tea for When Making Kombucha?
The length of time you steep the tea for when making kombucha will depend a little on the type of tea you use (tea bags vs loose leaf) but to be honest, it doesn’t really matter that much.
Normally when making tea you want to steep it for enough time to get the flavors out, but not too long where it becomes overextracted and bitter. Well when making kombucha, much of the teas flavor is going to be masked by the bitter and vinegary kombucha anyway, so overextraction isn’t really a problem.
The priority when using tea to make kombucha is to get enough flavor extracted to make the kombucha have that yummy tea taste.
So if you brew your kombucha with tea bags (using 8 tea bags per gallon of booch) you can steep for 30 minutes or more if you want. When I used to make kombucha with tea bags I would just let them steep while the kombucha was cooling down to room temperature, which usually took about 45minutes to an hour.
Some will argue that this extreme length of steeping time makes the kombucha slightly more bitter, but I enjoy the bitter flavor in kombucha and think that the strong tea taste that an extended steeping time gives the booch is worth it.
Now if you use loose leaf tea, which I strongly recommend since it can give the kombucha a more quality flavor, you might want to control the steeping time a little more. Using 2 tablespoons of loose leaf tea per gallon of booch, I would steep black tea for 5-8 minutes, and green tea for 3-5 minutes.
The more exact steeping time of loose leaf tea will allow for its more complex and nuanced flavors to show up in the kombucha.
If you’d like to learn more about the specifics of using tea in your kombucha and why loose leaf is better than tea bags, check out my popular guide of the best to to use for brewing kombucha here.
And if you’d like to learn more about making kombucha and how to improve your home brews, be sure to check out the rest of my website! Have a good one!