Q: Do I have to use caffeinated tea?

A: Yes. Kombucha cultures have evolved to feed on caffeinated tea from the Camellia Sinensis tea family - meaning black, oolong, white or green teas. Without one of these teas high in caffeine and tannins, your culture will grow weak and eventually die. Avoid flavored teas like Chai and others with additional oils and herbs as they weaken the culture and encourage mold growth (No Yogi Tea blends!). We recommend using a pure black, oolong, white or green tea. A blend of green & black tea, or oolong & black tea, make a particularly great combo both in flavor and for creating a healthy culture and brew. Black tea is the highest in tannins, so if you notice your culture growth has stagnated after a few brews, mix back in some black tea to your tea mix.

For reference, our custom TKS Tea Blend is a mix of loose leaf oolong and ceylon (black) tea. Ceylon is a traditional black tea from Sri Lanka and Oolong is a mix in itself of fermented black and green teas. Oolong is a traditional Chinese tea and is what Kombucha has been historically brewed with throughout time. Use organic and fair trade loose leaf teas when possible, they make all the difference in the quality of your final brew!