Caffeine-free kombucha starts with quick brew Kefir water and Honeybush tea

EEven though gourmet-shop kombucha tea has very little caffeine, I had an adverse reaction after drinking some. A shame because I like kombucha for its sparkle—it's sort of the champagne of teas. I tested a caffeine free kombucha recipe on this blog, but realized water kefir grains were the key to making a home-brewed classic, Kefir water tea.

It's so easy to brew kefir water continuously, as I do, and flavor overnight in the fridge with your favorite tea.

brewingFor tea, I used African honeybush tea from Davidsons Tea of Reno, NV, purchased through Amazon.com. It's everything you could want in a tea: mellow, uplifting, and has a cleansing effect on the body. I was able to make one batch using a kombucha scobie. My scobie didn't like some of the cleansing compounds in the honeybush. BUT ...

Then I learned that kefir could be flavored AFTER brewing. I set up brewing area to keep the colony of grains feeding on cane sugar water with a drop of Apple Cider Vinegar. The resulting bubbly water is great fun to experiment with for sweet, tart and tea-spice drinks:

• Classic kefir tea
• Chai kefir tea
• Strawberry kefir tea
• Raspberry cordial tea

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Basic Water Kefir, kefir water

1.5 pints of water, or about a quart
1/2 cup water kefir grains, approximately
1/3 cup raw cane sugar (adding a spoonful of Turbinado sugar works for me as well, but I usually use plain cane sugar)
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (I think this helps a lot)

MMix the above ingredients, cover with a light-weight towel held with a rubberband (to prevent ants or fruit flies). Ferment for 2-3 days at room temperature. Taste periodically (I usually check once a day) to see if the sugar is absorbed by the grains, and make sure brew is not too tart. If it is too tart, rinse the grains and start over. The next batch will be better!

When the taste is sweet-tart with a hint of fizz, close the jar tightly so air can not escape. Allow carbonation to accumulate 1-2 more days at room temperature.

Strain out the grains. Give the grains fresh sugar water. Use the strained water to refrigerate and flavor as: Classic kefir tea, Strawberry kefir tea, Raspberry cordial tea

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goddess designs

Thanksgiving

Apple Goddess design is available on fine stationery products from 123Print. See the harvest card collection here.

Berry & tea kefir

Raspberry Kefir

Classic Kefir Tea and some colorful variations (read more).

From the Light Kitchen

Light Kitchen

Raw food recipes Index.