Yerba Mate Kombucha

I’ve taken notes on quite a few different batches of kombucha that aren’t yet documented in a blog post. This is one of those…

I’ve seen yerba mate mentioned as a possible “tea” for kombucha. My research indicated that it should have adequate levels of nitrogen and other nutrients to sustain the culture, so I decided to give it a try. Reed’s kombucha is made from a mix of yerba mate and oolong tea, which also suggests that it should work, but I don’t think most commercial kombuchas actually use cultures that propagate from one batch to another, so it doesn’t really speak to the sustainability of yerba mate. Then again, anything that isn’t overtly antimicrobial is probably workable in a blend.

21 days: pH 3.2. It tastes kinda sweet, definitely tart, but not especially vinegary. It has no detectable astringency. I find it has a bitterness that is slight, but disagreeable. The color is very yellow. I should probably give this another chance, following the usual yerba mate steep directions rather than my typical kombucha steep. Maybe as a 1-quart micro-batch.

I flavored one quart with a bag of Stash Meyer Lemon.  The result was a little sweet and a little sour, a with very pleasant and clean flavor. It produced a surprisingly orange color, probably from the hibiscus. I should try this again.

I flavored another with Stash Black Peach. It ended up tasting a lot like my usual Celestial Peach. Since the Stash adds caffeine, but no unique flavors over the Celestial, I’ll stick with my standby.

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