Monday, 9 January 2017

Fresh Hibiscus Kombucha Tea

One of my all time favourite Kombucha flavours for the second fermentation is Hibiscus. I love the deep red colour it produces and the distinct tart flavour. I only had access to dried hibiscus before moving to Vietnam, so it was exciting to get my hands on some fresh wild hibiscus flowers! Right now they are in season and are so cheap at around $2 a kilogram I'm stocking up and making loads of fresh Hibiscus Kombucha tea.

Fresh Hibiscus Kombucha Tea
Fresh Hibiscus Kombucha Tea
Edible Hibiscus (different to the ornamental hibiscus flowers) are also known as Rosella flowers, they can be eaten fresh or cooked in salads, soups, chutneys & pickled. You may have also seen them preserved in a sugar syrup as a beautiful addition to sparkling white wine. Not only are Hibiscus beautiful they have quite a nutritional profile and being rich in polyphenols, have many health benefits including the ability to reduce obesity, abdominal fat, anti-cancer and anti-oxidant, reduce kidney stones, protect the liver and assist with diabetes.

Combine this beautiful, powerful flower with the amazing benefits of Kombucha and you have one super tasty and super potent beverage. 

If you are unable to source fresh hibiscus flowers, you can still make this Hibiscus Kombucha with dried flowers (buy on iHerb or Amazon), you can also check out my dried hibiscus and raspberry kombucha tea recipe here.

To make this Fresh Hibiscus Kombucha tea (flavouring kombucha is also known as the second fermentation stage), you will need some already fermented Kombucha tea. If you haven't started yet, you can check out my first fermentation post here.

All you need to start your first batch is a SCOBY and some starter tea, if you have a friend who makes Kombucha tea, you can ask them for a spare SCOBY, otherwise if you live in Australia or Vietnam, you can buy a SCOBY here or if you live in USA, Canada & elsewhere you can buy one from Kombucha Kamp. You can also book a Kombucha workshop in Vietnam here

Fresh Hibiscus Kombucha Tea

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Makes 1 Litre Bottle

You will need:
  • 1 Litre glass bottle with flip top lid (can be found from Ikea or Amazon, recycled clear glass bottles with a screw top are ok but be careful as they can explode easily without the silicon flip top lid, always use clear not coloured glass which may leach lead)
  • 850ml (28 oz) already fermented Kombucha tea
  • 8 fresh hibiscus flowers, de-seeded (or dried - buy dried hibiscus on iHerb or Amazon)
  • 1 tbsp organic sugar - buy on iherb or amazon (hibiscus is naturally very tart, additional sugar will balance this and also create a fizzier Kombucha, leave out or leave the 2nd ferment for longer or reduce the amount of sugar if you're worried)

  • Ensure the glass bottle is washed with hot water and distilled vinegar, allow to cool
  • Add 1 tbsp sugar (as the hibiscus is quite tart, this will balance it out, create a fizzier result and if you are worried about the sugar content, allow the 2nd fermentation to sit for longer)
  • To de-seed the fresh hibiscus flowers, you can either use a sharp knife and score around the bottom of the flower to push the seed out or use an apple corer (this is the quickest and easiest)
Fresh Hibiscus Kombucha Tea
one way to deseed the hibiscus is to score along the bottom of the flower 
Fresh Hibiscus Kombucha Tea
you can then push the seed out, otherwise tear one side to make it easier
Fresh Hibiscus Kombucha Tea
the easiest way to deseed is using an apple corer
Fresh Hibiscus Kombucha Tea
You can push the seed straight out without tearing the hibiscus flower
  • Once deseeded, tear the flowers into smaller pieces (remember you still need to get them out so don't push them in whole)
Fresh Hibiscus Kombucha Tea
Add sugar and 6 de-seeded fresh hibiscus flowers
  • Remove 1/2 cup of already fermented Kombucha tea and the SCOBY's and set aside for your next batch (if using the continuous brew method, skip this step)
  • Fill the bottle with approximately 850ml (28 oz) of already fermented Kombucha tea (this should allow over a 5cm/2 inch gap from the top to reduce the change of exploding bottles)
Fresh Hibiscus Kombucha Tea
The bottle on the left is after one day where the colours deepen, the bottle on the right is right after bottling
  • Allow to ferment for another 5-7 days but check on day 2-3 and burp the bottle if necessary to avoid any explosions
  • Once the 2nd fermentation is complete (you can taste it), put in the fridge if you prefer it chilled
  • Start your next first fermentation with the reserved kombucha tea and scoby
fermented hisbiscus flowers
and here's a sneak peek at my latest trial of naturally fermented hibiscus flowers... if all goes well you will find it on the recipes page soon!
Hope you enjoy!
May xx
Love, create, explore & inspire <3


  1. This flower looks so beautiful. I had planted this in my garden last season. Unfortunately, it did not flourish this time. But I'd try this tea for sure.

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  3. Nice sharing! Glad to read your post!