This Yerba Mate Kombucha combines two great drinks into one. It's sweet and tart with a milder taste than kombucha made with black tea.
This Yerba Mate Kombucha is a first-fermentation kombucha recipe. It's a good recipe to try out after you have made a few batches of homemade kombucha with black tea and you want to try other flavors of tea.
The first fermentation of kombucha is when you combine sweetened tea, a kombucha scoby, and some starter tea. You let it ferment for 7-21 days and the result is uncarbonated unflavored kombucha.
The second fermentation involves taking that kombucha you made in the first fermentation and adding flavor. I have a bunch of kombucha recipes for you to try out.
Just like black tea has a stronger flavor than yerba mate tea, Yerba Mate Kombucha isn't as strong as black tea kombucha. It is sweet and tart.
This is an overview of the ingredients. To see the full list of ingredients with measurements and instructions, see the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- A kombucha starter pack: which includes a kombucha scoby (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) in some kombucha starter liquid or 1-2 cups of freshly made kombucha and a scoby
- Filtered water
- Yerba mate tea: I used yerba mate tea bags, You could also use loose yerba mate and strain it out. I also have tutorials for first-fermentation green tea kombucha and first-fermentation hibiscus tea kombucha
Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a pot. Remove from the heat.
Add yerba mate tea. Let it steep 5 - 10 minutes. Remove tea bags.
Add 1 cup of sugar, and stir until dissolved. Reheat the tea to get the sugar to dissolve faster if needed.
Add the sweet tea mixture to a gallon-sized jar, along with room-temperature filtered water, the kombucha scoby, and the fermented tea that it came in or homemade kombucha. Check to make sure the mixture is between 75°-85°. It will most likely be on the hotter side, but it will cool down as long as the room is between 75°-85°.
Secure the jar with a tea towel or coffee filter and a rubber band. Place the jar in a warm location - between 75°- 85°. Colder temperatures = mold, so make sure the room is between those temperatures!
Let it sit between 7- 21 days out of direct sunlight in a ventilated area. Begin tasting the kombucha on day 7. If it tastes too sweet, let it ferment longer. I like to brew mine for 14-21 days, depending on the season.
After it's done, store it in the fridge.
After the kombucha is done brewing, place it in bottles in the fridge, or you can start a second fermentation with flavors.
Below is a video for making homemade kombucha with black tea. Even though it's with a different tea, the process is the same.
To make this first batch of kombucha sweeter, you can add maple syrup, dates, agave syrup, brown sugar, or your favorite sweetener.
Pour maple syrup, then the finished homemade kombucha into each bottle, leaving 1-2" head space. Let sit 3-5 days, popping the bottles each day to let out carbon dioxide. Taste each day to test its flavor and fizziness.
- Avoid using cheesecloth to secure the lid. Small insects can get into the holes.
- Only use glass containers.
- The warmer the temperature, the faster the kombucha will need to brew. I brew mine 14 days in hotter months and 21 days in colder months. It all depends on the climate you live in.
- Make sure to thoroughly clean your tools and gallon jar.
- If you see any mold at all, throw out the kombucha. I have only had mold once in the many years I've been brewing. When done right, you will not have mold.
- Check photos online to see if it is mold. You want to make sure before throwing out something you took the time to make. It will most likely be white, green, or black. Mine was white and fuzzy.
- Since kombucha is usually made with black tea, you will want to have an extra scoby when trying recipes like this one. Once you have made a batch or two of homemade kombucha, your scoby will produce a baby scoby. That's a good time to experiment with other teas.
- Yerba mate tea may change the flavor of your scoby, which is a good reason to use an extra scoby.
- Note: I have not brewed with yerba mate over several batches, but I did some research and read that in order to maintain the kombucha strain you'll want to use 25-50% yerba mate to black tea.
- You could also make just one batch and then make scoby candy, vegan scoby ceviche, or scoby fruit leather.
5 Secrets To Making Kombucha
Kombucha just got easier!
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Yerba Mate Kombucha
- 1 Gallon sized jar
- 1 Tea towel or coffee filter
- 1 Thick rubber band
- Kitchen thermometer
- Bring 2 cups filtered water to a boil.
- Add tea bags and remove from heat. Allow to steep 5-10 minutes. Remove tea bags.
- Add sugar and stir to dissolve. If the sugar is taking too long to dissolve, turn on the heat again and heat 1-2 minutes to dissolve the sugar.
- Add sweetened tea to a clean gallon-sized jar. Fill with room-temperature filtered water. Using a kitchen thermometer, make sure the tea is 75°-85°. (By adding room temperature water to the hot tea mixture it will be around 85°-87°, but it will cool down to room temperature.)
- Add the kombucha culture and homemade kombucha (or starter tea culture and starter tea) to the sweetened tea. Secure a tea towel or coffee filter over the jar with a sturdy rubber band.
- Place the jar in a warm area that is between 75°-85°. Cold temperatures cause mold, so a warm area is necessary for the success of your kombucha!
- The kombucha will be ready between 7-21 days. Taste it at day 7. If it's too sweet, ferment it longer. I like to brew mine for 14-21 days depending on the season. Save 1-2 cups for the next batch and start another batch!
*Note: Nutrition information should be considered an estimate only. Different nutrition calculators give you different results.