illuviel: "The Undine" by Arthur Rackham (Default)
illuviel ([personal profile] illuviel) wrote in [community profile] fermentation2010-05-08 12:16 am

Kombucha and Water Kefir taste comparison: No comparison.

To borrow a simile from a recent post [in my personal space], drinking kombucha after becoming used to water kefir is like watching the movie after reading the book: disappointing.

Kombucha was the second fermented probiotic I ever attempted make (after yogurt): Sometime in the mid to late '90s, when it was trendy in New Age / health food circles, I received a kombucha SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) from a friend. My memory of the taste was something like (but not as pleasing as) the apple cider vinegar + honey + water electrolyte mixture I later discovered (and in whose favor I jettisoned the kombucha).


Since December of 2009, I've been culturing water kefir. Not continuously, as attempting to travel with live grains in March failed: they became contaminated with cologne from an apparently not-washed-well-enough bottle -- "why do these taste of violets? :P" Luckily, I had dehydrated backup grains at home, and on May 5th (astronomical Beltane, no less) reconstituted the best-looking sample of the bunch which are currently fizzing away in their jar and have already begun to reproduce.

Tonight, I had the opportunity to sample both kombucha and water kefir. Even the plain sugar-water brew meant to wake up the kefir grains, not taste good, is worlds better-tasting than the bottled, raw, organic kombucha I purchased to remind me of the taste and from which I am attempting to grow a new SCOBY. I think this latter effort is more for proof of concept than anything else, for I don't think anyone here will really want to drink tea vinegar :P Much better instead to brew tea / water kefir infusions, which *are* tasty.

Though it may be interesting to incorporate it in recipes where having tea in would give it an extra level of heh. Tea vinaigrette, anyone?
doodlemaier: (Default)

[personal profile] doodlemaier 2011-01-28 04:37 pm (UTC)(link)
I've been bottling my kombucha in big batches, much like I do beer, and storing it away for the winter months when the scoby doesn't produce as quickly. Some of these bottles have been around now for as long as 5 months. When I crack now the brew is something akin to beer or champagne. Bubbly, not the least bit sweet, but not vinegary, either.

I've never tried water kefir. I made a couple batches of milk kefir and found that the result wasn't worth the time and effort I was putting into it.