I often make Kombucha to help heal my gut. I usually use loose black or green tea. I was wondering, when you're done with the fermentation, is there still some caffeine remaining? I realize that there is very little actual sugar left, as the scobie will consume the sugar.
What about caffeine? I'm trying to avoid caffeine, if I can. No, there isn't as much caffeine as there is in coffee. But I would be curious to know whether caffeine is left intact by the fermentation process.
asked byIpso_Facto (47)
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on October 19, 2011
at 06:56 AM
GTs Synergy Kombucha sayeth:
Our Kombucha does have a tiny bit of caffeine that is left over after the culturing. Since our products are raw, there will be slight variations from bottle to bottle. From 8mg ranging to 14 mg(at the absolute most) per 8 ounces.
on October 19, 2011
at 07:03 AM
There is a case made for both sides of the "does kombucha fermentation eat caffeine" argument, if you look around the Web, but two things are very clear:
there is caffeine in kombucha
there is less caffeine per serving, since about half as much tea is used as what you would use making a cup of regular tea.
If you make your own kombucha, you can decaffeinate your tea before making kombucha out of it. Steep your tea for 30-60 seconds in water, throw out that water, then steep in fresh water for the kombucha.
on March 12, 2013
at 09:46 PM
There have been some empirical attempts to chemically assay kombucha for caffeine. Jayabalan et al. (2008) found that caffeine concentration dropped during the first 30 days of aging, and then stabilized at ~200mg / liter. That's about 50mg in an 8oz cup, which is on the high side for normal tea. These results very roughly agree with those given by this article at happyherbalist.com based on assays from a number of different sources and brands.
Some kombuchas may be much lower in caffeine due to storage or processing methods that degrade caffeine. There's also some belief that kombucha cultures can actually metabolize caffeine, and this effect probably varies between cultures. So there may be kombuchas with little or no caffeine, but I believe the results above demonstrate that you can't count on this unless you know that the tea was caffeine-free to start with.
on October 20, 2011
at 02:34 AM
The s.c.o.b.y. feeds off of the caffeine from the tea, and the sugar, literally digesting them. If the kombucha has fermented long enough(i.e. it doesn't taste like sweet tea at all), there is only a very negligible amount left of either caffeine or sugar. Kombucha will ferment when fed other sources of caffeine or sugar, but in my experience, black tea and plain unbleached sugar produce the best(and most fermented) kombucha.
on August 15, 2014
at 10:09 PM
The 60 sec steep is a myth.
Here is the link:
"In 1996, Monique Hicks, Peggy Hsieh and Leonard Bell published a peer-reviewed scientific paper recording precise time related extraction of caffeine from tea using a modern detection technique (HPLC)....
30 seconds: 9% caffeine removal 1 minute: 18% caffeine removal 2 minutes: 34% caffeine removal 3 minutes: 48% caffeine removal 4 minutes: 60% caffeine removal 5 minutes: 69% caffeine removal
Clearly to achieve the 80% target we must wash our tea for more than five minutes!
on March 13, 2014
at 08:04 AM
I am writing this at 3am local time. Just finished brewing a second batch of Kombucha. The first one turned out way too vinegary and I only drunk a sip at the time, diluting it with juice and water. I drunk a full cup of the second batch at 8pm and was bouncing off the walls until midnight and now up at 3 in the morning. Basically, I just drunk a cup of strong black tea at 8pm. I can't believe I did not see the warning anywhere during my weeks-long research. See more at: http://www.phoenixhelix.com/2013/03/25/kombucha-myths-vs-truths/
on March 13, 2014
at 08:03 AM
I am writing this reply at 3am local time. Just finished my second batch of homemade kombucha, the first batch was way too vinegary and I diluted it with juice and water, only drinking a sip at the time. Last night I drunk about a glass of the second brew around 8pm. Was bouncing off the walls until midnight, and now up at 3am. I can't believe "kombucha eats caffeine" myth - apparently "the caffeine content doesn’t reduce at all" - http://www.phoenixhelix.com/2013/03/25/kombucha-myths-vs-truths/. So I basically drunk a cup of super strong black tea at 8pm. Maybe it's time to order that kefir starter.
on May 16, 2013
at 01:32 AM
I have been trying to detox from caffeine - day 3, with day 2 being pure torture. After reading about diminished caffeine levels in kombucha, I decided to try a 16-oz bottle of my homebrew, as this batch turned out a lot and I'm used to a daily dose of kombucha. It was brewed from organic black tea and brewed so long that it would be undrinkable even to my sour-loving tastebuds without a few drops of stevia added. Reading that brewing longer diminishes the caffeine content inspired me to drink it.
After drinking this bottle, I can definitely feel the caffeine and feel I've set myself back on the withdrawal process. How many mg I don't have a clue, but it's in there. In the future I don't think I'll have a problem with a daily dose of kombucha if that's all the caffeine I consume, but it was definitely not the right choice for a regimen of getting off of the massive quantities I've been ingesting.