Koffucha

Koffucha... what a funny word!

Chances are that if you found this post- you are already getting into the world of fermenting. After all, I didn't even know about Koffucha until I went looking for Facebook groups on Kombucha and found a file about this fermented coffee drink. I made it once and now I am hooked!

At first, I thought this seemed a bit weird. After all, fermented coffee? How could that be any good? But now that I've had some- I will never drink normal coffee again! Koffucha allows me to get my daily coffee in without having to use commercial creamers full of stuff that isn't that great for my body. I have tried numerous "natural" creamers and they just don't seem as yummy as Almond Joy Creamer.

You may wonder what kind of coffee you should use for this. I'm sure that any kind would do- but I use Teecino. They have numerous flavors of it on Amazon- some of it is completely organic while some of it is just 75% organic. It gives natural energy without the caffeine.

You do not need a "special" Scoby for this. Just grab a kombucha scoby and dedicate it soley to your Koffucha making- and any babies it makes use for koffucha as well. In fact, I make my own Koffucha hotel so that I have extra koffucha scobies at all times!

So- now to the "how-to" part of this post. There are specific measurements you can use but I kind of cheat.

I first boil a pot of water without a lid on- this gets the chlorine and anything ucky out of the water.

When its done boiling, I pour in the ground coffee, stir (with a wooden spoon), and put a lid on. I let it hang out until it has gotten pretty close to room temp (hot liquid will kill the scoby). This is what it looks like at that point.
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(Please excuse my messy stove- I was waiting until finished to wipe down everything- because I always end up making more of a mess.)

Of course I forgot to photograph the next part but its pretty easy. I use a french press to make sure I get all the grounds out. I'm sure there are other ways that are also easy- but this is what works for me. The first few times I made this I made several batches in the french press rather than making a big batch on the stove but since I make 1 1/2 gallons of this stuff at a time... that was taking too long.

Next, once this cools, I measure it out. For a stronger batch you do a ration of 2 cups of coffee to 1 cup water. I've heard of other people doing 1 cup of coffee/1 cup water. I like mine a bit stronger though. Then you add about 1/3 Cup of Organic sugar to every pint of Koffucha. So I end up doing a heaping 1/3 cup of sugar because I don't want this to be super sweet.

I then add a cup of starter from previous batches and one of my scobys. Now, if you have NOT made koffucha before- you can use a kombucha scoby with some kombucha starter on your first batch. After that you want to use the scoby's made from your koffucha so that you retain flavor. You also do NOT want to use a koffucha scoby for kombucha because then... well I don't think that coffee flavored tea would be very yummy.

My first batch I did, I dedicated a half gallon to a koffucha hotel. That way I always have starter and scoby's ready to go. Here is my koffucha and koffucha hotel hanging out in their cupboard
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Now- brewing time is going to depend on multiple factors. Temperature plays a big part in how long it takes for it to become fermented. If its super hot, it will ferment quickly but you won't get big scoby's from it (more on that in a moment). If its cooler- it takes longer to brew. Since we now live in Florida, my brew time is about 5 days or so. Another factor in brew time is your personal taste preference. If you want it sweeter, you brew it less time. You want more tartness? Leave it a bit longer. Some people brew as short as 4 days or as long as 2 weeks or more. There are even others who do a continuous brew (which I may venture into one day soon).

Basically, you get to play scientest and try different brew times and such. My Koffucha (and Kombucha) live in the cupboards above my washer and dryer in the laundry room. It keeps them from being messed with and its easy to forget about them in between batches.

This is what my jars and hotel typically look like before bottling:
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So- the next question most people have is- what do I do with this after its brewed? Well- you have two options. You can drink it as is (after straining it and moving your scoby and starter back into another container) or you can bottle for a second ferment. This is frequently referred to as the 2f.

I always bottle for a 2f. I typically flavor with strawberries or leave it plain to carbonate. In my climate and with the bottles I use, it typically takes 24-36 hours for my 2f to be complete. Mine carbonates rather quickly. Now- if I used less sugary fruit or let it ferment longer the first time- it would probably take longer to carbonate but I love strawberries in my koffucha!

I use swing top bottles for my 2f and when I have them- I use some bigger jugs as well (I'm slowly building a collection of different jars). With the batch that I photographed here I did blueberries in some and some cacao in others. Hence the coffe cup with chocolatey stuff in it.
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I fill up until where the bottle neck starts to narrow for best carbonation. If you fill it too full you don't get as good carbonation. Word of caution- you are going to want to "burp" your bottles once or twice a day. Depending on how fizzy you are wanting to get things- you may want to stick your bottles into a cooler or box so that if for some reason the bottle exploded from the pressure- you don't have a big mess to deal with.

Once I put the liquid in the bottles I toss in whatever flavoring I want to use: strawberries, blueberries, cacao, etc. I then close up the bottles and line them up.
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With this last batch I didn't have enough of the swing top bottles yet so I had to put some in my big glass drinking bottle to drink without fizz. I also put some in a canning jar- but it didn't get fizzy.

One word of caution- if you are using something with a high amount of sugar to it for your 2f- you may want to "burp" it outside. I learned my lesson with the cacao when it sprayed foam EVERYWHERE in my kitchen when I burped it inside.