Fresh fruit is an easily available and delicious ingredient for kombucha during summer months. The aronia berries are at peak ripeness right now, and tonight I made 2 gallons of kombucha and added 1 gallon of fresh berries.
Aronia berries are uncommon in the PNW. The berries are not too sweet when ripe, are astringent, and are reported to be one of the most powerful antioxidant berries in the world. (They are rather similar to salal berries.)
My usual recipe for kombucha is 4 bags of green or white tea, and 1 cup of sugar for a gallon size vessel.
Here is the batch ready to start fermenting. I put the berries in first, and sweet tea and place the mother over top, but these berries are floaters. After a few days they’ll begin to sink, and I’ll scoot them under the mother.
Using fresh fruit in kombucha speeds up the ferment, reducing the time by as much as one-third. (And it colors the mother depending on which fruit you use.)
Other fresh fruits that make tasty kombucha include raspberries, tamarind, blueberries, blackberries, rhubarb.