Although we specialize in a tea-based Kombucha, we do make some brews in which some extraordinary botanicals play the main role.
As a matter of fact, our entire Special Line features botanicals only. Five to be exact, and we do not use any tea alongside. Only those botanicals.
When April comes, we make room for one more extraordinary botanical. An herb called the Stinging Nettle (Brennessel in German), or Urtica dioica in Latin.
It became actually our yearly tradition, after we have made it once, and after we were blown away by the final results.
This Kombucha, made with young and fresh Nettles, is simply magical.
But this magic lasts only about two weeks. After that, as the Nettles mature, their flavor and potency also changes. As a result, Kombucha made with older Nettles, tastes entirely different.
And it's not that it tastes bad. Not at all. It still tastes good, but not as good as the one made with first Nettles.
If you can, you should still make Nettle Kombucha throughout the year, as you can find Nettles up till first serious frosts, so almost till Winter time.
There's certain magic to very young Nettles. And it is well known to herbalists, who have known for millennia that although Stinging Nettles are available through 3 seasons, they have the most beneficial properties, when they are quite young.
So that limits the time span from around mid April till the beginning of May.
We have learnt about it when we have made four separate batches of Kombucha. One batch per week, for the whole month.
We started around middle of April and we continued picking Nettles from the same spot, week after week.
Each time when we made it, Kombucha tasted different. First batch was magical, the one a week later was really good, and the next two batches were still good, but not as good as the first ones.
It is hard to describe the flavor of young Nettles, when they are used as a tea.
Obviously they are quite different than dried Nettles. Some people describe the flavor as wholesome, earthy flavor that has spring wild edible notes. Something that "lies between spinach, cabbage and broccoli, with a unique hint of nettliness".
With Kombucha, it is quite different. The fermentation brings out a lot of fruitiness out of Nettles. So, it's like a mix of currents and gooseberries. And it's absolutely delicious.
But flavor alone is not the only reason why we make Nettle Kombucha.
The other crucial factor is medicinal value of this herb, and also the fact that it is traditionally consumed as a "tea".
So let's look at the plant's medicinal properties. Top10HomeRemedies.com put them into a nice package like this:
DoctorsHealthPress lists these benefits for the Nettle tea:
That should be enough of information to pique your interest for now. But since Stinging Nettles have been used for hundreds and hundreds of years, there is a lot more information that is available out there.
Now, let's go to the part of how we make our Kombucha with them.
So, when the time is right, we make a trip to our Nettle spots. They are on the edges of woods, far away from city pollution, and from people in general.
There, we look for these:
These are nice and young, and the perfect size for our harvest. We pick them in the morning.
Very young Nettles have pinkish tones on the undersides of the leaves.
Those young leaves give our Nettle Kombucha pinkish tinge.
So, after we pick the Nettles, we make Kombucha later the same day.
So, after we bring our filtered and revitalized water to a boil, we add the Nettles.
Those we steep them for about an hour:
After steeping, we strain the Nettles, and squeeze them dry, in order the get all the beneficial liquid out of them. Up to the last drop:
Next, we add the unrefined brown sugar and we stir it till it's dissolved.
After that, we add more water, and when this mixture is at room temperature, we add one of our Scobies and some starter liquid.
Now all the fun begins.
When it's all done, this precious and delicious liquid is ready for bottling.
Here, our Nettle Kombucha goes from glass jars into glass bottles.
Inside those bottles, Nettle Kombucha goes through the second fermentation process, for the natural bubbles to build up (we do not force carbonate our Kombucha).
Then, a few more days of "ageing", and finally, our delicious Kombucha is ready for retail.
If you want to find out how it tastes, don't wait too long, as this one we will only have for a limited time only!
Filtered and Revitalized Water, Fresh Nettles, Live Kombucha Cultures, and Unrefined Brown Sugar
Disclaimer: All medical information in this post is merely information & not advise. If you need medical advice, please consult your doctor or other appropriate medical professional.