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Make Kombucha without Caffeine with our Basic Kefir Water Recipe

#CaffeineFreeKefir #CaffeineFreeKombucha

© Stephie McCarthy

Faster than brewing kombucha but with similar taste and no caffeine …

BKefir water is made from special water grains, cane sugar, and, in my version, a drop of apple cider vinegar. See my recipe here Basic water kefir. It's something like alcohol-free champagne. Add tea flavoring, and it is similar to kombucha. Plus, not to mention, many addicting variations:

• Classic kefir tea
• Chai kefir tea
• Strawberry kefir spritzer
• Raspberry-mint framboise kefir

Raspberry mint kefir

Fresh mint steeping in raspberry-crush kefir


Refrigeration is key to brewing clear, smooth kefir tea.
Kefir tea brewing

Classic Kefir tea
1.5 pints of kefir water, grains removed
1-2 Tbs. of tea leaves

I use a stainless steel tea ball because I love tea-accessories. I know some recommend no metal in contact with kefir, but I haven't noticed any problem using tea balls on finished kefir water (that's after grains have been removed). BUT, of course, you can also use tea bags. The key is to brew under refrigeration overnight for mellow, clear tea.

I use 2 tablespoons per 1.5 pints kefir water of my favorite Honeybush Tea from Davidsons Tea of Reno, NV, which is caffeine free. I find honeybush requires more tea leaves compared to other leaf brewing.

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Chai Kefir Tea

Chai Kefir tea

1.5 pints of kefir water, grains removed
1-2 Tbs. of chai tea mix

Directions are same as for Classic kefir tea, but of course with chai-spice mixture for the brewing.


Strawberry kefir water spritzer

Strawberry kefir spritzer

BBlend 3 tablespoons vegan strawberry butter, 20 oz. water kefir, and 6 ice cubes, serve in frosted glasses with berries and basil or mint herb garnishes.

Raspberry mint framboise kefir


Raspberry-mint Framboise kefir

1/2 cup fresh raspberries
1-1/2 pints kefir water
Whole berries for garnish, about seven per glass

PPlace a mesh strainer or chinois over a 2 quart bowl. Mash berries into bottom of strainer with fork or spoon. Pour kefir water over pressed berries and collect liquid in bowl below. Discard berry seeds. Refrigerate berry kefir and steep with fresh mint leaves. Serve with whole berries.

Raspberry kefir is tart with just a hint of sweet, but wonderfully addicting on a summer weekend. I love getting to the whole berries in the bottom of the glass.

raspberry mint kefir

Raspberry kefir with fresh mint brews for a summer day.


Basic Kefir Water

1.5 pints of water, or about a quart
1/2 cup water kefir grains, approximately
1/3 cup raw cane sugar (adding a spoonful of Turbinado sugar works for me as well, but about half the time, I use plain cane sugar)
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (I think this helps a lot)

MMix the above ingredients, cover with a light-weight towel held with a rubberband (to prevent ants or fruit flies). Ferment for 2-3 days at room temperature. Taste periodically (I usually check once a day) to see if the sugar is absorbed by the grains, and make sure brew is not too tart. If it is too tart, rinse the grains and start over. The next batch will be better!

When the taste is sweet-tart with a hint of fizz, close the jar tightly so air can not escape. Allow carbonation to accumulate 1-2 more days at room temperature.

Strain out the grains. Give the grains fresh sugar water. Use the strained water to refrigerate and flavor as:

Classic kefir tea,

• Strawberry kefir spritzer,

Raspberry-mint Framboise kefir,

• Chai kefir tea.


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