I was drinking some caramelized cranberry tea today (that is, cranberry-flavored tea sweetened with caramelized sugar, or maltose, or malt sugar, whatever you wanna call it). It tasted very sweet, and something came to my mind...

... why not add some yeast to turn it into an alcoholic beverage? Is that even possible? And how would the result taste? Is this a good idea to begin with?

Would the tea - whether it's from authentic stuff, or a cheap teabag - provide a good environment for the yeast to turn the sugar into alcohol?

Just for the record, disregard the first paragraph of my question when answering my question, I just wanted to tell about what was I doing when the idea just flew into my head.

I am not talking about kombucha. I am talking about fermenting sugar-sweetened tea into an alcoholic beverage, if that is even possible, or viable to begin with.

3 Answers 3


Yes, as long as there are no antifungals or similar metabolic inhibitors then anything with simple sugars at a suitable dilution, temperature and pH can be fermented with yeast. That includes sweet tea. Tea per se brings very little to the fermentation, maybe some minor nutrients. At best it is a flavouring agent. Maybe if one got the mix just right one could make naturally fermented "Manhattan tea".

How the result would taste depends on the taster and the type of tea being used. Is it a good idea? That would depend on the definition of "good" and the purpose of brewing it. In principle it would probably taste better than just fermented sugar water.

There are some answers to a similar question on stackexchange here.


I don't see why you couldn't do this. Although, I think you'd want to make a beer or mead as a base since just sugar won't give you much flavor. How to make tea wine


Yea, I've made it and it tastes kinda bitter, but you can still taste the tea.

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