What is Kombucha?
Kombucha is a slightly carbonated, subtly acidic, probiotic-rich tea beverage. It is made by fermenting sweetened tea with a starter culture commonly called a Scoby. SCOBY is actually an acronym for “Symbotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeasts”. The Kombucha Scoby resembles a gelatinous mass that floats above the sweet tea and ferments the liquid over 1-2 weeks, resulting in a product rich in healthy bacteria, organic acids, vitamins and minerals. The health benefits of black and green teas, including anti-oxidant power, weight and appetite control and increased metabolism, are also present in the final Kombucha product.
Health Benefits of Kombucha
- Source of “Good Guy” bacteria for a healthy gut
- Stimulates the immune system
- Supports a healthy digestive system
- Promotes healthy liver function, aiding in detoxification
- Great alternative to soda and alcoholic beverages
- Helps you look cool at parties where hipsters are present
Making Kombucha at Home
Recipe below makes 4 L
- Clean glass jar
- Clean cloth and elastic band
- Spoon for stirring
- 4 L water
- 7-8 tea* bags
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 Kombucha SCOBY
- Boil 1L of water and pour over tea bags in glass jar (make sure your jar is not cold when you do this!). Allow to steep for 7-10 minutes.
- Remove tea bags and stir in sugar until dissolved.
- Pour in 3L of cold water and allow to cool completely.
- With very clean hands, place SCOBY on top of cooled tea. If she sinks to the bottom, don’t worry! Do not reach into the jar. She will float as the fermentation begins.
- Cover jar with clean cloth and secure with elastic band.
- Place in dark, dry area away from sunlight, heat and critters for 7-14 days. Kombucha will be ready when the tea has become slightly acidic and carbonated.
- With clean hands, remove the SCOBY, place into a clean glass jar and cover with Kombucha. Fit with a loose fitting lid and refrigerate OR start another batch of Kombucha**
* The Kombucha culture thrives off black tea but also does well in green tea or a combination of the two. You can experiment with rooibos and other herbal teas but the product may take longer to ferment or may not ferment at all. Research online and try different combinations until you find what works for you (and your SCOBY!)
** To keep your SCOBY healthy, place her in fresh Kombucha every 14-28 days (if kept in refrigerator) or keep a batch of Kombucha brewing constantly.