The things I’ve heard about this creation!
From how to pronounce it, drink it and why?
First up – kombucha is a beverage with some serious history. Over 2000 years of it in fact.
Heralding from Chinese origins and known as a health tonic, said to provide energy, improve digestion, balance acidity in the body, improve the skin, and reduce high blood pressure.
HOW IS IT MADE?
By fermenting tea and sugar with a kombucha culture – commonly known as a Scoby.
Yep, that weird thing that people aren’t sure how to pronounce, and are equally concerned of consuming.
Scoby stands for – Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria and Yeast and is pronounced just as it looks – (sco-be).
It looks like a slimy pancake and smells vinegary.
Don’t freak out.
WHY DRINK IT?
Fermented foods are well established as providing incredible support to our guts with friendly bacteria, probiotics and enzymes. Gut health is intrinsic with overall wellbeing and a strong immune system so this is nothing to sniff at.
This stuff is gold.
Plus it’s simple and cheap to make at home – around $1/2 litres.
HOW TO BREW YOUR OWN KOMBUCHA
You need a scoby to start.
I bought mine here and would highly recommend this avenue – you receive a quality scoby in kombucha liquid (key for brewing), a cute cover for your brew and a how-to eBook.
Otherwise, ask around and see if someone you know has a scoby they can give you.
Once you start brewing your own kombucha, you’ll realise that when done right, scobies easily replicate and you’ll have more than you need so others may be keen to part with theirs.
Below I’ve provided you with the recipe that I follow.
The first step is a must-do and the second (optional) is where we add flavouring.
I only flavour 50% of the time as I love my original kombucha blend, however others will prefer it flavoured and that’s perfectly OK – I’ve provided some ideas for this too.
Either way, the final product is stored in the fridge and should be carbonated with a little fizz.
- 2 litre glass jar with a wide mouth
- 1.8 litres water
- 4 teaspoons black or green tea (I use
- ½ cup raw cane sugar (no substitutes)
- 1 Scoby (sitting in kombucha from previous batch)
- Pour boiling water into glass jar
- Add tea and allow to steep for 15 minutes
- Remove tea and add sugar, stirring until dissolved
- Allow tea mixture to cool to room temperature
- Once cooled, add your Scoby and kombucha tea it resides in from a previous batch
- Cover the jar with breathable fabric and hold in place with a rubber band
- Store your jar away from direct sunlight, somewhere warm is ideal and leave to ferment for a minimum of 5 days, sometimes up to 14 (longer if you live in a colder climate)
- After this point, test your kombucha to see how the fermentation is coming along - I use a clean paper straw going underneath the scoby to do so and use my finger over the external end to trap liquid inside
- You're looking for more of a vinegar taste as opposed to sweetness
- When this is achieved, carefully remove the scoby and place in a bowl with ½ cup of the kombucha liquid for your next batch
- Drink immediately and/or store in fridge-suitable bottles
- Add your chosen flavouring to the kombucha - fruit works a treat!
- Seal and store in the fridge for 1-2 days - checking daily
- When flavoured, strain flavouring and store in the fridge
- Enjoy a small glass on an empty stomach - I like mine first thing or mid-morning.
Once a reasonable thickness, peel away and either use yourself for another brew or give to a friend for their own brewing.
Scobies extracted from your brew can live for 1-2 weeks in ½ cup kombucha. Store in a glass jar and cover with breathable fabric + an elastic bad to secure it in place.
Always be sure to have clean hands and don't allow the scoby to come into contact with metal.
If your scoby becomes moudly, do not drink the tea and throw the scoby away.
The brown, stringy, floaty things in your kombucha are OK. They are simply smaller scoby particles and if they bother you, I'd recommend to strain your kombucha after brewing and before storing in the fridge so these are removed from your drink.
WHAT ABOUT ALL THE SUGAR?
When brewed properly, very little sugar remains within your kombucha – around 2 teaspoons per 2 litres.
It is the agent of fermentation and breaks down into all of the goodness we want – enzymes, bacteria etc.
By no means an exclusive list though some great options I’ve tried that you might like also.
- Blueberries and/or raspberries
- Strawberries and lime
- Fresh mango
- Fresh pineapple
- Fresh lemon or lime juice and/or fresh ginger
I urge you to read through my recipe notes above for those weird and wonderful things to know about brewing your own.
Like the majority of bought and processed products, pre-bottled kombucha is very often full of additional sugars and unhelpful ingredients. Plus it’s going to be 5-10 times the price.
Kombucha can become alcoholic with secondary fermentations (generally less than 0.5%) and careful consideration should always be exercised.
Lastly, as tasty as it is, think of kombucha as the tonic that it is. Small glass means small glass and that way you’ll reap the rewards without overdoing it.