So, we all want to know. What the heck is Kombucha? It seems as though this fizzy drink has taken over drink stands and developed a cult following in the process. Kombucha (kom-bu-cha), is a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY) brewed with tea and sugar, that in addition to it’s insane health benefits, creates a rather tasty beverage!
While it’s origins aren’t clear, some say its use could date back centuries. Many have claimed Kombcha’s magic has aided in rheumatism, cancer treatment/prevention, gout, diabetes, insomnia, and even wrinkles. Though nothing has been clinically proven, here are a few small things we can vouch for:
-Assits in Detoxing
-Great Alternative to Soda
How do we know? We’ve been brewing our own!
- A SCOBY mushroom– Can be any size! Ask a friend for a piece of theirs or buy one online (*be cautious of contamination and source)
- A Glass Jar– Large enough to hold your mother mushroom and let it ferminate
- Black Tea or Green Tea– Organic and additive free with no artificial flavoring
- Sugar– Only sugar will work, no substitute sweeteners (Raw sugar is great!)
- Glass Bottles- You can just use mason jars or any other recycled glass bottle
- Extras that we recommend: Cheese cloth, Towel, Fresh Fruit Juice
Boil your brewing water (purified is best!)
Once your hot water is ready, add your tea bags. We usually use about 8-10 regular sized tea bags for a 1 gallon pitcher
While your brewing water is still hot, stir in 1 cup of sugar until dissolved
Let the tea soak and cool to room temperature
Remove the tea bags and poor into the large glass jar with your SCOBY inside
Cover the top of the jar loosely with a towel or handkerchief (we tie a little ribbon around the top!) Just loose enough to let air in, but keep bugs out!
Now place in a cool, dark space such as a pantry, closet or under a kitchen cabinate
Leave for about a week or so- it can ferminate up to 3-4 weeks, however you risk the health of your mushroom and your tea might turn into vinegar (added bonus kitchen item if that happens, great for salad dressing!)
When your ready to harvest (a taste test can help you decide) Pull your jar out, as well as a cheese cloth, bottles, and fruit juices for the final steps
Poor your tea into a pitcher for distribution, or just directly into your clean glass bottles/mason jars- We use a cheese cloth over the opening to prevent stray pieces of SCOBY from getting into the bottles. If pieces make it through, not to worry! It is safe to consume.
Leave a little room if you are planning to add any extra flavor or just keep it natural and tightly screw the on the top and put them in the fridge!
If you are adding flavor, depending on how much you prefer, you can add natural, organic fruit/vegetable juice directly to your tea to flavor it. We often use Mango juice, pomegranate juice, or freshly cut fruit and herbs.
Drinks can last up to a month in your fridge, but we doubt you’ll be able to wait that long 🙂
PRO TIP– If you leave your harvested bottle on the counter for a day or two before refrigerating, your kombucha will have some extra fizz!
Then rinse out your SCOBY jar and start all over again!
Your kombucha will continue to grow as you continue to harvest more and more tea, giving you the ability to peal off layers for family and friends to create their own!
We know this seems like a lot of work, but you’ll save loads of money with your own home-brew and your body will thank you for it!
NOTE: Kombucha is consumed at your own risk. Not recommended for pregnant/nursing mothers or children. If not brewed correctly could have adverse effects.