Kombucha is an effervescent drink of fermented tea that tastes mildly sweet and tart. It’s exact origins are unknown, but records show it has been consumed around the world for thousands of years. The probiotics and antioxidants present in kombucha support good health, especially gut and immune system health. I’ve written a more extensive post What Exactly Is Kombucha? which you can read for more information as well as an explanation of scobys. If you’re already familiar with kombucha and wanting to brew your own, here is a guide to homemade kombucha.
-large glass jar
-plastic ladle (exposure to metal can hurt the scoby)
-plastic funnel (as above)
-5 glass bottles
Similarly to canning, you need to thoroughly sterilize all your supplies prior to beginning. The kombucha will be sitting at room temperature while it ferments, and you want to ensure there is no chance of bad bacteria spoiling the drink.
3 quarts (12 cups) water
1 cup sugar
4 tea bags (black tea is most common, but others work as well)
1 cup of a prior batch of tea*
*I was lucky to have a friend start making kombucha before me, so I was able to use one of her baby scobys and a cup of her kombucha for starter and she taught me how to do this. While I haven’t tried it personally, you can grow your own scoby from nothing.
In a large pot bring water to a boil.
Once boiling, remove from heat.
Pour in sugar and stir to dissolve.
Add tea bags and steep until the water has cooled to room temperature.
Pour into a large glass jar.
Ensure that the starter tea from a previous batch and the fresh tea are close to the same temperature.
Add starter tea and scoby.
Cover the opening with a cloth and secure with an elastic band.
Place jar in a dark cupboard/pantry or wrap with a hand towel if it’s on the counter.
Allow to sit and ferment for 5-10 days.
Use plastic ladle to taste tea each day after 5 days until it is a balance of a sweet and tart.
Remove 1 cup of the tea along with the scobys (there should be 2 stuck together now) and place into a glass container to save for future use.
Pour remaining tea into glass bottles using the plastic ladle and plastic funnel.
If desired, now is the time to add fruit, fruit juice, herbs, flowers, etc to flavour.
Allow to ferment for 3 more days at room temperature somewhere dark.
Place bottles into the refrigerator and enjoy as soon as the follow day.
Teas I’ve used:
Add-ins I’ve tried:
-ginger (I read that ginger makes it more fizzy, so I almost always add ginger in addition to the fruit)
Have you had kombucha? Do you make your own?