How to Make Kombucha
Kombucha tea is a fermented beverage that is produced by combining sweet tea with a culture of yeast and bacteria. Kombucha has been a hot trend in health beverages for many years, with more mainstream brewers appearing on the shelves of health foods stores in the last couple of years alone. I have been consistently obsessed with kombucha for about 10 years, and have been brewing my own for about 5. I am so passionate about kombucha, in fact, that I have refrained from blogging about it with the fear of not doing any service to the topic and be far from capturing the magic of what I believe this drink to be. So to relieve some of the pressure, I will present the following information as a way to provide guidance to those who are looking to inform themselves on the topic.
History and Benefits
The first recorded uses of kombucha are in 221 BC in China where it was known as “The Tea of Immortality.” There are many claims for the benefits of kombucha which range from the following:
- Improved digestion
- Boosts the immune system
- Improve the skin
- Detoxifies the body
- Aids in cellular repair
- Increases metabolism
- Rich in enzymes
- Improves colon health
Kombucha is said to help the body heal from many health conditions such as arthritis, PMS, candida, acne, insomnia, cancer, AIDS, chronic fatigue, and depression.
From my own experience, I have noticed that Kombucha has helped improve my acne and overall skin appearance, it has improved my digestion immensely, and it makes me feel AMAZING. Shortly after drinking my kombucha, I feel a burst of energy and happiness. I can feel the way it detoxifies my body and I highly value the probiotic content (which is our gastrointestinal tract’s best friend)!
So, where do I find this wonder drink?
Kombucha can be found bottled at most health food stores. It can get expensive if you are looking to consume it regularly. The good news is that you can make your own kombucha right at home for a significant fraction of the price!
What you need:
- Black tea (You can also try green tea and Oolong tea)
- White Sugar (White sugar works best because it ferments almost completely)
- SCOBY (A Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast- You can obtain one from anyone who brews at home, or you can find starter kits online and at health foods stores).
The directions are VERY simple! Brew six bags of tea with one of gallon water. Remove the tea bags and stir in 1 ½ cups of sugar. The most important thing you need to know about the SCOBY is that it is very temperature sensitive. The SCOBY cannot get hot or cold. Therefore, you can pour your tea into a glass container and let it sit overnight or until it reaches room temperature. Only at that point will you place your SCOBY up at the top of the tea, cover it with a cloth, and let it sit for 7 days.
At the end of the 7 days, your kombucha tea is ready! Your mother SCOBY will have produced a baby SCOBY. Take these two SCOBYs apart, and you can start over by brewing two batches, or give away one of the SCOBYs to a friend. *Note: Always keep some kombucha tea with your SCOBY when you start fermenting your next batch, and only use glass containers to store any of these items.