Kombucha is a sweet fermented tea that is very rich in probiotics and beneficial bacteria, antioxidants, digestive enzymes and vitamin B12. It has been fermented and brewed for over two millennia and has been said to have qualities that detoxify the body and energise the mind.
It’s a living beverage that is fermented using a blend of organic white, green or black tea (or blends), organic raw sugar (which is converted to healthy digestive enzymes during fermentation), and a Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast (commonly called the SCOBY or Mother). The SCOBY is a thick pancake of gelatinous bacteria and yeast that feasts on the tea and sugar converting it into health giving organic acids and creating an effervescent fermented beverage with a slight tang.
It’s a perfect replacement for soft drinks, and even helps with curbing those sweet cravings! Check out this article outlining some of the benefits of kombucha.
Ready to add some amazing probiotics into your life? Let’s go!
- 1 ½ cups of raw sugar
- 10 bags of organic Green tea
- 5 bags of organic Black tea
- SCOBY (Kombucha starter culture) and ½ litre of Kombucha starter liquid
- Clean filtered water (no chlorine or fluoride)
- Glass brewing vessel
- Cloth cover (must allow SCOBY to breathe) and band/tie. E.g. muslin/linen, hemp twine
- Optional ingredients to flavour Kombucha during 2nd ferment:
- Ginger, turmeric and lemon
- Apple and kiwi
- Orange and/or grapefruit
- Any fruit/spice combination you desire! (including food safe essential oils – I recommend Young Living Essential Oils such as Lime, Orange, Tangerine, Grapefruit, Citrus Fresh and Ginger.)
Gently bring 1 litre of water to the boil adding sugar and stirring as you go. Once all the sugar is dissolved add tea bags and let them steep for about 20 minutes and then remove tea bags.
Let the tea cool or add water so that the tea is at room temperature before adding it to the brew vessel which has the SCOBY in it. Top the vessel up with water until about is 3-5cm from the top to allow for breathing. Cover the vessel with cloth and secure with a band/tie – and send it good vibes and thanks for a healthy brew ahead!
Place vessel out of direct sunlight in a warm location, and do not disturb it for 10-14 days. After this time use a straw to gently draw liquid from beneath the SCOBY (place your finger on top to trap liquid) and taste. It should be semi-sweet. If it’s too tart then reduce your brewing time next time, or if it’s too sweet then allow it to brew for a few more days. The amount of time will depend on the weather and where you place your brewing vessel – the warmer the quicker the brewing time will be.
Once satisfied with the taste, bottle the liquid into glass bottles. Ensure you leave about 10% of the liquid in the vessel with the SCOBY, as this will be the starter for your next brew. If you’re not starting another brew immediately, just close the lid on the brewing vessel and keep it at room temperate in a dark room.
Now you can add any flavouring to your bottled Kombucha, and if you want your Kombucha to have some fizz then use bottles that have a tight cap and allow them to remain at room temperature for another 24-72 hours. If you’re using essential oils for extra POP then I add 1 drop per 500ml bottle.
Placing it in the fridge will slow down the fermentation a little, but watch the lid when you open each bottle.
Note: the SCOBY will grow and get thicker during each fermentation (and sometimes in uneven ways), and there will be ‘floaty’ bits which are just the healthy SCOBY cultures. Once the SCOBY is really thick you may want to trim it down (either cut horizontally or vertically) and then gift it to someone else in some starter liquid so they can begin brewing their own Kombucha.
You can also use rosehip or hibiscus teas in combination with black and/or green tea for different flavours. Just ensure that a tea with caffeine is used during each batch.