Why drink kombucha?
Kombucha originated in china over 2000 years ago, where is was known as “the tea of immortality”. People have claimed many health benefits of kombucha including: improved digestion, weight loss, increased energy, detoxification, immune support, and even cancer prevention. I will say that the scientific research is just not there to know if any of these are true. However, properly brewed kombucha will certainly provide you with the probiotics you need for healthy digestion. This tea is especially great for vegans, who do not eat yogurt (the number one source of probiotics for most people).
Another reason to drink kombucha is the amazing taste. If you don’t like plain kombucha you can flavor it with a variety of fruits and juices. The best thing about kombucha is the CARBONATION! It’s love at first sip, with tons of fizzy, tingly bubbles.
Although kombucha is made with sugar the finished batch has very little sugar left (only about a quarter of what is found in natural carrot juice!). The bacteria eat the sugar during the fermentation process. Even when you add fruit and fruit juices when bottling, the bacteria will continue to feast on the sugars and that will give you carbonation.
Ready to get started?
How to brew kombucha
- kombucha SCOBY culture (purchase online, grow your own, or make friends with someone who is already brewing)
- 2 cups starter liquid (this will usually come with your SCOBY you can also use a bottle of store bought plain kombucha)
- large glass container (no plastic or metal anywhere, at least 3 liters in capacity)
- tightly woven cloth
- 12-15 cups purified water
- 4 tea bags or 3 tbsp loose leaf black tea
- 1 cup organic cane sugar
- glass bottles with tight fitting lids (no metal lids)
- Bring 4 cups water to a boil. Let cool 2 mins, then add tea. Steep 20 minutes, remove tea bags.
- Add sugar and stir until it is fully dissolved. Transfer liquid into glass fermentation container. Add lukewarm water until container is nearly full (leave enough room for your SCOBY and starter liquid). Add SCOBY and starter liquid.
- Cover with a tightly woven cloth, secure with a rubber band. Place out of direct sunlight, and where it won’t get bumped.
- Ferment for 7-10 days. Taste your kombucha with a spoon. When the taste is to your liking (a little sweet still but definitely tastes vinegary like kombucha) it is time to bottle.
- Remove SCOBY and 2 cups of liquid from your fermentation container. Repeat directions 1-4 above.
- Line up clean bottles (I like to do this in the sink). Place the funnel in each bottle and ladle in kombucha. If you plan on flavoring with fruit or juice, only fill 3/4 full.
- Add fruit juice, or chunks of fruit to flavor kombucha. If you are not flavoring kombucha be sure to bottle it when it is still sweet. The carbonation is created when the bacteria eats sugar in a sealed bottle.
- Leave bottles at room temperature for 3-5 days. Once the tea is carbonated they can be refrigerated and enjoyed cold.
You will now be brewing kombucha on a continuous basis. If you go on vacation or can’t tend to your brew for some reason you can leave your kombucha brewing. When you get back your brew will be far to vinegary to bottle. Reserve only 2 cups of liquid and your SCOBY. Start a new brew as usual.