Kombucha Tea

Kombucha tea is an ancient fermented drink, long used in Asia and Europe for its detoxification and healing properties, due to the fact that fermented drinks are probiotic. Made from beneficial live cultures and yeast, it is fermented with tea and sugar for around ten days. As the drink ferments, it becomes slightly sour or tangy, a colony of healthy bacteria and yeast forms. Vitamins and other antioxidants are also produced.

This colony is called a SCOBY,  (pronounced scōbee) which stands for Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast. SCOBYs are funny-looking and resemble a flat mushroom, and this is why they are often called “kombucha mushrooms” or “kombucha fungi”.

The best way to get a “baby mushroom,” or starter is to ask a friend who has recently made kombucha. Each batch usually yields a baby mushroom that can be used to make your own brew.   If you can’t find a baby mushroom, see below for instructions on making your own SCOBY.

How to Make Kombucha using a Starter Mushroom:

Kombucha Fermentation in Process

Kombucha Fermentation in Process

Ingredients:

1 Kombucha starter culture (obtained from a friend)

1 cup fungi liquid (obtained from a friend)

4 teaspoons loose or 8 bags of black or green tea (camellia sinensis)

1⅔ cups sugar (raw, brown, turbinado, jaggery or cane)

Instructions:

Cool the tea to about 73 – 110° Fahrenheit. Pour into a one-gallon glass container and add pure filtered water, leaving enough room for the SCOBY and its liquid.

Add one cup fungi liquid and gently place the mushroom on the surface.

Cover with container with cheesecloth, which allows it to breathe but keeps insects and other contaminants out and secure with a rubber band or twine.

Store at about 73° on a flat surface and in indirect light, for example a shady corner in your kitchen.

Ferment for around ten days.

After then days, gently lift SCOBY and place on saucer.

Strain in a non-metal, tightly-meshed container lined with cheesecloth. Save one cup of the liquid to make more Kombucha along with you SCOBY.

Refrigerate end product.

Enjoy with friends and family!

How to Make Kombucha without a Starter Mushroom:

If you can’t find a Kombucha mushroom (SCOBY), you can easily make your own by mixing a bottle of store-bought Kombucha (any brand) with sweetened tea. Be sure to use either black or green tea (camellia sinensis), and use about one tablespoon sugar – raw, brown, turbinado, jaggery or cane – for each cup of tea. Pour the mixture into a jar and cover with a cheesecloth. Do not refrigerate. A film will start to appear on top of the liquid; when it’s about ¼ inch thick (full growth usually takes around 10 days), it’s ready to use!

Once the mushroom has formed, carefully remove it and place it in a saucer. Strain the liquid through a tightly meshed, non-metal strainer, such as plastic, preferably lined with cheesecloth. Fill a glass bottle with the liquid and refrigerate.

Always save 1 cup of the fungi liquid Kombucha Elixir to use as a starter for your next batch. The saved kombucha culture can be used four to five times. The new culture is removed by separating the top layer from the bottom layer. The uppermost layer is always the newest growth, and the bottom portion should be discarded periodically, after thoroughly drying.

Alternate Recipe:

Adding juice!

Juice recipe ingredients:

Freshly juiced via juicer

1 bunch of kale

5 apples

2 pears

1 bag of carrots

1 pomegranate – seeds only

Wash all fruit and vegetables thoroughly. Then chop into smaller pieces. Then juice all together.

Once you have your kombucha tea made, you can make a 50/50 mixture of the above juice and kombucha (for example 4 ounces of your Kombucha, plus four ounces of your juiced items). Pour into a dark glass container to preserve the nutrients. Seal bottle and refrigerate until serving.  Shake prior to serving to ensure proper mixing of the liquids.

Tips:

To create the best Ph balance in your body, drink only 4 ounces of kombucha per day.

Avoid excessive fementation (fermenting longer 14 days), which could lead to adverse health affects.

When brewing kombucha, keep a clean environment to reduce the occurrence of an identifiable common blue-green mold, which will ruin your brew.

Some reports suggest that care be taken when using certain medical drugs and hormone replacement therapy. This care could include drinking kombucha four hours before taking medication; keeping dose to no more than four ounces a day.

Once you’ve got a strong culture and are making thick babies, you can start passing them on to friends!

 

 

 

5 Comments »

  1. Looks interesting, i have never made anything like this, definitely want to try it! Just curious, why is it suggested not to use a metal strainer, & if using with cheesecloth , would a metal strainer be ok to use?

    Comment by Lisa Yee — February 13, 2014 @ 1:30 pm

  2. I love kombucha! The store brands are delicious, but so expensive and often contain too much sugar. Luckily, making it at home is super easy and once you get started it only takes about 15 minutes a week to keep it going!

    Comment by Heather Cochran — April 11, 2014 @ 10:55 am

  3. I like it straight, but it’s also fun to play around with different flavors. I like adding a stick of gui zhi or slices of sheng jiang (if you use organic you don’t even have to remove the peel) to warm it up and add some light flavor. To make a sweeter carbonated drink, I add about 1/2 cup of juice to the bottle, screw the top on tight, and leave it out of the fridge for a few days to make it fizzy. I think non-citrus juices turn out the best. Pomegranate juice is my favorite so far!

    Comment by Heather Cochran — April 11, 2014 @ 11:09 am

  4. 2 thumbs up!

    Comment by Jessica savich — April 22, 2014 @ 11:04 am

  5. Thanks for the information about not mixing Kombucha with HRT. Does that include any kind of hormone replacement/supplement, including thyroid?

    Comment by Cali James — April 13, 2017 @ 8:30 am

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