Making Kombucha

I have been drinking Kombucha for years and enjoying the vinegary goodness and its benefit to my body. Kombucha is an ancient elixir that has a history of starting in China.  It is a sort of “tea” that is infused by fermentation with beneficial bacteria, probiotics, and yeast and is great for your gut and overall health. It is made from either using black or green tea, some sugar (which the yeast feeds on), and lots of patience. What I thought would be an extraordinary effort to brew my own has actually turned into the easiest and most exciting project of late. I love watching the process of fermentation and I can even be found talking to the jar of goodness as it does it magic.

The SCOBY (“symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast”) looks like a serious science experiment of squishy goodness. This very alive ‘thing’ is what creates the goodness of the tea. The process is super fun and saving $3.00 a bottle is awesome!

Here is how I make it:

1. Two quarts of boiling water and 6-8 organic oolong tea in a large pot for 10 minutes, then stir in one cup of white sugar (the bacteria feeds on the sugar—you must add it).

2. Once the tea is cooled, remove the tea bags and pour into a two gallon GLASS jar (I bought a giant jar of pickles at Costco, dumped the pickles and saved the jar).  Add 2 more quarts of water and your SCOBY with about one cup of the liquid that the SCOBY came in. Cover the jar with a coffee filter and rubber band so it can breathe.

3. Wait and watch,  About 7-10 days.  Listen to the murmurs of the magic happening. 🙂

Step Four: With clean hands, remove the SCOBY and about one cup of the tea, set aside.  Pour the brew into glass jars, used kombucha bottles, or glass bottle.  This is where you add flavoring.  My current favorite is sliced ginger and lemon juice.  I have also added a small amount of pomegranate juice.  Leave about one inch from top of bottle and tightly close.

4. You can refrigerate them at this point, or do a second fermentation that creates more bubbles and a bit more pungent flavor.  I have done second fermentations and also drank after one depending on my level of patience.

5.  Start over with step one for your second batch that will work its magic for the 7-10 days.