In the world today, many are addicted to soft drinks, containing repulsive amounts of sugar and toxic chemicals, kombucha is a great alternative because it has that fizzy texture we love. In the warmer months, instead of drinking it, try freezing it to make ice blocks. Yum!
The kombucha ‘culture’ or ‘SCOBY’ feeds on and ferments black tea sweetened with sugar to produce the pro-biotic rich ‘kombucha tea’. The term ‘SCOBY’ is an acronym for ‘Symbiotic Culture of Friendly Bacteria and Yeast. The process usually takes between 7 and 10 days to complete depending on the maturity of the culture, after this time the tea becomes increasingly more acidic to the taste and you will end up with ‘kombucha vinegar’.
It is believed that drinking the fermented beverage aids digestion and boost the immune system, although there is little or no scientific evidence to support these proposed healing benefits. Essentially, Kombucha tea is filled with ‘good’ bacteria and some individuals may not respond well to consuming the tea at all, therefore research and caution is advised in the beginning.
Stoneware fired at high temperature is the ideal environment to brew and store your kombucha. If you get one with a tap, it is easier to make a continuous brew. Glass jars are another popular choice. All metal items should be kept well away from the kombucha, including aluminum containers to boil the water. Kombucha requires unlimited access to oxygen, therefore a breathable fabric, such as muslin cloth, should be placed over the top of the container and secured in place with an elastic band. I store my kombucha on the bench in the kitchen, exposing it to natural light, while keeping it out of direct sunlight.
To make two litres of Kombucha tea, you will need:
1.9 litres of spring/filtered water.
1.5 cups of raw/rapidura sugar.
5 tea bags of black tea or approximately 5 tbls organic loose leaf.
1 Kombucha SCOBY.
100ml of previous kombucha tea or apple cider vinegar.
Piece of breathable cloth.
2L Glass Jar/Stoneware.
Boil enough water (roughly 0.5L) to fill a large mug containing the tea and sugar. Mix thoroughly and allow to cool.
Strain the tea into your preferred vessel and top up with the remaining spring/filtered water and the 100ml of previous kombucha tea.
Place the SCOBY into the vessel, cover with a breathable fabric and secure with an elastic band. Store in a place where it will be left undisturbed and out of direct sunlight. Allow it to ferment for 7-10 days.
After a new SCOBY has formed on top of the tea, it should be ready to consume. Remove the SCOBY Mother and newly formed SCOBY baby (rest them on a plate lined with paper towel), strain the fermented tea into freshly cleaned sterile bottles (be sure to keep at least 100ml for the next cycle) and store them in the fridge to halt further fermentation. Consume within 2 weeks.
Start a new cycle with the mother only or include the baby as well. You can give away the babies to friends along with some fermented tea to get them started!
Keep calm and brew Kombucha <3