Kombucha tea is a fermented drink made with tea, sugar, bacteria and yeast. Although it’s sometimes referred to as kombucha mushroom tea, kombucha is not a mushroom — it’s a colony of bacteria and yeast called a scoby. (kinda similar to a sourdough starter) Kombucha tea is made by adding the scoby to sugar and tea, and allowing the mix to ferment. The resulting liquid contains probiotic bacteria, B vitamins and a number of other beneficial healthy stuff.
Some of the health benefits of drinking kombucha are:
- Regulates high blood pressure
- Helps to Alkaline the body
- Repopulates your digestive tract with good, healthy bacteria (also known as probiotics)
- Detoxifies the liver
- Regulates blood sugar levels, thereby helping with Diabetes
- Helps ease hormonal problems and metabolic disorders
- Eases digestive complaints from the esophagus to the large bowel
- Improves immunity
- Lowers cholesterol
- Decreases inflammation, which in turn helps with arthritis, acne, and other inflammatory conditions
We’ve been drinking Kombucha for a few years, both home brewed and purchased bottled kombucha. Bottled kombucha, although very convenient is very expensive at $3+ a bottle, where as home brewed kombucha is super cheap!
In order to start brewing your own kombucha you need to get a scoby. If you know anyone who’s brewing their own, I’m sure they’ll have a scoby to share. With each batch you make your scoby will multiply. So since I make 2 (1 gallon) batches a week, I end up with 2 new scobys to share with friends each week! You’ll also need organic black tea, organic sugar and a 1 gallon glass container (Click HERE to buy the 1 gallon glass container I use)
Here’s how I brew my Kombucha:
1 Kombucha Scoby with about 1 cup of Kombucha (Click HERE to buy a starter Scoby)
1c Organic Sugar
1 gallon water, preferably filtered
6-8 regular Organic Black Tea Bags or 3-4 Family Size Organic Black Tea Bags
In a pot combine water, sugar and tea bags. Over high heat bring to a boil for 5 minutes, then remove from heat and let sit for 15 minutes. Remove tea bags and pour your tea into your 1 gallon glass container. Let your tea sit and cool to room temperature (around 70 degrees F). If you add your scoby to hot tea it will kill it, it’s important that you tea cools to room temp! Once your tea is cooled to room temp add your scoby and kombucha liquid that came with it.
Cover your container with cheese cloth or paper towel secured with a rubber band. Let your kombucha sit undisturbed for 7-10 days (if you house is warm 7 days.. our house is a cool 65 degrees right now so I let mine go for 10 days)
After the 7-10 days remove your scoby and you’ll notice there is a new (thinner) scoby attached.. gently peel it off and set it aside along with 1 cup of your kombucha to share with a friend to start brewing their own kombucha.
You can now strain and bottle up your kombucha, put it in the fridge and start enjoying a little every day. Or you can combine it with some fruit juice and set it for a second ferment which makes it more carbonated like soda! Most kombucha we drink is just fermented once. I bottle mine in small recycled juice bottles but any bottle you have with an airtight lid works great!
And just incase you find yourself with a bunch of leftover scobys and no one to share them with, check out this list of uses for extra kombucha scobys: http://www.culturesforhealth.com/use-extra-kombucha-scoby