You may have heard about Kombucha.
Or maybe you're already an experienced brewer of this home made fermented tea.
So what is this Kombucha aka the Elixir of life? Is it as amazing as it's claimed to be? Why is it sweeping the country like a storm? Producers of bottled kombuchas are making record sales, seems like it's the new fashionable drink. In a way, that's good news. Way better than those sugar laden, artificially flavoured and full of preservatives carbonated soft drinks.
The good news too, is you can go buy yourself a bottle of Kombucha from the shops, or...
you can try brewing your own! It's dead easy. If you’re new to Kombucha and can’t wait to get started, here’s some information and the recipe:
Kombucha is an ancient Chinese tonic and health elixir, a fermented tea that you can easily brew yourself at home. You’ll need to get yourself a starter culture called a SCOBY (acronym for Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast). You may be able to purchase a Scoby or adopt it from a friend. Local health food stores or yoga studios often have notices on the board with fellow kombucha brewers offering free scobys. Most kombucha makers are happy to give away scobys for free as each batch of kombucha produces a baby scoby, and before you know it, they just multiply with more than you need!
Apart from tasting great, they’re fun to brew, super wholesome and healthy. Kombucha is a probiotic tea that’s long been used and known for strengthening your immune system, maintaining and healing your digestive system, and restoring life energy.
- Brew 2 litres of organic black or green tea. A couple of my favourites are the smooth Ceylon (OP) or robust Organic China Green Tea with filtered/natural spring water in teapots.
- Add ½ cup of raw organic sugar (or rice malt if you’re intolerant to sugar), stirring gently. Leave to cool to room temperature. Then pour into big storage jar/bottle.
- Pop in the Scoby and cover the top with a muslin/cheese cloth and tie. Sit it in a cool dark part of the kitchen or in your pantry for 7-10 days to ferment.
- After 7-10 days pour the tea out of the container into bottles, keep the mother Scoby and share away the baby Scoby if you wish. Or keep them both with a bit of residual tea, for making your next double batch. Or you may keep scobys in container and serve straight from there. When the tea gets low, make a new batch of tea and add straight into the brewing container to top up.
If the brew tastes too strong, you may dilute it 50% with filtered water, ice blocks, soda water or pure fruit juice. You may also add slices of fruits or lemon or lime. However it will affect the original flavour of the tea. Kombucha tea has to be served cold, cool or at room temperature. Do not heat it up or you will destroy all the valuable probiotics.
Do not use metal utensils in any part of the kombucha making processes. Use a wooden spoon to stir, ceramic or glass teapots and glass containers etc.
If the Scoby gets mouldy (quite rare but does happen) discard the whole batch. Mould appears hairy and on the top surfaces of the Scoby.
Not to be mistaken with some brown discolouration on the Scoby or stringy bits in the tea or Scoby. They’re not mould but the probiotic bacteria, the good stuff!
Try it if you haven't, and share your Kombucha experiences in the comments section below. Or is you're already an experienced brewer, perhaps you may have some handy tips to share too!