What the heck is Kombucha?kombucha1

Kombucha is a funny sounding word for great tasting fermented tea. It has been enjoyed by millions for hundreds of years. It is rich in probiotics, B vitamins and antioxidants. It has been used to help improve digestion & nutrient absorption, increase healthy bacteria in the digestive tract and even to increase energy levels. It is sweet in flavour and has a unique tang. You can even take your kombucha to the next level and turn it into a healthy soda-like drink!

The kombucha begins with a SCOBY or Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast. This is where all the great strains of healthy bacteria hangout and flourish. The SCOBY will continue to grow with each brewing and you may even notice a little baby SCOBY forming. These baby ‘boochas’ as I like to call them can be shared with friends. Don’t have a SCOBY to get your kombucha career started? No problem, you can get what you need at most healthful stores and start your own.

Once you have your SCOBY and starter liquid, you will need sweetened organic black or green tea. For every gallon or litre of boiling water you will need 2 tbsp of loose leaf tea or 8-10 tea bags. Add 1 cup organic cane sugar and stir with a wooden spoon. Metal utensils will actually harm the bacteria and fermentation process. Wondering about all that sugar? The sugar is needed for the fermentation process. By the time you are ready to drink the kombucha, there will only be about 2-6 grams of sugar per cup. In contrast, a glass of 100% orange juice has about 24 grams of sugar per cup.

Once the tea has cooled, add the SCOBY and about 3/4 cup of kombucha from a previous brew or your starter kit to the tea in a large glass jar. Cover the jar with a paper coffee filter and secure with an elastic. If you leave it uncovered, you are essentially creating a party atmosphere for ants, fruit flies and anything else that likes the smell of your brew.

Leave your kombucha to ferment on the counter for about a week. If you let it go too long, your brew will taste rather vinegary. If you don’t leave it long enough, it will be too sweet. As the fermentation takes place, the bacteria feeds on the sugar and actually makes the brew less sweet. You’ll have to experiment to get just the right flavour.

Once the kombucha is done brewing, you can enjoy as is or you can brew it for a second time and add fruit such as berries, mango, peaches & ginger to make a slightly carbonated fizzy drink…think soda without all the artificial flavours or colours and actually healthy for you! Find some glass bottles with a flip top lid. Add the fruit first and fill with kombucha, leaving 2 to 3 inches at the top for carbonation activity. Leave it on the counter and check in 2 or 3 days. Make sure you relieve the pressure after 2 or 3 days as the gasses will continue to build and there is potential for a bit of a ‘surprise’ when you do finally open – like a soda can that has been shaken! Once the  flavoured kombucha has the right flavour, put it in the fridge to halt the fermentation process.

At this point you can either begin a new brew or pop it in the fridge in a small glass jar for the next time you are ready to brew. Enjoy!

What the heck is Kombucha?

Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Fermented Foods
Keyword: Easy
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 10 servings
Kombucha is a funny sounding word for great tasting fermented tea. It has been enjoyed by millions for hundreds of years. It is rich in probiotics, B vitamins and antioxidants. It has been used to help improve digestion
Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1 litre or gallon boiling water
  • 2 tbsp loose leaf tea or 8-10 tea bags
  • 1 SCOBY
  • 3/4 cup kombucha from previous batch

Instructions

  • For every gallon or litre of boiling water you will need 2 tbsp of loose leaf tea or 8-10 tea bags. Add 1 cup organic cane sugar and stir with a wooden spoon. Metal utensils may actually harm the bacteria and fermentation process. Wondering about all that sugar? The sugar is needed for the fermentation process. By the time you are ready to drink the kombucha, there will only be about 2-6 grams of sugar per cup. In contrast, a glass of 100% orange juice has about 24 grams of sugar per cup. Once the tea has cooled, add the SCOBY and about 3/4 cup of kombucha from a previous brew or your starter kit to the tea in a large glass jar. Cover the jar with a paper coffee filter and secure with an elastic. If you leave it uncovered, you are essentially creating a party atmosphere for ants, fruit flies and anything else that likes the smell of your brew. Leave your kombucha to ferment on the counter for about a week. If you let it go too long, your brew will taste rather vinegary. If you don't leave it long enough, it will be too sweet. As the fermentation takes place, the bacteria feed on the sugar and actually makes the brew less sweet. You'll have to experiment to get just the right flavour. Happy brewing!

Notes

kombucha - second fermentationOnce the kombucha is done brewing, you can enjoy as is or you can brew it for a second time and add fruit such as berries, mango, peaches & ginger to make a slightly carbonated fizzy drink...think soda without all the artificial flavours or colours and actually healthy for you! Find some glass bottles with a flip top lid. Add the fruit first and fill with kombucha, leaving 2 to 3 inches at the top for carbonation activity. Leave it on the counter and check in 2 or 3 days. Make sure you relieve the pressure after 2 or 3 days as the gasses will continue to build and there is potential for a bit of a 'surprise' when you do finally open - like a soda can that has been shaken! Once the  flavoured kombucha has the right flavour, put it in the fridge to halt the fermentation process.
At this point you can either begin a new brew or pop it in the fridge in a small glass jar for the next time you are ready to brew. Enjoy!