Last updated February 8, 2022
Obsessed with kombucha? You’re not the only one. This bubbly fermented tea has been leading the way for some time as a health drink with a plethora of benefits for your mind and body.
For those new to the ‘booch scene, let’s take a step back and dive into the hype as well as the health-promoting benefits of this functional beverage.
Kombucha is thought to have originated in China or Japan about 2,000 years ago. It’s made by adding strains of bacteria and yeast, known as SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast) to black or green tea and leaving it to ferment for a week or two.
One of the main substances produced during the fermentation process is acetic acid (found in vinegar). Kombucha also contains a healthy dose of B vitamins, antioxidants and probiotics.
Here’s a glance at some additional purported health benefits of drinking kombucha:
- Kombucha is loaded with gut friendly bacteria and fungus that help support your digestion system.
- Kombucha, also known as tea fungus, has a high level of antioxidants and antimicrobial properties.
- If made with green tea, you may also receive the health benefits of green tea because kombucha is made from many of the same plants and will retain much of the bioactive compounds.
- Kombucha can also kill unwanted bacteria due to its highly vinegar-type nature and acetic acid which is cultivated during the fermentation process.
- Kombucha can be hydrating.
Make or buy your ‘booch
Ready-made kombucha is often packed with juicy essences and intense flavors such as cayenne, lemon, pink apple and ginger, or more subtle floral aromas like hibiscus, passionfruit and mint. Take a stroll into the nearest supermarket and you’ll see what I mean.
While buying ‘booch at the store is convenient, it’s not always the most friendly to your wallet. The point … kombucha can be expensive.
Have you thought about crafting your own kombucha? Designing the perfect batch with a certain aroma that’s been speaking to you?
Maybe that flavor is spicy tart cherry with a hint of lime, cardamom blueberry or maybe you want your drink a tad fizzier.
Crafting your own ‘booch may be the solution you’ve been looking for. Luckily, this post has you covered with my favorite kombucha recipe to get you started.
Simple guide to brewing kombucha at home
- Step 1: Gather a 1-gallon glass mason jar, store-bought kombucha (make sure it’s unflavored and unpasteurized), a breathable woven cloth and rubber bands.
- Step 2: Make the SCOBY, or “the mother” of the kombucha. Do this by combining 7 cups of hot water, 1/2 cup of sugar, and 4 bags of green or black tea in the giant mason jar. Make sure the sugar is completely dissolved and the liquid is completely cool as it will kill the SCOBY if it’s hot. Once cool, add 1 cup of kombucha to the mix.
- Step 3: Cover with the breathable cloth to protect it and fasten with rubber bands. This protects your mixture from dirt but also allows the bacteria to breathe and form.
- Step 4: Wait 1 – 4 weeks until you’ve got some SCOBY!
- Step 5: Now you’re ready to start the fermentation process. Similar to step 2, you’re going to repeat this process on a larger scale. Combine 14 cups of hot water with 1 cup of sugar and 8 tea bags (black or green) in a large pot. At this point, you can either buy a new giant mason jar or transfer the other to a smaller container to use as a starter for another batch. Once you’ve decided on your container, pour the cool mixture into it with 2 cups of unflavored kombucha and your SCOBY. Cover it and let it sit for 7 – 14 days.
- Step 6: Taste test your kombucha. It should be somewhat vinegary and a tad sweet. Keep in mind the longer it sits the less sweet it becomes, so choose according to your taste buds.
- Step 7: Now it’s time to fizzy up your kombucha! Grab smaller containers (maybe recycled old kombucha glasses) and fill them with your ‘booch leaving about a 1-inch space at the top. Add in any extracts, flavors and sweeteners to the glasses. Feel free to mix it up and be creative with your flavor profiles. The sky’s the limit, or in this case the ingredients in your kitchen. Seal them off and let them ferment in a room temperature environment for another 4 – 11 days.
- Step 8: Put them in the fridge a day or two before you’re ready to drink them.
Brewing tip: On a time crunch? Not to worry, you can buy a kombucha brewing starter kit to help you ease into the brewing process.
Recipe adapted by the Brew Buch