Even if you have no idea what it is, chances are you’ve at least heard about Kombucha lately.
Here’s a true story. I literally had to hear about kombucha from ten different reputable sources before having any part of learning more. And now I’m totally hooked!
What the heck is kombucha?
Sometimes referred to as the tea of immortality, the tea of long life, or nature’s original soda, kombucha is simply fermented tea. When it comes to healthy liver function and detoxification, strong immune systems, and happy gut bugs, this carbonated elixir really is your friend.
Humans have been fermenting food and drinks for thousands of years, but since the recent explosion of research into the human microbiome, the scientific community is now validating that which humans have understood innately about kombucha for centuries. When it comes to human health, gut health is paramount.
Brewing the “booch” at home
I kept on hearing about how easy it is to make your own kombucha at home, but I wanted no part of it. The SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) was weird. I thought it would climb out of the jar and hurt me. The whole idea was way too far outside my comfort zone.
But my thirst quickly outgrew my budget! Paying almost $20 for 6 bottles of GT’s Kombucha at Costco every week finally gave me the motivation to overcome my silly fears.
The best resource I found was Kombucha Kamp, whose mission is “to change the world one gut at a time by helping people ferment food and drinks safely at home.” Its hilarious founder, Hannah Crum, affectionately calls kombucha “the booch.” I couldn’t stop laughing when I heard that.
So pop on over to Kombucha Kamp for all the step-by-step instructions, but here’s the process at a glance. The only tricky bit is finding a SCOBY and the starter liquid. You can get this from someone you know who is already brewing kombucha (I got mine from my brother), or order online from Kombucha Kamp (US), Pyramid Ferments (Canada) or Sprout Master (Canada).
Ingredients for 1 gallon of Kombucha
- 4 cups water, boiled
- 4-6 tea bags (green, black, rooibos, and/or white tea work best)
- 1 cup white sugar
- 12 cups cold purified/bottled water
- SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast)
- 1-2 cups of starter liquid from the top (bacteria-rich)
- 1 gallon brewing vessel (mason jar)
- Cloth cover (t-shirt, coffee filter, no cheesecloth)
- Rubber band
- Boil 4 cups of water.
- Add tea bags and steep x 15 minutes.
- Remove tea bags.
- Add sugar and stir to fully dissolve.
- Transfer to large brewing vessel.
- Add purified water leaving a few inches at the top for breathing room and wait until it reaches room temperature.
- Add the SCOBY and starter liquid.
- Secure cloth cover with rubber band.
- Leave in a warm location out of direct sunlight.
- Do not disturb for 7 days. Insert a straw and take a sip. If too tart, then reduce brewing cycle next time. If too sweet, keep tasting daily until optimum flavour is reached.
- Drink only 4-8 oz on an empty stomach to start, and gradually begin drinking with meals as your body gets used to it.
And that’s all there is to it folks. For just a fraction of the price of store bought varieties (yet all of the health benefits), you could be sipping on your own natural bubbly by next week. What are you waiting for?
Now I want to hear from you. Have you ever made your own kombucha, and how was the process? Leave me a comment below.
Pat Koets says
Really a question….I have tried to eliminate as much sugar as possible from my diet….was startled to see 1 cup of sugar. Knowing you I am sure that there is a logical reason for this surgar.
Carolyn Coffin says
Exactly right, Pat! I should have been more clear. Sugar is critical to spurring the fermentation process, which converts carbohydrates/sugar into alcohol and healthy organic acids using microorganisms like yeast or bacteria (contained within the SCOBY). By the time you’re actually drinking the kombucha, it’s very low in sugar (and alcohol! Only about 0.5%). Hope that helps! Carolyn
You can easily get the scoby from pyramid farms in the county. Their recipe doesn’t require the starter liquid and it is very easy to make. I usually make mine using green tea but have yet to make a flavoured one eg ginger. They are so good.
Carolyn Coffin says
Thanks Colleen, great to know. I should have mentioned Pyramid Farms 🙂
I stick to the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, sucrose can hurt quite a bit. How low is “very low” in residual sugar?
Carolyn Coffin says
My understanding is that the final brew contains very little sugar. Like about 4g in a 4 oz serving.