Have you ever wondered how kombucha is made?
It’s a fermented tea, rich in probiotics and great for rebalancing your gut flora. The downside is, it’s ridiculously expensive to buy, starting at around $5 – $6 per bottle. Given that it’s something you want to drink daily, the cost can soon add up.
The good news is, it’s both quick and easy to make, and costs next to nothing. It’s literally just sweet tea with a starter.
The process is similar to how vinegar is made, using a “mother”. In this case, the mother, or starter, is called a SCOBY which stands for Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast.
If you can’t find anyone to give you a SCOBY and some kombucha from their batch to use as a starter, you can buy a bottle of unflavoured kombucha from the shop and use that instead. Look for a bottle that has lots of floaty bits, as they are the beginnings of a new SCOBY.
They are incredible creatures, and have lots of “babies” when they are nurtured. The SCOBY looks like a large, slippery pancake, and as it grows, layers peel off which you can share with your friends.
The length of time it takes to brew depends on the atmospheric temperature. In summer, it can be as quick as a week, but in winter, it can take up to 3-4 weeks per batch depending on how warm it is in your home.
As with all probiotics, when you first start, begin with a very small amount – just a teaspoonful. Every couple of days, increase the amount a little, until you are able to drink a good half-cup to one cup per day.
Because it rebalances the bacteria in your gut, you need to increase the amount gradually as sudden changes in gut flora can cause a tummy upset.
So, check out the video, grab some tea bags and sugar, and have a go! I’ll make another video in a couple of weeks, showing you how you can flavour your kombucha to really have some fun with it!
- 8 tea bags green tea cut off labels and string
- 1.5 cups sugar
- 2 litres Boiling water
- 2 litres room temperature water
- 1 SCOBY
- Place the tea bags In a large jug or bowl and cover with the boiling water and stir to wet all the tea bags.
- Add the sugar and mix well until dissolved.
- Cover with a clean tea towel and allow to steep until the mixture has come to room temperature.
- Once cool, pour into a large glass or ceramic jar, then add the SCOBY, the cold water, and the kombucha from your previous batch.
- Cover with a cloth and allow to sit for 1-3 weeks out of direct sunlight.
- You will know when it's ready when it no longer tastes sweet. It should have a sharp, almost vinegary taste.
- If any blue or green mould grows, you must discard the entire batch and start again.