For those of you who haven’t yet heard of it, kombucha is a fermented tea drink that has been around for over 2,000 years and has a rich anecdotal history of all sorts of health benefits ranging from immune-system support to fighting cancer and other degenerative diseases. Read more about some of the reported health benefits.
Probiotics are getting increasing attention for their importance in maintaining gut-health, and since gut health is vital for the health of the entire body – even the brain – foods containing probiotics are extremely important to included in the diet. These foods range from things like sauerkraut, pickles and yoghurt to drinks like kombucha. These foods have been a staple part of traditional diets for centuries and for a good reason.
I discovered kombucha a couple years ago and quickly developed a taste for it, but was not thrilled with the $3.49 price-tag for 1 bottle over at Whole
Paycheck Foods. I’d read about making it at home, and toyed with the idea for a while, and then one day Ashley (a lovely member of CrossFit Brit) informed me that she’s been making her own for a while and asked if I would like a SCOBY [sko • bee] from her batch. A SCOBY you ask? What?!? It is the Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast responsible for the fermentation of the drink.
Anyway, how could I possibly turn down such an offer? So 3 weeks later Sham and I are now drinking our VERY OWN home brewed kombucha and loving every tart fruity sip.
So here is how you make your own:
- A SCOBY (either from a friend or you can purchase one online)
- A 1 gallon glass jar
- 1 gallon filtered water
- 8 tea-bags (black or green tea)
- 1 cup sugar (yes sugar - this is metabolized by the SCOBY so very little remains in the final drink)
- Paper towels
- Elastic band
- Jars for storing the tea (like these 32oz mason jars)
- STAGE 1
- Make tea - boil half the water in a large pot on the stove.
- Once boiling remove from heat and add 8 tea bags to the water to steep for about 30 mins.
- After this, add in the sugar and stir till completely dissolved.
- Now add in the remaining water and leave until completely cooled to room temperature.
- You are now ready to add the tea to your clean glass jar. Pour in tea and gently (with clean hands) place the SCOBY on top.
- Cover with a paper towel, secure with an elastic band and place the jar in a warm cupboard.
- Leave it alone for between 7-14 days. The longer you leave it the more sugar will be used up by the SCOBY so the less sweet it will taste.
- At this point you can either bottle it to drink or go on to a second fermentation process where you add flavors.
- Once the kombucha is at a desired level of tartness from the first round of fermentation, pour the tea into smaller containers – I typically use mason jars.
- Here you can add whatever flavors you like. These could be anything from whole pieces of fruit, fruit purées, to ginger or even lavender.
- So far I have experimented with mixed berries with citrus and strawberry with ginger. I definitely plan on playing around with these though.
- At this point, close the jars and place them in a dark spot for another 3-5 days or so.
- Then place them in the fridge and they're good to drink!