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:

Home Brewed Kombucha
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You will need the following
  1. A SCOBY (either from a friend or you can purchase one online)
  2. A 1 gallon glass jar
  3. 1 gallon filtered water
  4. 8 tea-bags (black or green tea)
  5. 1 cup sugar (yes sugar - this is metabolized by the SCOBY so very little remains in the final drink)
  6. Paper towels
  7. Elastic band
  8. Jars for storing the tea (like these 32oz mason jars)
  1. STAGE 1
  2. Make tea - boil half the water in a large pot on the stove.
  3. Once boiling remove from heat and add 8 tea bags to the water to steep for about 30 mins.
  4. After this, add in the sugar and stir till completely dissolved.
  5. Now add in the remaining water and leave until completely cooled to room temperature.
  6. 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.
  7. Cover with a paper towel, secure with an elastic band and place the jar in a warm cupboard.
  8. 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.
  9. At this point you can either bottle it to drink or go on to a second fermentation process where you add flavors.
STAGE 2 To add different flavors
  1. 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.
  2. Here you can add whatever flavors you like. These could be anything from whole pieces of fruit, fruit purées, to ginger or even lavender.
  3. So far I have experimented with mixed berries with citrus and strawberry with ginger. I definitely plan on playing around with these though.
  4. At this point, close the jars and place them in a dark spot for another 3-5 days or so.
  5. Then place them in the fridge and they're good to drink!
Crossfit Brit