This is Part Two in my series on kombucha tea. If you missed Part One, you can head over to ‘What is Kombucha…and Why Are People Drinking It?'
Kombucha tea is all the rage right now and you can find this probiotic, health beverage at many grocery stores in the refrigerated section.
It is an ancient beverage, a fermented sweet tea, fermented with a Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast (SCOBY) to turn it into a bubbly, tart, probiotic rich drink. It has many purported benefits and for many people, can be a great addition to a healthy lifestyle.
It can get pricey to purchase kombucha in the stores. An individual bottle can cost around $3 or more. That is fine for a once in awhile treat, but if you are drinking kombucha regularly, that can really add up!
Have you wondered how to make kombucha tea? Making kombucha tea at home is simple, easy and very inxpensive!!
What You Need
I like to use water filtered from my refrigerator but you can use whatever water you are comfortable with. Tap water can contain some chlorine so is best avoided.
I like glass jars. You can use any size depending how much kombucha you like. I think a 1/2 gallon glass jar or a 1 gallon glass jar is great for beginners. Once you get more adept at making kombucha, a nice, large kombucha crock might be in order! The container will need to breathe, so you will need a paper towel or cheesecloth to cover.
Green tea or Black tea is traditional. You can use tea bags or loose tea. I recommend starting with green or black (or a combo of both). Once you become more adept at making kombucha, you can experiment with other teas (white tea, oolong tea, etc). I made a particularly delicious kombucha with a pomegranate green tea once.
Organic cane sugar is totally fine and really the best sugar for making kombucha. (I buy big bags at Costco).
This is the key for making kombucha. It is a Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast and this jellyfish looking thing will eat the sugars in the sweet tea to produce the kombucha. Every batch of kombucha makes a new SCOBY so if you have a friend who makes kombucha, ask them for one. You can also buy dehydrated SCOBYs online.
This is either plain kombucha (from a previous batch or store bought) or white vinegar. You need to add something acidic when you start to make kombucha. I recommend using kombucha if possible, as the batch with vinegar doesn't taste that great. You can buy this online as well.
All fermentation takes time. Time depends on the room temperature and the activity level of the SCOBY. I find I can make kombucha anywhere between 7-30 days. It totally varies.
You can get most of what you need to make kombucha by ordering simple kombucha kits if that makes it easier for you!
Here are some options:
How to Make Kombucha Tea
You can make kombucha in any size container you like. Above is the general rule of thumb for some popular sizes. If you are using loose tea, just remember that 2 tea bags is approximately 1 1/2 tsp loose tea.
It is super simple to make. You simply have to make sweet tea, let it cool. Then add the starter liquid, SCOBY and cover with a cheesecloth and let sit for 7-30 days.
The recipe below will be for 1/2 gallon.
- 4 green tea bags
- 6-7 cups filtered water
- 1/2 cup organic sugar
- 1 cup starter liquid
- 1 SCOBY
- Heat water. Add water to a heat resistant container.
- Add sugar and stir.
- Add tea bags. Let cool to room temperature.
- Remove tea bags.
- Pour into 1/2 gallon jar.
- Add starter liquid.
- Add SCOBY
- Cover with a cheesecloth or paper towel, securing with a rubber band.
- Let sit at room temperature for 7-30 days.
- You can use a clean straw or plastic spoon to taste the kombucha once you see a new SCOBY start to form.
- Once it is to your liking....
Remove SCOBY and place in a clean bowl.
Pour off starter liquid for next batch.
Transfer your kombucha to bottles or mason jars.
Flavor as desired. (more on that in a later post).
Keep sealed bottles at room temperature for a day or two to build up carbonation, if desired.
Transfer to refrigerator and enjoy!
Either save both the SCOBYs in a mason jar covered with starter liquid (kombucha) and refrigerate until next batch or go ahead and make your next batch of kombucha.
Once you have your finished kombucha, you can drink it plain or flavor it to your choice. Stay tuned for some great flavoring ideas!!!!
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