If you say it just right it sounds like something you might say when you do a karate chop!
What is it?
Kombucha is a sweetened tea that has been fermented by microorganisms consisting of beneficial bacteria. This wonderfully tasty drink dates back to China around 250 BC, but recently has gained popularity amongst celebrities, and especially raw food and health circles. It contains beneficial probiotics, live active enzymes, L-Theanine, organic acids, and polyphenols.
How is it made?
Traditionally Kombucha is made by brewing a caffeinated tea, stirring in sugar or another type of sweetener, and storing that in a large jar, along with the scoby, or “mushroom” zoogleal mat to ferment. This turns into a wonderful beverage that can be quite satisfying and very balancing for the body.
You can find it carried by the bottle in health food stores priced anywhere from $2.50 – $17 a bottle. For years health lovers wouldn’t enjoy this drink because of their adversity to processed sugar, but, it can be done with raw honey or even palm sugar instead.
Here is how to make your own.
- 1 Scoby (kombucha starter)
- 5 caffeinated tea bags (green, black)
- 1/2 cup sweetener (honey, palm sugar, sucanat, organic white sugar)
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 3-4 quarts water (preferably spring water)
- Large pot
- 1/2 gallon mason jars (or smaller)
- 2-3 empty bottles
- Rubber band
- Clean hands and all pots thoroughly
- Fill a pot with water, turn on the heat, and add 5 caffeinated tea bags (I used green tea but black tea works great too. Try some flavored kinds as well).
- After brewed remove from heat, take out tea bags, and stir in in a half a cup of raw honey until thoroughly mixed, or palm sugar.
- Cover and wait until tea is cool or room temperature.
- Pour cool tea into your mason jar.
- Stir in a quarter cup of raw apple cider vinegar.
- Add scoby (be sure water is cool before you do this step!).
- Place cheese cloth over jar (double folded) and wrap with rubber band.
- Wait at least 7 days, and store the jar in a place that it won’t be disturbed, in a warm dark space.
- When it smells like vinegar its about ready. You can test it with a pH strip if you’d like, it should have a pH of 3.
- Gently pour out 90% of the tea into bottles, cap (I used recycled kombucha jars from the store, or mason jars), and store for 3-5 days at room temperature in the bottles.
- Take the scoby left with the 10% of kombucha still in it, and start a new batch with a new brew of tea. Remember don’t add warm tea to the scoby!
- After the 3-5 days refrigerate your kombucha and enjoy cold.
- Add stevia if you want more of a sweet taste.
*You can purchase a scoby online or often through a local co-op. You can experiment with the ferment time as you go along to see what works best for you.
**When your tea is done you will have two scoby’s, the one you originally put in that floated to the bottom, and a new one that grew on top. You can now do the same process over and make two batches at once (one with each scoby), or you can give one to a friend so they can start their own tea. You can also add grated ginger, stevia or whatever is to your liking to your drink, just be sure to add this the tea only, do not mix it with the scoby.
For more easy and healthy raw food recipes click here.