Kombucha, a bubbly, probiotic-packed beverage that’s become wildly popular in the past few years, is linked to many health benefits, from improving gut health to supporting immunity to boosting mood. While it’s easy to find at health food stores and online today, it’s fun and rewarding to make your own at home. All you need are a few ingredients – and a smidge of patience (the process can take up to two weeks – but believe us, it’s worth the wait!).
How to make kombucha
To make kombucha, you’ll need to obtain a specific type of yeast known as a SCOBY which stands for symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast. A SCOBY will ferment a mixture of tea and sugar into the probiotic-rich beverage known as kombucha. You can find a SCOBY by using someone else’s kombucha or purcahse a SCOBY from a trustworthy source online.
What you’ll need
1 gallon distilled water (chlorinated and treated water will harm the kombucha culture)
2 Tbsp. loose-leaf organic black or green tea
1 cup raw organic cane sugar (the SCOBY will “eat” most of the sugar for food which will reduce the total sugar content)
How to make it
1. In large pot, bring water to a boil, then turn off heat. Add sugar and stir to dissolve.
2. Using tea ball or large mesh bag, add tea leaves to hot sugar water. Remove pot from burner and let steep 1 to 2 hours (or to desired strength). Remove ball/bag and discard leaves.
3. In glass or ceramic fermentation vessel, pour tea. Add SCOBY (or one cup of starter liquid such as premade kombucha). Cover with clean cloth, secure with rubber band or string (this prevents dust, bugs, or other debris from getting inside and still allowing the culture to “breathe” for proper fermentation.)
4. Store vessel in cool, dark place with plenty of ventilation, such as a pantry on a top shelf. Let ferment for anywhere from 7 to 14 days. (Note: Due to the temperature fluctuations in many homes, you’ll need to check it during this time frame until it reaches a desired taste and consistency. The longer it ferments, the less sugar it will have and the more sour it will taste.)
5. When complete, carefully remove SCOBY and place in a small, clean glass bowl. Cover with 1 cup of the final kombucha liquid. This is your next starter batch!
6. Using a funnel, pour kombucha into bottles or keep it in pitcher in fridge to enjoy.
Need some help getting started? Consider this convenient kombucha-making kit availalbe at Vitacost.com!