Kombucha is fermented tea, made from a living bacteria combined with a sugar/black tea combination. The drink has few calories, and tons of personally-acclaimed health benefits. There are no clinical trials or scientific evidence to support the long term benefits of drinking kombucha, however the probiotic content from the bacteria in the drink is known to aid in digestion and boost immunity. Here’s how to brew it at home:
7- 8 tea bags
1 cup sugar
13-14 cups water
2 cups starter tea or vinegar
- Combine hot water and sugar in a glass jar. Stir until the sugar dissolves. The water should be hot enough to steep the tea but does not have to be boiling. Place the tea or tea bags in the sugar water to steep.
- Cool the mixture to approximately 68-70ºF. Steep the tea for 10-15 minutes, the longer the tea steeps the stronger the beverage will be.
- Remove the tea bags or completely strain the loose tea leaves from the liquid.
- Add starter tea from a previous batch to the liquid. If you do not have starter tea, distilled white vinegar may be substituted.
- Add an active kombucha SCOBY.
- Cover the jar with a tight-weave towel or coffee filter and secure with a rubber band. **Do not let the SCOBY touch any metal or the bacteria could die. Be sure to wash your hands when handling SCOBY.
- Allow the mixture to sit at 68-75°F, out of direct sunlight, for 7-15 days, or to taste. The longer the kombucha ferments, the less sweet and more vinegary it will taste.
- Pour kombucha off the top of the jar for consuming. Retain the SCOBY and enough liquid from the bottom of the jar to use as starter tea for the next batch.
- The finished kombucha can be flavored and bottled, if desired, or enjoyed plain.
Kombucha is not a magic elixir or proven to cure any radical diseases. Drink it in moderation, and try a pasteurized, store-bought version first to test your reaction to it.
~ Becca DeVries