Mmm…yes…that is the question, isn’t it? What about Kombucha.
But first of all, what is it?
Kombucha is a fermented tea beverage, which means it can introduce beneficial bacteria into your body. This healthy bacterium increases your overall nutrition. It can promote growth of friendly intestinal bacteria, aid in digestion, support immune function, increase B vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, digestive enzymes, and other immune chemicals that fight off harmful bacteria and even cancer cells.
Sound appealing so far?
Tell Me More
Not too long ago Kombucha was the quiet kid sitting all alone in the corner during class. Not many people were too aware of this yummy drink. It was just some random concoction being brewed in someone’s kitchen and sold to a few health food stores.
Kombucha has gone main stream. It’s now widely available in an array of eye catching colors and flavors that are sold in stylish glass bottles. Although at a price of nearly $4 per 16 ounces, people are regularly carrying cases of the stuff out of Whole Foods Markets and the like.
So what’s the Fuss About?
You’ve got the carbonation kick, the not-too-sweet flavor, and the added satisfaction of knowing it’s healthy for you. To make it quite plain, it’s a refreshing and enjoyable drink. It actually serves as a great replacement too for any of you soda fanatics out there. You’ve got flavor and carbonation without the added artificial sweeteners and loads of sugar. Score! Not only that, but it’s also a more exciting way of getting your daily water recommendation (which is half your body weight in ounces, by the by). And yet ANOTHER great thing about it is if you plan on drinking it often, you can brew it right from home! Golly gee, ain’t it grand?!
Brewin’ at Home
Indeed beginning to make Kombucha can be intimidating, but fear not, for it is easy…aaaaand potentially also kinda gross. The reason being is that you’re watching a gooey disc of bacteria and yeast (Scoby), float around in a jar of brown liquid. It’s all very mysterious and school science projecty – and perhaps not that appetizing. BUT what’s going on inside that jar…is pure magic in the works.
So It Begins…
You start by brewing a simple cup of tea, adding sugar and bit of already brewed Kombucha, and then adding starter culture (the really crucial ingredient). The starter culture (which is also known as the Scoby) is what digests the sugar and makes fermentation happen. You can either find an experienced Kombucha making friend or get a fresh Scoby from them or a buy a dehydrated Scoby online.
Once the tea, sugar, already brewed Kombucha, and Scoby are in a jar together – just lightly cover it and leave it alone until prime fermentation has been reached. This can take anywhere from 5-30 days. During this time the Scoby will do its thing, consuming sugar, producing acids, vitamins, and minerals. Sometimes it will even give birth to another Scoby that will form on the surface of the tea. Bonus! You can give this to a friend or use it to make another batch of Kombucha.
When it’s finished fermenting – pour the mildly sweet, pleasantly tangy, effervescent and probiotic rich liquid into a glass and enjoy 🙂
2½ cups hot water (not boiling)
¼ cup organic cane sugar
2 tea bags (black, oolong, or green)
½ cup already made unflavored Kombucha tea
Make sure you aren’t replacing the sugar with any other sort of sweetener because the white cane crystals are easies for the Scoby to digest. It also ensures a healthy PH level in the brew so that the Kombucha does not go bad while fermenting.
Heat water (not to boiling) and pour into a glass jar with the sugar and tea bags
Steep tea for a few up to ten minutes then remove bags
Allow liquid to completely cool to room temperature
Add the ½ cup of already made unflavored Kombucha to the liquid in the jar
Put the Scoby in the jar
Cover the jar with a lid that allows airflow like a coffee filter or towel with a rubber band
Let sit 5-30 days in a warm room but out of direct sunlight (cooler rooms slow fermentation)
When Kombucha is done brewing, cover with an airtight lid and you can drink immediately!
The most precise way to know when it’s finished is to buy pH testing strips at the drugstore and stick one in the jar. When it shows a pH level of 2.6 – 4.0 it’s ready to go. Within this range, the tea is not too acidic to drink but acidic enough to prevent unwanted & unhealthy bacteria (mold) from being present. YAY!