Got Kombucha?

First, do you know what is Kombucha?

For those very, very few who have not been paying attention let me explain ... so you be woke on this.

Kombucha — a.k.a. Kombucha Tea — is a health drink made from sweetened brewed tea cultured with bacteria and yeast. After fermentation it turns out slightly effervescent, with a small trace of alcohol and a vinegary sourness (how sour depends on how long you let the fermentation go).

It's supposed to go back maybe a couple of thousand years.

It's good for you. Probiotic. That means it promotes intestinal health. Antioxidant. Kills harmful bacteria. Alkalizing. Benefits for maintaining pH balance (similar to regularly drinking raw Apple Cider Vinegar). Here is a link to a source outlining several of the other health benefits.

You can buy it ready made. Better, make it at home. Especially if you take up drinking it daily. 

In the process of making Kobucha a Sponge ["Scoby", "Mushroom"] forms on top of the fermented liquid. This is reused as a starter for subsequent batches. Over time, it grows in size. Trim as desired and/or pass along to friends.

If you want to make Kombucha for the first time you can get a Scooby. From a friend, or an online source. 

Or ...

We bought a bottle of raw (unpasteurized) organic ready-made Kombucha and used that as a starter. It isn't as quick as if you started with a Scoby, but that's what we did to experiment with if and how well that approach works. Works fine.

Basic Recipe: (adjust proportions according to size.)

NOTE: Clean, clean fermentation vessel ... and, everything else. You don't want to ruin your Kombucha by letting it go too long or having it become contaminated due to improper handling.

— 1 Bottle raw (unpasteurized) organic Kombucha
— 3 1/2 Quarts filtered or Spring Water
— 1 Cup granulated Sugar. Recommend Cane Sugar for the flavor. 
— 8 bags of black and/or green Tea (can mix also) = 2 Tbsp. loose Tea.

Preparation: Brew Tea in half the Water, add Sugar to dissolve, add remaining water, let cool to room temperature. Place in glass jar (we use a 1 Gallon plastic pitcher). Add bottled Kombucha. Wait 2-4 weeks, tasting along the way. The longer you ferment, the more sour. 

Just for the first batch with the store-bought Kombucha as starter, wait until a thin Scoby forms. (The image below shows a mature Scoby.) It'll take longer than usual to get the first batch going starting with store bought organic raw Kombucha. After that a week of fermentation is enough for us. Longer, to taste, of course. The Scoby will continue to get thicker over time. It can be trimmed when it get too big ... peel off a layer or so. And, you can share with a like minded friend.

Then set aside the Scoby with a few cups of brewed Kombucha for the next batch. Bottle the remainder and refrigerate. 

Drink a small portion daily, regularly. Straight, or diluted with water or juice. Not more than 12 Ounces per day. We would recommend half that.

There are other recipes you can try also. Fruits/juices, honey and other sugars, herbs and spices, flavored teas (Hibiscus, Earl Grey). Here's a source to follow with more particulars.

To your health!