I first discovered kombucha at my yoga studio. I became addicted to the tangy, fizzy and refreshing drink! I soon discovered the health benefits of drinking kombucha and how easy it is to make at home. In this post I want to explain what kombucha actually is, its amazing properties and how you can make your own too!
What is kombucha?
Kombucha supposedly originated thousands of years ago from China. It is a living health drink made by fermenting tea and sugar with the kombucha culture, which is known as a “SCOBY” – a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast. As the kombucha culture consumes the sugar, it produces organic acids, vitamins, amino acids and enzymes.
Why you should drink kombucha
– Contains naturally fermenting probiotics that help maintain healthy gut flora by increasing the number of beneficial organisms.
– Enhances the absorption of minerals, particularly calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium, phosphorous and copper.
– Helps to reduce depression and anxiety.
– Detoxifies the body – enzymes and bacterial acids in kombucha ease the burden on the liver by reducing pancreatic load.
– Supports the nervous system as it contains vitamin B.
– Anti-aging – contains glucosamines, which are vital for the treatment and prevention of arthritis.
– Anti-microbial due to it’s acetic and organic acids, proteins, enzymes and bacteriocins, particularly when made with green tea.
– Decreases sugar cravings!
President Reagan reportedly drank kombucha daily as part of his regimen to battle stomach cancer when he was diagnosed in 1987. (He died in 2004 of old age).
And above all, it tastes delicious!
How to make it!
You need to secure a SCOBY, which can be purchased online or from a kombucha brewing friend! Each time you make a brew, the SCOBY produces a “baby” which you can use to make extra batches, or give away to a friend. I purchased my SCOBY from The Whole Daily. The SCOBY came with an ebook containing instructions and information about the benefits of kombucha. I highly recommend subscribing to this website as it contains great information about fermented foods, general health and wellbeing advice.
Once you have a SCOBY, the rest is simple! Here are the steps to make your own brew:
1. In a 2L glass jar (I use a wide mouth mason jar), add 1.8L of boiled filtered water, 4 organic teabags (black, green or white tea, not herbal tea) and 1/2 – 1 cup of organic raw or white sugar. Stir with a wooden spoon and allow to brew for 15 minutes before removing the teabags. You can also use loose leaf tea.
2. Once the sugar/tea mixture has completely cooled, add the SCOBY and approximately 200mL (or 10%) of starter culture (either liquid from a previous batch of kombucha, or a commercial bottle which is non-flavoured).
3. Cover the mouth of the jar with a cloth secured by an elastic band (Chux cloths are fine). Store in a place where the jar is not disburbed (the pantry is ideal) for 7 – 9 days, depending on the temperature (the warmer it is, the faster the fermentation).
4. Once the kombucha has brewed for this initial period, remove the SCOBY (rinse with water and store with some of the kombucha liquid in a jar covered by a cloth (don’t put it in an air-tight container or store in the fridge as it will die). Don’t worry about filtering the floaty bits from the kombucha, as they are good for you!
5. Pour the kombucha into bottles/jars by filling them to the brim. Place the kombucha in the pantry for another 2 – 5 days. During this time, the fermentation will continue and the drink will become fizzier! In this second fermentation process you can also add flavouring (I like adding frozen blueberries, ginger and pineapple juice!).
Your kombucha is then ready to drink (you can store the kombucha in the fridge so that it is nice and refreshing to drink!). You can start making another two batches immediately with the original SCOBY and its baby!
It really is that easy (and cheap) to make your own kombucha, so I would encourage you to give it a go! I would love to hear from you if you are currently brewing your own kombucha or would like to try it.