is a slightly fizzy fermented tea drink with a sour and sweet flavor like vinegar. To brew it you need a "Kombucha mother" (aka SCOBY or "Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast."
There are tons of different health claims being made about Kombucha tea but I'm not sure which ones are actually true. I would reckon the benefits differ from person to person.
Back in 2005, my buddy Jon G. gave me my first Kombucha mother and for several years, I was constantly brewing my own Kombucha at home. Between 2006 and 2007, I was often consuming around 2 to 4 ounces of Kombucha per day and I liked the way it made me feel. After a while I became known as "the Kombucha guy" around Queen Anne Hill. Whenever customers would come into Teacup and ask about it, they would be turned over to me. During those years, I happily shared free "Kombucha babies" with at least 20 different friends and clients.
My favorite time to drink Kombucha is after a day of hard work because I feel like it relaxes and soothes my sore muscles. I only ever drink a small cup (no more than 4 ounces per day).
In late 2007, for no particular reason, I decided to take a break from Kombucha home brewing. So, besides a few bottles of really-expensive-commercial-stuff, I have barely had any Kombucha tea during these last three years.
Last week, my sister-in-law Kristel and I were talking about home brewing Kombucha and where to find a new Kombucha mother. Twenty minutes later a Facebook friend offered two Kombucha mothers for free. I took this as a sign from the universe that I should start brewing again, so Kristel and I picked up our new"Kombucha babies" that same afternoon. (Thanks again Laura!)
So now I am officially back in the Kombucha making game!
Here's a photo of my latest half-batch started on June 2, 2010.
Pasted below is the recipe I usually use. I adapted it from the most excellent book "Wild Fermentation" by Sandor Ellix Katz.Kombucha Recipe:Hardware:
A stock pot with lid
A heat resistant ceramic or glass bowl that can hold about a gallon of liquid (Do not use a metal or plastic bowl.)
A clean towel that is large enough to cover your bowlIngredients:
3 quarts of fresh spring water
3/4 cup of Organic Sugar
3 tablespoons of good quality loose leaf black tea
1.5 cups of mature liquid kombucha
(MLK) (This is the broth that your new KM is floating in.)Process:
What to do with your new KM
- Mix water and sugar in a stock pot and bring to a rolling boil.
- Turn off the heat, add the tea, mix really well and then put the lid on the stock pot.
- Steep for 15 minutes.
- Pour the liquid though the strainer into the bowl. Because the liquid is still really hot, pour slowly--you really don't want the temperature change to crack your bowl!!! Also, If you are wearing glasses they will probably get "fogged-up" and you wont be able to see what you're doing. I recommend taking them off before you start pouring. (You may want to have a friend help you with this step.)
- Wait for several hours until the broth is room temperature. You will kill your KM if it is still too hot!
- Add the MLK to the bowl of sweetened tea.
- Wash your hands really well and then reach in and grab the slimy KM. Gently drop it into the bowl.
- Cover the bowl with the clean towel. I like to use a rubber band around the rim to hold the towel in place.
- Allow tea to ferment at room temperature for 2 to 4 weeks. You can check the flavor from time to time using a clean sterile spoon or ladle. If the temperature in your house is warmer your batch of Kombucha will ferment faster, and if it's cooler it will ferment slower. The longer it sits the more acidic it will become.
- When the Kombucha is at the acidity you like, you can ladle it out into glass jars with tight lids and keep it in the fridge for about a month. Now it's time to start a new batch!
The new KM will form on the surface of the liquid Kombucha
while the tea is fermenting. The longer the tea ferments the thicker it will become. It will take the shape of the opening of your bowl. The old KM will either sink to the bottom or it will "grow into" the new KM (on the surface). If it sinks then you now have two mothers. In this case you can do one of these 3 things: start multiple batches at the same time, give one mother away to a friend or just toss one in the trash or compost. Also, you can keep a KM in the fridge (floating in MLK) for several months between batches.