Kombucha tea is one of my favorite beverages since giving up soda. Oh, how I have missed fizzy drinks!
If you’ve ever tried store bought kombucha, you know it’s both delicious AND expensive. It runs between $3-$4 a bottle in my area. Thankfully, Kombucha tea is sooo easy to make yourself for much, much less.
What is Kombucha Tea?
Kombucha is a carbonated beverage that is produced by fermenting sweet tea with a culture of yeast and bacteria called a scoby. Scoby is an acronym for “Symbotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast.” A scoby is similar to the “mother” used in making apple cider vinegar.
Why Drink Kombucha Tea?
Kombucha tea has been around for centuries. It’s naturally fermented with a living colony of bacteria and yeast (the scoby) so it’s a probiotic drink. Probiotics are extremely beneficial to our gut health and digestion and therefore our whole immune system. When my kids are feeling ill, I’ll often give them a glass of kombucha rather than ginger ale. Kombucha is naturally carbonated and my kids happily drink it!
Is Kombucha Tea Gluten Free?
Yes, it is. My daughter drank lots of Kombucha tea after she was diagnosed with gluten intolerance to help repopulate the good bacteria in her intestines.
Where Can I Get a Scoby?
If you know anyone who makes Kombucha at home, give them a call! As you will soon find out, once you start making Kombucha at home, you will have lots of extra scobys to share. If you don’t have a local friend, you can purchase your scoby from Cultures For Health. Keep in mind, you will need to re-hydrate your purchased scoby before making your first batch of Kombucha Tea.
Kombucha Tea Recipe
Yields: 2 Quarts (1/2 gallon) Finished Tea
2 Quart Glass Jar
Stock Pot for brewing tea
Coffee filter or tightly woven cloth to cover the top of the jar
Bottles: 3 – 16 oz glass bottles with swing tops or clean glass juice or Kombucha bottles
1 tbsp loose black or green tea (or a mixture of both) or 4 tea bags
1/2 cup white sugar (I use organic cane sugar)
6-7 cups of non chlorinated water
1 cup of previously made Kombucha tea or distilled white vinegar
Step 1: Brew Your Tea.
In your stock pot, bring your water to a boil. Turn off the heat and add your sugar and loose tea or tea bags. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Cover the pot and let your tea cool to room temperature. This could take several hours. Once your tea has cooled, stain your tea if necessary.
Step 2: Add Starter Tea or Distilled White Vinegar
Add 1 cup of previously made Kombucha tea (starter tea) or distilled white vinegar to a 2 quart jar.
Step 3: Add Brewed Tea & Scoby
Add the cooled, brewed tea to your 2 quart jar and then, using clean hands, add your scoby.
** Is is extremely important that your brewed tea be no warmer than room temperature before adding the scoby.
Step 4: Cover & Let it Ferment for 7-10 Days
Cover the jar with a coffee filter or tightly woven fabric and secure with a rubber band. You want to allow air to your tea but keep out any bugs or dust. Store your tea at room temperature and out of direct sunlight. Let it ferment for 7-10 days.
During fermentation, it is not usual for your scoby to float at the top, bottom, or even sideways. A new scoby will begin to form at the surface of the Kombucha within a few days. Often the new scoby will attach itself to the old scoby but sometimes a new, separate scoby will form. Both are normal.
Step 5: Taste Your Kombucha Tea After 7 Days.
After 7 days, begin tasting the Kombucha daily until it reaches your desired taste. The longer your Kombucha ferments, the more sour and vinegary it will become.
Step 6: Remove the Scoby
Once your Kombucha tea is ready, remove your scoby and set it aside on a clean plate or bowl. Reserve enough starter tea for your next batch of Kombucha. You can make a new batch of Kombucha tea immediately or place your scoby and starter tea in a sealed glass jar in the refrigerator for up to 30 days.
Step 7: Bottle Your Kombucha Tea
For plain Kombucha tea, strain your finished tea (if desired) and using a funnel, pour into glass bottles, leaving 1/2 inch of headroom.
For flavored Kombucha tea, you can add cut up fresh or frozen fruit, ginger, herbs, or juice to your glass bottles before adding your kombucha. Leave 1/2 inch of headroom. You can either chill and enjoy right away or you can do a second ferment by leaving the bottles at room temperature for another 2-4 days. Fermenting a second time will give your bottled Kombucha more fizz.