Friday, May 30, 2014

Let's Talk About... Kombucha

Kombucha is a lightly effervescent fermented drink of sweetened black tea that is used as a functional food. It is produced by fermenting the tea using a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast, or "SCOBY". - Wikipedia
Have you heard of Kombucha?  It's what the ancient Chinese called the “Immortal Health Elixir”. It’s been around for more than 2,000 years and has a "rich anecdotal history of health benefits like preventing and fighting cancer, arthritis, and other degenerative diseases". (

Anecdotal means unsupported scientific evidence. I looked it up.  However, nearly everything "natural" or "organic" or just plain good for you is considered "anecdotal".  Natural remedies don't make Big Pharma rich.  There is no money in people treating themselves.  

Kombucha nourishes the body, delights your taste buds, bolsters your immunity, and makes your spirits fly. It gives your body what it needs to heal itself by:
  • Aiding your liver in removing harmful substances, 
  • Promoting balance in your digestive system, and 
  • Being rich in health-promoting vitamins, enzymes, and acids. 
It is somewhat labor intensive to make and, since the Scoby reproduces its self with every batch made, you'll soon be covered in Tribbles.  (Points for reference).  

How to make Kombucha.
I know you can make it from scratch, so to speak, but I always get my Scobys from HealthWorks.  Tell Dr. Taylor that Patra sent you :-)  She'll give it to you for free.

Stuff You'll Need

Try not to use anything plastic. Plastic is a toxin and we don’t want that introduced into your Kombucha.
  • Scoby
  • 1 cup of Kombucha starter (the liquid (tea) in the jar that will come with the Scoby)
  • 1 cup organic sugar – you can use white sugar but make sure it says “cane sugar”
  • 4 to 6 tea bags – I use 4 teabags because I don’t like it so strong.  Use BLACK OR GREEN TEA ONLY.  No herbal teas.
  • Breathable cover – I use a paper towel
  • Rubber band to fasten the paper towel over the Kombucha brewing vessel.
  • Filtered water (best)
  • Stainless steel pot
  • Kombucha brewing vessel – glass, stainless steel or oak – you can use food grade plastic or a Porcelain Brewer if you know it is certified lead free. This is what I use and I got it at Target. It just has to comfortably hold a gallon of water.
This is the container I use.  I bought it for $15.00 at Target.  Maybe it was $10.00.  I can't remember. As long as it holds a gallon of fluid and has a wide neck, it will do.  You will not use the top.  The wide necks are better because you have to add the Scoby to it and it looks like this, typically. 
However, mine never look this round and pretty.

Making your tea
  • Boil 1 cup of water. (Filtered is best)
  • Add tea bags (4 or 6, I use 4)
  • Let the tea sit/swim/relax in the water anywhere between for 5-10 minutes.
  • Remove the tea bags
  • Add 1 cup of sugar and stir until it is completely dissolved.
  • Add 3 cups of cool or room temperature filtered water into your Target container (or Kombucha Brewing Container).
  • Add your Scopy and starter liquid to the container with the cool water. 
  • After your brewed tea has cooled a bit, add that as well until you fill up your brewing container.
  • Cover with paper towel (or other breathable fabric) and secure with a rubber band.  It will look something like this:
Place in a darker area of your kitchen and let sit for about 10-14 days COMPLETELY UNDISTURBED. You can also let it sit for much longer, but it will turn more bitter as it gets older.  Word of caution:  I killed my Scoby when I put it in the moving van - it really wants to be left alone and still.  It also sat in the heat for 3 days, so don’t do that either. 

When it’s ready, pull out the original Scoby and the NEW layer (new Scoby) and put in a jar with a cup of the new Kombucha tea.  Refrigerate – this stops the fermentation process. This will become your new starter tea for your next batch.

Now, just poor into bottles!  You can filter out the "floaties".  I run it through coffee filters when pouring into my bottles.  Or your can drink them.  They are unsightly, but not harmful.

You can use your original Scoby up to about 6 times I think. But they make a “baby” every time you brew so pretty soon you’ll have more than you need.  I threw mine away, gave some away, and tried to dry them for dog treat, but the hubby said NO to that.  :-)

Good luck and Happy Brewing!!!!

Patra Philips
Live Happy, Healthy, and Wealthy!

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