Kombucha (pronounced kom-BOO-cha) is a fermented tea beverage made from black or green tea and a fungus culture known as a “mushroom” or “Scoby”. This is simply a pancake shaped mass of bacteria and yeast. It acts on sugar and tea to produce small amounts of a potent detoxifying substance, glucuronic acid. This acid is said to be a powerful aid to the body’s natural cleansing process and a boost to the immune system. This powerful tea beverage has been used for over 2000 years to improve health and fight against infection and chronic disease.
Far too many people live with unimaginable digestive distress these days. Kombucha tea is full of probiotics and enzymes that help with digestion and restore balance to your inner ecosystem. The friendly yeasts and bacteria are readily available to do their job in your intestinal tract. Kombucha is a dramatic immune system booster and body detoxifier.
Kombucha is widely available in health food stores but be careful as many contain significant levels of sugar and are pasteurized so not as many potent enzymes and probiotics available. Gt’s classic black label kombucha would be my pick if buying. It contains a small amount of alcohol from the fermentation process so you need to be 21 to purchase at the store. This would be the closest to the homemade brews.
You can make your own kombucha too. If you drink it daily this is the way to go and the route I took. I now have a “continual brew” set up in a glass pitcher with a spigot right on my kitchen counter. Here is how I did it!
My friend mailed me a scoby from her home kombucha brew. I then took the scoby and made my own kombucha following a similar recipe to this from the www.westonaprice.org website:
FIVE-STEP BASIC KOMBUCHA RECIPE
This recipe combines the brewing techniques outlined in Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon Morell and Kombucha Phenomenon by Betsy Pryor. These methods ensure the most health-promoting properties in the finished drink. If you drink kombucha as part of the treatment of a health condition you should always brew according to a recipe that relies upon these techniques.
The space where you brew kombucha can be kept as cool as 65 degrees F or as warm as 75 degrees F. To hasten the fermentation in cooler conditions add up to 2 cups of finished kombucha to the brew. Above 75 degrees F the fermentation accelerates and the tea can easily become too tart, tasting of vinegar within only a few days. Always remember to use non-reactive kitchen utensils washed with non-toxic dish soap (rather than detergent).
3 quarts clean water (well, spring, or filtered)
1 cup evaporated cane sugar
1/2 cup finished kombucha or 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 kombucha mushroom (SCOBY)
Step 1: Bring one quart of the water to a boil. Remove from the heat. Pour the water into a one-gallon heat-safe glass bowl or wide-mouth jar. Add the sugar and the tea. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Cover and steep the tea for as little as 15 minutes, or until cool. Remove the tea bags. Add the remaining 2 quarts of water.
Step 2: Add 1/2 cup kombucha from a previous batch or 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (this acidifies the tea and prevents contamination from other microorganisms). Place the mushroom, dark-side down, in the liquid.
Step 3: If you are using a bowl, cross several strips of masking tape over the top (to keep the cover from falling into the liquid). Cover with a tightly-woven cloth. Secure the cover tightly with a string or rubber band. Fasten a label to the jar with the date it was made. Store in a warm (about 70 degrees F), well-ventilated place, away from fruit bowls, compost bins and houseplants, and out of direct sunlight.
Step 4: Depending upon the room temperature, the kombucha will be ready in six to twelve days. Kombucha is ready to drink when the liquid looks relatively translucent and a “baby” kombucha mushroom has formed above the mother. Most people prefer kombucha slightly sweet to pleasingly tart. After about one week taste it daily. When the flavor suits your taste, bottle the tea.
Step 5: To bottle kombucha, remove the mother and the baby mushroom from the brew. Use a non-reactive funnel and glass jars or bottles with tightly fitting lids (or flip-top bottles). Fill the jars to the top, leaving only 1/4 inch of headspace. Place a sheet of waxed paper underneath the lid. (The paper prevents the acidic kombucha from corroding the lid.) Store in the refrigerator. Makes about 2 1/2 quarts.
To restore effervescence to chilled kombucha, remove from the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Strain the tea just before serving. Keep one or both of the SCOBYs to make additional batches of kombucha. Extra SCOBYs can be composted along with other kitchen waste.
Kombucha is loaded with organic acids, active enzymes, amino acids and polyphenol anti-oxidants.
Kombucha tastes tangy and tart and has a bit of a cidery flavor with a slight bit of fizziness. It is known as an energizing beverage slightly sweet at the same time acidic. You want to sip kombucha slowly and not chug it down. Try this delicious super food drink to improve your energy and overall health!