Kombucha is fermented tea. The fermentation process is done by bacteria. Super good for your intestinal flora! Many health gurus drink a glass every day.
Kombucha is delicious as a substitute for soft drinks or an alcoholic drink. Most of the kombucha that you get in the store is pasteurized. That means the good bacteria are also killed. So always look for a raw / unpasteurized variety in the store. Or make your own!
You can make kombucha with all kinds of different flavors. It contains a tiny bit of alcohol that is released through the fermentation process. Not enough to get drunk, but therefore not recommended to drink during pregnancy.
Scoby, what’s that? That is the ” mother cake ”. It may sound a bit nasty and when you look into the jar with kombucha it also looks a bit crazy. But this is the starter of your kombucha. It is a living organism and these are the good bacteria that take care of the fermentation process. The longer you spend making kombucha, the bigger the scoby becomes. So large that you can then take a part off again to hand out to your friends. So someone else can make their own kombucha!
The easiest way is to get a scoby from someone. You can then use that to make your own batch of kombucha. You can also make the scoby yourself from scratch, but it’ll take you a few weeks.
Make sure you have a large jar. The one you see here on the photo has a tap, which is very handy for tapping kombucha. This way you can easily drink a glass every day.
Do’s & Dont’s
- Preferably use white sugar to make the kombucha. This is the food for the bacteria that take care of the fermentation process. Hardly anything remains of the sugar in the end product.
- Preferably use black tea for making kombucha.
- Make sure you don’t use metal or plastic to make the kombucha, the bacteria don’t like that.
- You never want to pour hot tea over your scoby, it will die! Make sure your tea has cooled completely before adding it to the kombucha jar.
- Do not close the jar with a lid, but with a napkin or (cheese) cloth. This allows the kombucha to ‘breathe’.
- Check after six days how your kombucha is doing. The colder it is the longer the kombucha needs to ferment. When the room is very hot, the kombucha will ferment faster. Taste whether you like the kombucha, the longer you leave it the more acidic it becomes.
- When your kombucha is tasty, drink it within a few days, or fill a bottle and keep it in the fridge. In the refrigerator you slow down the fermentation process and you can keep the kombucha good for longer.
- Make sure that there is always about 250 ml of kombucha left with your scoby. You need this to make a new batch of kombucha.
The kombucha already has different flavors when you use a different tea. You can use different varieties of black tea or also use green tea. Herbal teas don’t work.
After the first fermentation process you can add flavors to the kombucha! Fill a bottle with kombucha and add fresh herbs or fruit. Then allow to ferment for another 3-10 days outside the refrigerator. I made a combination of fresh ginger and pineapple pieces myself. This was really delicious! To experiment, think of:
- Ginger & Pineapple
- Rosemary & Orange
- Thyme & Lavender
- - 1.7 liters of water
- - 100 g of white sugar
- - 4 bags of black or green tea
- - 250 ml kombucha (from an earlier batch or from an unpasteurized kombucha from the supermarket)
- - 1 scoby
- Bring the water to the boil. Remove from heat, add the sugar and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Add the tea bags and let cool to room temperature. This step is important! The scoby can die if water is too hot.
- Pour the cooled tea into a large glass jar. Add the kombucha. Then place the scoby on top.
- Cover the jar with a cheese cloth, coffee filter or paper napkin and put an elastic band around it. They put the pot in a dry dark place. The kombucha is ready after approximately 6-10 days. Start tasting after day six. When you let the kombucha ferment for longer it becomes more acidic (you can use it as vinegar).
- Store 250 ml kombucha and the scoby for your next batch in the jar. You can store the rest of the kombucha in smaller bottles in the refrigerator.
- Optional: you can flavor the kombucha in the smaller bottles! For this, add pieces of fruit or ginger. Keep the bottles in a dark place outside the refrigerator. Allow to ferment for 3-10 days. The more fruit you add, the faster the fermentation process.