Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Kombucha Tea

Over the past few years the popularity of kombucha has risen.  People are beginning to understand the amazing health benefits found in this delicious tea and as our society becomes more health conscience, kombucha is selling like hot cakes off the grocery store shelves. The problem?  It's expensive. For a bottle of kombucha the size of a soda can, the price is between $3.00 and $4.00 depending on the brand. A single soda costs roughly ninety-five cents.

You can read about the health benefits of kombucha here.

I started making my own kombucha several years ago and loved it, but then with the busyness of life, I got out of the habit. Recently, my friend Kim, got me going on it again and I am committed now. It's amazing stuff.

Last week I made my first batch of kombucha in several years. I decided to make blueberry flavored this time around, simply because I like the taste of blueberries, but you can make many different flavors such as cranberry, gingerberry, mixed berry, lemon etc.

To begin with you need a gallon size jar (or bigger) with a spout at the bottom and a tight fitting lid. I have a three gallon drink dispenser with a nice, tight lid, that works perfectly and a couple of gallon jars with good lids so I can transfer the scobie and some of the tea to them after fermentation is complete.

To make the tea, you will need a gallon of filtered water and a nice, big pot with a good lid.

Add the water to the pot and bring it to a boil.



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Add eight black tea bags or green tea bags per gallon, but make sure you don't mix them or use other kinds of tea. I buy cheap black tea for my kombucha and it works really well.



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Once the water comes to a boil, add your tea bags and remove from heat.

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Add one cup of white sugar.....I use organic cane crystals.  Let the tea with the sugar in it, sit until it is at room temp.

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Add your scoby with a couple of cups of tea from the previous batch.



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Cover with a cloth and a rubber band and let sit on the counter for at least ten days. Some people prefer to let it sit for up to a month. I check it every few days after the ten day mark, and once it has the flavor and fizz I like, I remove the scoby and start the next step.



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After this, remove the scoby with two cups of tea and place it in a jar with a lid.  Add frozen berries, or lemon slices, or cranberries, peaches.....whatever you wish to flavor your kombucha with, to the container and cover with a tight fitting lid. The tight fitting lid helps with fizziness.  Let it sit for a couple of more days, and then bottle it up.
Let the bottles sit on the counter for another 24-48 hours for a second fermentation process, and then put them in the fridge. Viola! Your kombucha process is complete.

 I purchased a bottle of kombucha each week when I went shopping for several weeks. I tried various flavors and narrowed it down to my favorites. I saved the bottles and lids to use for bottling my own home made kombucha and now I know exactly what flavors I want to attempt to re-create at home.

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As soon as I removed the scoby with the tea from the first batch, I started a new batch. My goal as the scobies split into more scobies, is to make three-six gallons per week so the whole family can drink it every day.

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Have you had your kombucha today?

Update, January 27, 2015: My scobys have split so many times, I now make six gallons per week and have so many extra scobys that I'm able to help some friends out so they can begin their own kombucha making journey.





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