As you know I am a big fan of fermented foods and drink and Kombucha is most definitely up there with my favourites. Kombucha is fermented green tea and was first recored in China in 221 BC. The name is believed to have originated in Japan and got its name from Korean physician called Kombu who treated the Emperor with the tea.
As well as being abundant in beneficial bacteria Kombucha is also rich in other nutrients such as B Vitamins and Vitamin C. It has been found to have powerful anti viral, anti bacterial and anti fungal properties. It may improve energy, digestive health and liver function as well as skin problems.
It’s no wonder then that I call it the elixir of life!
Here’s how to make it:
You need a SCOBY which stands for Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast. It an alien looking white slimy disc that contains all the bacteria and yeasts you need for culturing a new one and making your yummy Kombucha.
If you don’t have a SCOBY you can get one started yourself by using a shop bought unpasteurised Kombucha (but not a flavoured one) there are plenty of tips on google. I made one by using a (small) bottle of bought kombucha, 1 cup of green tea sweetened with a heaped tablespoon of sugar. A smaller version of the method below when you have your established Kombucha. It can take around 3 weeks to culture your first one and then you can start adding larger quantities of tea and sugar gradually until you have an established SCOBY an inch or so thick
2 litre glass kilner jar
4 green tea bags (plain without flavour)
10 heaped table spoons of sugar – approx 140g (I use rapadura sugar because bacteria seem to especially like that kind)
boiling ideally filtered water
200ml of liquid from your previous batch
Note: Do not use any metal utensils or dishes -the bacteria will not thank you for that!
Wash your kilner jar thoroughly in hot soapy water and sterilise it in the oven or a pot of boiling water
Fill the jar within a few inches of the top (enough to fit the SCOBY and extra liquid)
Add the 4 green tea bags and sugar
Stir and leave to cool
Add the 200ml leftover liquid and then the SCOBY
Leave in room temperature for up to 2 weeks
The longer you leave the Kombucha the more acidic it will taste so I recommend tasting it as you go along until you reach the desired taste.
You can then do a second ferment which encourages fizz to form in the drink. You can also add extra flavours such as ginger, turmeric, lime or fruit juice.
To do this you just need to take the SCOBYs out of the Kombucha, decant the liquid into bottles (ideally with rubber tops to prevent explosions!). Add your flavours if you would like, attach the lids and leave on the side for 2 or 3 more days.
You can then keep the Kombucha in the fridge and enjoy as and when! It;s a good idea to start with small amounts of Kombucha, increasing as your body gets used to it.