Unlike juicing, the following tea can be a little intimidating to make for the first time.
However, with a bit of time and patience, it’s quite easy to make kombucha tea at home.
The Origin of Kombucha
The origin of Kombucha is a thing of legends. Depending on whom you ask, you may get a completely different answer as to where it first rose in popularity.
Some say that it was used by Chinese Emperors since 2000BC in an attempt to attain immortality, while others say that it originated in Japan or Korea. All three countries have a well-documented history with the tea, so it’s difficult to know exactly where the health drink was born (1).
As Asia became more open to international trade, Kombucha made its way into Russia and eventually gained popularity in Europe. Eventually, shortages of tea and sugar during the World Wars caused the tea to nearly disappear from Western culture. However, it never quite faded from Chinese medicine or Japanese lifestyle practices.
Not everyone in the Western World forgot about Kombucha, though. Dr. Rudolph Skelnar regularly used the tea in his German practice to treat cancer patients, metabolic disorders, high blood pressure and diabetes. He is widely regarded as the modern-day father of Kombucha (2).
What Makes It So Great?
Kombucha is a mix of tea, sugar, bacteria, and yeast; that’s it! Contrary to popular belief, there’s no mushroom involved (3).
The tea is fermented for a few days before being consumed, resulting in a wide range of probiotics, amino acids, B vitamins, minerals, and antibiotic compounds (4).
The tea also contains energy-packed polysaccharides that play a role in developing connective tissue. They also contain polyphenol antioxidants and beneficial enzymes and acids that help detoxify the liver and aid digestion (5).
How To Make Kombucha Tea At Home
The most important thing when it comes to making your own Kombucha is to use sterile tools. Kombucha culture also doesn’t respond well to metal, so important to let the mixture ferment in glass.
Makes 2 Gallons
Prep time: 30 minutes
Brew time: 9-14 days
- 60 grams of unflavored black or green tea
- 8 cups of boiled filtered water
- 2 cups of raw sugar
- 2 cups of Kombucha
- A SCOBY* (also known as Mother or Kombucha culture)
- A large saucepan
- A piece or organic cotton cloth
- 2-Gallon Brewing Container
- A wooden spoon
*A SCOBY (Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria and Yeast) can be purchased alive in most health food stores or grow your own.
- Clean all the surfaces and tools (hands included!) and rinse well to clear away soap residue.
- Boil water.
- Steep the tea in your saucepan for about 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Make sure to cover the pot with a lid.
- Pour sugar into the tea and stir until dissolved.
- Dilute the tea with 8 cups of cold water and let it cool to below 100°F.
- Strain and pour it into your brewing vessel.
- Once cool, add the pre-made Kombucha to acidify your batch.
- Add more water if necessary.
- Place the SCOBY in the mixture, cover the brewing jar with a piece of cloth, and secure with an elastic.
- Place your batch in a warm area (72-80°F) away from direct heat or sunlight. Let it sit for 9-14 days, depending on your taste. The longer it sits, the more vinegary it will become.
- When it’s ready, place your SCOBY in 1.5 cups of your Kombucha and store in the refrigerator for future use.
- Place your Kombucha in glass bottles and flavor with herbs, fruit, spices, or flowers. The sweeter the flavor (think fruit juice or dehydrated fruits), the more carbonated it will become. Simply seal the bottle and let it ferment for another 3-7 days. That’s it!