Friday, August 9, 2013

Kombucha 101

What is Kombucha? Basically, Kombucha is a probiotic fermented tea. You start with sweetened plain black, green, or oolong tea, add starter liquid and a Kombucha SCOBY, cover and let sit for a week or longer, then you have Kombucha!

What does Kombucha taste like? When it is at its peak, Kombucha is carbonated and tastes slightly sweet, slightly like apple cider, and has a vinegar like tang. The taste is also greatly affected by the type of tea you use. Recently, I tried Jasmine green tea and my Kombucha turned out very fruity tasting. Delicious! Some people find that Kombucha is an acquired taste, while others take to it right away.

What's a SCOBY? SCOBY stands for Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast. Have you ever bought Apple Cider Vinegar "with the mother"? That "mother" is a type of SCOBY! Many different types of ferments will create their own unique SCOBY.

Beautiful healthy SCOBY

Basic recipe for nearly 1 gallon of Kombucha:

12 cups water
1 cup sugar
4 black or green tea bags or 4 tsp. loose leaf tea
1 cup of already fermented Kombucha (starter liquid)
Kombucha SCOBY

Bring the water to a boil and add the tea/tea bags and sugar. Stir to dissolve the sugar. When the sweetened tea has come to room temperature, strain out the tea/remove the tea bags. Add your starter liquid and SCOBY. Cover with cheesecloth or a coffee filter to keep out bugs and dust, yet allow air flow. Leave it someplace out of the way for 7-10 days. Personally, I like to start tasting around that 7 day mark. It will depend on the health of your SCOBY and the room temperature for when that "sweet spot" hits. Some people like to refrigerate their Kombucha tea when it tastes best to them to slow down the fermentation. The longer Kombucha sits, the less sweet and more vinegar-like it will taste.

The SCOBY feeds of the sugar in the tea, and ferments the tea in return. The longer Kombucha ferments, the less sugar will remain in the tea. You will notice that the "mother" SCOBY will also form a "baby" SCOBY with each batch you brew.

Fresh batch started today.

Questions? Feel free to leave me a comment below!

No comments:

Post a Comment