© 2014 Shanna Lea
Known for its many health benefits, kombucha has been called the “Immortal Health Elixir” for over 2,000 years. Kombucha is made from sweetened tea and fermented by a colony of bacteria and yeast.
Kombucha tea has a flavor of its own that is very interesting. I’ve been drinking it now for a while and love the taste. Although it’s vinegar-like, it reminds me of sodas, but with only wonderful benefits. It’s available at most health food stores, so you can try it for a while to see how it benefits you. It is much cheaper to make your own though, and I’ve included some tips below.
Pick the right tea to start with
Some people use black teas like Lipton, instead of the more expensive ones, and say they taste better. Don’t use teas that contain oils. For example, bergamot oils are in Earl Grey tea. The oils can harm the kombucha. The kombucha culture is called Scoby, which means symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast. The best teas to use are Echinacea, green, black, oolong, red, white and herbal teas.
Use decaffeinated tea, if you are sensitive to caffeine. You can also try this method—let your regular tea steep in 1 cup water for 60 seconds, then discard the water. Use the teabags to make your kombucha tea. About 80-90% of the caffeine will be removed.
Do’s and Don’ts’s when Washing Your Hands
DO NOT wash your hands with antibacterial soap before making your kombucha tea. Doing so can destroy the good bacteria that is produced by the culture. Just wash your hands and the pans, jars and the utensils you’ll be using with hot water or plain vinegar. If you want, you can use non-latex gloves when touching the culture directly.
Types of Sugars to Use
For kombucha tea, use organic evaporated cane juice, but if all you have is refined white sugar, you can use it too. It’s not recommended to use raw sugars, since they are difficult for the SCOBY to digest. And don’t use raw honey either, it has anti-microbial properties can kill the culture.
Any wide-mouthed glass jar, like big mason jars, can be used for your brewing container. Sun tea jars are a good size, but stay away from the plastic ones. They can leach into the kombucha. You don’t need to sterilize the jar, just wash the them with dish soap, hot water and a little white vinegar or ACV. And don’t use bleach to clean your jars.
Remove Your Jewelry First
And keep all metal away from the entire process of making kombucha. Remove all jewelry and metal utensils before making kombucha. The metal can be pulled into the kombucha. Inside your body, the kombucha can help remove heavy metals, but we don’t want it to have pulled it from your jewelry before you start. The metal can also corrode or damage the Scoby.
Adding the Culture
After you add the culture to the tea, put the jar in a warm and dark place. It ferments best between 70F and 86F. It will grow slowly in colder temperatures.
Healthy for Everyone!
Kombucha tea is healthy for everyone in your family. Even kids love the taste of kombucha! Add flavors to kombucha like strawberries, peaches, apple, lemons, or pineapple. Wait 12-24 hours for the flavors to come together before serving. Enjoy!
Interested in Making Kombucha ?