Kombucka Tea Recipe – Home Brewing with a SCOBY
I’ve been a tea drinker for as long as I can remember. Black tea was the only tea I drank for decades and I definitely had my preferences with brands. Now I enjoy many flavored teas along with my staple plain black tea. My new favorite is home brewed kombucka tea infused with ginger and fresh fruit.
There is a lot of research recently being released about the brain-gut connection and your gut being your “second brain.” As the saying goes, “you are what you eat.”
My diet has never been stellar nor totally terrible. Vegatables are not my favorite food although I wish they were. My bowels wish more vegetables were in my diet. I add vegetables to my smoothies to get servings in and that works for me. Still, my bowels were never really happy. This may be gross to some people but it’s a fact of life. We all poop, some more regularly than others. I was not a “regular” girl. I lived with constipation and bloating most of my life. Until now…
Kombucka tea is a popular beverage among the health conscious. It’s supposed to be good for your gut. So, of coarse, I jump on the bandwagon and begin to drink store bought kombucka tea almost every day. Bottles cost around $3.00 each, some are more tasty than others and most are not what I would describe as delicious. Now, I want to make my own. I research how to make homemade kombucka and find I need the magic ingredient – a SCOBY – a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast. I do not know anyone with a SCOBY so I plan to purchase one online.
While vacationing in Cape May with my daughter and her family, we go to the local farmers market. Woohoo! There it is, a SCOBY for $10.00. I buy it and chat with Dave about how to brew my own homemade kombucka tea. I am so excited that I don’t think about the fact that we have another day in Cape May at Congress Hall. Fortunately, we have a refrigerator where I carefully place my baggy with my new SCOBY. I put ice in a small cooler with my SCOBY for the ride home.
Once home, I put the SCOBY in the refrigerator while I search online for other supplies I need. I order 2 – one gallon glass jars and some cheesecloth on Amazon.
I am ready to go. My first batch takes over 4 weeks to taste like kombucka. It almost doesn’t work because I use flavored tea with lemon and ginger. I learn that anything acidic slows the fermentation process. My next batch, I follow the instructions more closely. I am home brewing kombucka tea for about 3 months now. I experiment with black, green, jasmine and white teas. My favorite is a white tea brewed for about 6 days. I remove the SCOBY, add fruit and shaved ginger and let it sit for another couple of days.
Kombucka Tea Recipe
- 60 ounces of filtered or spring water
- 8 organic white tea bags
- 1 cup white cane sugar
- 1 SCOBY
- 1 cup of starter tea (kombucka from last batch) or apple cider vinegar
- Bring water to a boil. Turn off heat and add tea bags.
- Add sugar and stir.
- Let cool for about 3-4 hours. (If it is too hot it can kill your SCOBY)
- Pour tea into gallon jar.
- Add SCOBY and starter tea or ACV
Cover the jar with cheesecloth or paper towel and secure with rubber band. This allows air in but keeps dust and insects out.
SCOBY may sink to the bottom when you first place it in jar but should rise to the top after 1 or 2 days. A shiny white layer forms on the top and strings of tan and brown (yeast) may start hanging down from the darker underside. As the fermentation process continues, the tea becomes lighter and clearer.
Don’t be afraid to experiment. It’s fun and with each batch, your SCOBY grows. You can try letting your tea ferment longer for a more effervescent effect. Start tasting your tea after 7 days to see how you like it. The longer it sits, the more fermented it tastes. You decide how you like it. I prefer less bubbles, so I drink it after 6 or 7 days and add fruit and ginger.