Angela: No doubt about it, kombucha is a fantastic alternative to sugar loaded fizzy drinks for the whole family. I was gifted a scoby (looks like a slimy giant mushroom) a few months ago to start brewing my own kombucha. I was super excited. I had no idea it would be so easy. I picked up my scoby ready to start and carried it home like a prize cow…
What is Kombucha?
What is Kombucha I hear you say! It’s a fizzy and fermented cold tea historically drunk in China, Russia and Germany. It’s made by feeding a scoby (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) sugar and caffeine which produces a fermented tea drink. The drink contains B vitamins and loads of bacteria and yeast which promotes good gut health by balancing gut flora. Our gut flora is so important. 70% of our immune system is housed in our gut, so an important one to nurture. It’s easy to make and tastes awesome, a bit like ginger beer (slightly sweet and vinegary).
Why is it Good for You?
There are many claims about the magical health benefits of kombucha but if you want to learn more about the scientific findings here are 8 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Kombucha Tea. A research conducted in Russia at the beginning of the century and testimonials indicate that Kombucha can:
- Improve resistance against cancer
- Prevent cardiovascular diseases
- Promote digestive functions
- Stimulate the immune system
- Reduce inflammatory problems
I find it really good for sugar cravings. A glass of the goodness makes them go away.
Things to Note
There have been reports of adverse effects, such as stomach upset, infections and allergic reactions. I think this comes down to home brewed kombucha. If making it at home, be sure they are under sterile conditions. Also always use a glass jar, not ceramic pots as the acid in the tea may leach lead from the ceramic glaze. One study I read noted that if you have immunosuppression you should preferably consume controlled commercial Kombucha.
The 8 Simple Steps to Making Kombucha
These instructions are for a 4 litre jar:
- Wash your hands (be sure there is no soap left on your hands)
- Take the scoby out of the jar and place in a bowl, cover with a few cups of the liquid
- With the rest of the liquid strain into glass jars/bottles, you can leave out of the fridge in airtight containers to become fizzier if you want, I usually leave out for one-to-two days for this reason
- Sterilise the jar and make sure you rinse all the soap off
- Place the jar into the sink (just in case it breaks with the boiling hot water), fill up the jar with boiling hot water leave enough room for the scoby and the liquid
- Add 9 tea bags (normal black tea) and 3/4 cup sugar give it a good stir
- After about 5- 10 mins take out the bags and once COOL or room temp place the scoby and liquid back in and cover with a breathable cloth
- Leave for 7 days and repeat
Once brewed, you can add things like lemon and ginger to taste, but I like it as is.
Things to be aware of:
- If your scoby becomes mouldy then you should throw it away.
- The stringy dark strands are waste from the fermentation process.
- If you see globules they are new scobies trying to form.
Kombucha is a great healthy alternative to fizzy drinks, good for your health, cheap and easy to make. If you are struggling to give up fizzy drinks give it ago. You can buy scoby’s on the internet, be gifted one or even cultivate one from a store bought bottle of kombucha.
Or ask a friend already brewing for a “baby” scoby.
If you want to learn more about Kombucha you can watch our interview with Hannah Crumb (AKA The Kombucha Mamma) in our article titled ‘Hannah Crum – Everything You Need to Know About Kombucha‘ Enjoy 🙂