I started drinking kombucha 2 years ago and absolutely fell in love from the first sip. I received a bottle of booch in a goodie bag and to be honest, wasn’t aware of the health benefits of Kombucha.
I’m not sure what I love most, the characteristic apple-cider vinegary tang; underlying sweetness or the fizz. Maybe the combination of it all is the reason this non-tea drinker is obsessed with Kombucha. I was impressed that something this delicious was made from tea.
The price of a bottle of booch is extremely expensive so, Ashton and I decided to learn how to brew our own Kombucha. At the beginning of lock-down I bought a Crafty Cultures Kombucha kit. The kit (below) included everything we needed to start our first brew. Several brews later and I can honestly say that we are Master Brewers.
What is Kombucha?
Kombucha is a fermented sweet tea. You add a mother culture called a Scoby (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) and some starter liquid (a small amount of kombucha) to sweetened black tea.
The scoby to be honest is extremely weird. It is a layered, rubbery brown looking disc that feels uber slippery and gooey. It feeds on the sugar and tannins in the tea, causing it to ferment and develop it. The drink then undergoes secondary fermentation resulting in it becoming more effervescent. The scoby as weird as it may be is also pretty darn awesome.
Health benefits of Kombucha
The fizzy drink (produced by fermented tea, sugar, fungi, and bacteria) is said to supply sky-high energy, reduce pain, fend off certain cancers, detox the body, boost the immune system and even help you shed weight.
8 Evidence-based Health Benefits of Kombucha Tea
- It is a potential source of pro-biotics.
- May provide the benefits of Green Tea.
- Contains Antioxidants.
- Can kill bacteria.
- May reduce heart disease risk.
- Can help manage Type 2 diabetes.
- Is healthy when made properly.
- May help protect against cancer.
While Kombucha has been claimed to be the holy grail. it is important to note that the way to a healthy lifestyle isn’t through one individual item, but instead through balance and variety.
Does Kombucha make you taste better?
You didn’t see this coming, but here goes. Another way to balance your vagina’s pH levels is to consume fermented food and drinks like kimchi, sauerkraut and Kombucha. This is due to the fact that Kombucha for example has yeast and bacteria in it therefore helping to balance vaginal pH. Balance therefore equals great tasting!
How to brew your own Kombucha?
Loving Kombucha is one thing, but buying it is another. It is rather pricey to buy, but making this delicious drink is actually incredibly affordable. Time and patience are the two biggest factors really. During the Covid-19 lock-down period Ashton and I learnt how to brew our Kombucha and it has been incredibly rewarding. All I can say is that the boy is obsessed.
You will need
- 2 lt glass jar (brewing vessel)
- breathable cover cloth with band
- stick on thermometer (optional)
- starter liquid
- tea bags / tea leaves
- brown sugar
- 900ml water
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 3 bags black tea, green tea, or a mix (or 2 tablespoons loose tea)
- 100 ml starter tea from last batch of kombucha
- 1 scoby per fermentation jar, homemade or purchased online
- Wash and sterilise all equipment thoroughly. Dry the outside properly and affix a stick-on-thermometer.
- The kit I purchased came with a hydrated scoby and starter liquid which made life easier. If your scoby is dehydrated then follow the supplied directions to activate.
- Make a sweet tea by bringing water to a boil in a clean pot. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Add the tea bags or loose tea leave. Loose tea leaves to be placed in a muslin bag. Steep for 15 to 20 minutes in the water then removed and discard off.
- Allow mixture to cool to room temperature, then pour the sweet tea mixture into your brewing vessel.
- Add the scoby and starter liquid to the jar making sure not to use metal utensils. Place cover clothe on top of brewing vessel and secure with rubber band or string.
- Store at 24 to 30 degrees out of direct sunlight for 7 day to 10 days. Note that it can take long during cool months so start tasting your brew from day 7 until you are happy with the taste.
- When you are happy with the taste gently remove the scoby with super clean hands. Remember to keep 300ml of the finished Kombucha brew. I keep my scoby and starter liquid in the same jar for my next brew.
- At this point your Kombucha is ready to drink consequently I prefer to do a second fermentation. Decant liquid into sterilized glass bottles. Carbonation and flavouring occur during the second fermentation.
- Add sugar to assist the process. I prefer to use a piece or two of dried fruit
Kombucha flavour combo ideas
- Blackberry and thyme
- Blood orange
- Cranberry and orange
- Blueberry, ginger and lavender
- Chai spice
- Cherry and vanilla
- Coconut and lime
- Fig and orange
- Fig and honey
- Ginger and lemongrass
- Strawberry and basil
- Pears and almonds
- Peach and mint
- Pineapple and aniseed
Crafty Cultures Giveaway
Now that you know how to brew your own kombucha and I’ve hooked you up with some awesome flavour combos, all you need is a starter kit. You can win a Craft Cultures Kombucha Starter Kit worth R 350. All you have to do is follow all the rules on the relevant Instagram post by clicking HERE.
Happy brewing and stay safe
Disclaimer : While the giveaway prize is sponsored, I bought the Kombucha kit .