Kombucha is a fermented tea drink that’s really good for your gut microbes. If you have been reading these emails or following me on social for a while, you know I am doing everything I can to support my gut health.
It’s a healthy option for a refreshing ‘soft drink’. It supports the detoxification process. My friend Janice (who taught me this method, and the sourdough and fermented veggies) alternates alcoholic drinks with kombucha to minimise the damaging effects alcohol has on the body.
You can buy shop-bought kombucha, I am yet to find one I like, I find they all taste the same, and not that nice. Plus, often though they are pasteurised (all the bacteria gets killed off) or they have added sugars, they are bottled in plastic (and I am really trying to cut down on plastic use) and they are expensive. Making your own is really cheap! And you get to experiment with different flavours.
To make Kombucha, you will need a scobie (you can buy starter kits on Etsy or if you know someone who already makes their own, you can get a scobie and starter from them – I have loads I can happily pass on).
Once you have your scobie & starter kit get 2 x 500 ml jars, muslin cloth for each and an elastic band to secure.
Make up 1 litre of strong green tea – 2 tea bags and 80g of sugar (just regular granulated sugar, none of the fancy ones). You can use any tea as long as it has tannins in it – that’s what you need to make the fermented tea and the bacteria feed off the sugar so by the time you are drinking it, most of the sugar will be gone.
Once the tea has cooled to tepid, remove the tea bags.
Decant the tea into your 500 ml jars, scobie, and starter. If you have 1 scobie, cut it in half and split it between the 2 jars along with half the starter in each jar. The starter should be about 50ml in each jar.
Cover the jar with the muslin cloth and secure it (to keep the flies out and the oxygen getting in). Place the jars somewhere where they are not in direct sunlight or a draughty area. Ideally, somewhere that has a fairly consistent temperature.
Depending on the temperature in your home will determine how long your fermentation will take. In warmer temperatures, around 4 days, cooler temperatures 5-7 days. The best way to check is to taste test. If it’s still sweet, it needs more time. If it’s like vinegar, it’s gone too far. You are looking for a sweet spot between the 2 – everyone’s taste buds are different. It needs to be what you like.
Once you have the right taste, decant 80% of the liquid into a bottle. This is where you can have fun adding flavour to your kombucha. Personally, I decant 80% of each jar into 1 bottle. You can do that or have 2 separate bottles.
To flavour your kombucha you can use things like:
Ginger, elderflower, mint, seabuckthorn, hawthorn berries, rose petals, fruit (berries are really nice), any of your herbal tea bag flavours. You can get really inventive and try out seasonal things you can forage.
Add whatever you want to flavour, leave overnight, then you are good to start drinking from the following day.
Remember, I am collaborating with The Little Foragers Kitchen on Sunday 13th Aug 4-7pm with a Woodland Yoga & Forage, book here: https://bookme.name/