Kombucha has been around for a least a couple thousand years in Asia and other countries. The Chinese called it an “immortal health elixir”. Because it’s fermented, you get billions of powerful probiotics in your system when you drink it. Not only this but it also has the following health benefits (to name a few):
- Detox the liver
- Increase energy
- Improves digestion
- Boost immune system
- Help prevent or fight cancer
- Aid in weight loss
- Improve mood—decrease anxiety & depression
So how is the fast popular drink made? Kombucha comes from black and/or green tea, water, and sugar. Of course you also need a 'mother plant' called a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) A fermentation takes place: the bacteria and yeast in the SCOBY actually ‘eat’ up most (not all) of the sugar and part of the caffeine, creating vinegar and other acidic compounds, with trace amounts of alcohol, and gases that make it carbonated. While the tea ferments, the SCOBY helps create b-vitamins, enzymes, acetic acid, (found in apple cider vinegar), gluconic and lactic acid, and a ton of great probiotics!
Here is the basic recipe for kombucha:
4-6 black tea bags
1 cup organic granulated cane sugar
1-2 liters filtered or spring water (don’t use tap water as it often contains chlorine and other chemicals which will kill or prevent the growth of the beneficial bacteria and yeasts)
Large glass container with wide mouth (I used a large glass ice tea container)
SCOBY (find a friend that can give you a part of theirs or alternatively start from shop based drink. This is a longer process though so best to do some more homework before going this route)
Clean dish cloth and rubber band
Be sure your kitchen and utensils are all very clean. Just to be sure, I rinse all of mine under very hot water.
Bring water to boil in a large pot. Once boiling, remove from heat and add teabags and sugar and let it steep, stirring occasionally with clean spoon to dissolve sugar.
Remove and discard tea bags after about a half hour or so. Let mixture cool to room temp—do not pour boiling hot tea over SCOBY or you may kill the live bacteria and yeasts.
When cool, add to jar with an equal amount of filtered water. Add SCOBY and cover with clean cloth and rubber band to secure it. Do not add a lid as the fermentation will build up and could explode it!
Allow the tea to sit for 7-14 days. Less time produces a tea with more sugar and caffeine. More time creates a more sour, fizzy brew, but it will be full of antioxidants, enzymes and probiotics. Much depends on the temperature and storage of the tea.
Of course if you want to enjoy the benefits from drinking kombucha you can also order on the Living It Green website. You can also buy as a vinegar and use on salads.