April 6, 2010
I love to make and drink kombucha. So yummy and refreshing. Here’s the recipe:
3 quarts water
1 c sugar
4 tea bags of organic black tea
½ cup kombucha from a previous batch
1 kombucha scoby
Boil the water. Stir in the sugar until it is dissolved, then add the tea bags. Leave the tea alone until it is luke warm to room temperature. Remove the tea bags. Drop in the scoby and ½ cup of kombucha. Cover with a cloth, and let it sit for about five days. I secure the cloth with a rubber band.
When it finishes, it should smell sort of sour and fruity/yeasty- best way that I can describe it. It will be mildly bubbly. The scoby will have brown gunk on it- and it will be attached to a new baby scoby. If something goes wrong, it will have mold on it. Black is not normal. A bad smell is not normal. As with all fermented foods “if in doubt, throw it out”.
What is a scoby? The word is an acronym for symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast. And white sugar? Really- a health food? Kombucha has so many health benefits. It contains a very potent detoxifying substance called glucuronic acid. In Nourishing Traditions, Sally Fallon claims that it is a “powerful aid to the body’s natural cleansing process, a boost to the immune system and a proven prophylactic against cancer and other degenative diseases”. You can make kombucha with honey or other sweeteners, but the highest levels of glucuronic acid are achieved when you use white sugar. Go figure.
A couple of caveats- I know of a case where someone felt mildly buzzed from kombucha. It’s a fermented food, so it might contain a bit of alcohol- I’m not really sure. Also, some people are allergic to kombucha, so you’ll want to try a small amount the first time you drink it.
And, as with all fermenting, make sure that the containers you use are super clean. It’s important to leave kombucha alone once you start the ferment. Put it on a shelf and leave it alone until it’s ready to be checked (five days).