My love affair with kombucha started about two years ago. At that point, I had heard of kombucha and knew that it was an expensive health drink. Being someone who will try any health food trend at least once, I decided to pull the trigger and give it a go. I drove to my local health food store, scanned the aisle for the right flavor (cherry chia to be exact) and bought it. When I opened the bottle, it made a fizzy sound, similar to opening a bottle of soda—I was intrigued. I took a sip, and it was love at first taste. Chia seeds, cherry flavor, fizziness, what more could a health-conscious girl like me want? Well, MORE!
I started trying different flavors and brands and quickly realized there wasn’t a single flavor I didn’t like. After becoming hooked on this expensive mystery tea drink, I figured I should probably do some research to understand what IS this drink some refer to as the “elixir of life.”
So What is Kombucha?
Kombucha is a fermented tea drink that has been around for centuries. It is known for being full of probiotics and has been said to help digestion, metabolism, arthritis, depression, heartburn and the list goes on and on!
After doing even more research, I found out that I could easily brew kombucha at home for a fraction of the cost compared to store-bought bottles. All I really needed was tea, sugar and a SCOBY, or “symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast.” It’s the key ingredient in making kombucha; the bacteria and yeasts work together to ferment the tea. Lucky for me, my friend had just stared brewing kombucha and had a SCOBY for me. I knew then that it was meant to be.
I will admit that the first time I home-brewed kombucha, I was intimidated. SCOBY, anyone? It doesn’t exactly sound friendly. But with the help of a friend and some internet research, I was able to brew my first batch with great success! After that, I perfected my skills through lots and lots of experimentation.
I’ve put together a quick guide to brewing your own batch at home, which you’ll find below. Remember, kombucha can be as sweet, tart or fruity as you want it to be. You can also add flavor to it, like fruit, loose tea, spices, ginger, etc. Don’t be afraid to try new things and know that each batch can taste different for a number of reasons—using different teas, flavors, and brewing time. But best of all, making your own kombucha is fun, easy and cheap – there are minimal ingredients needed and you may have most of the equipment in your kitchen already.
What You’ll Need
- Brewing jar. Using a glass vessel is required. Prolonged contact between kombucha and metal can affect the flavor of the kombucha and ruin your SCOBY.
- Stockpot. I recommend at least an 8-quart size.
- Dish towel. It should be breathable.
- Rubber band
- Plastic funnel
- Fine-mesh strainer. If you use loose-leaf tea, you’ll definitely need this.
- 8-10 16-oz sealable bottles. For storing your homemade kombucha!
Have you brewed kombucha at home? If you have any tips or recipes you can share, please leave them in the comments!