Kombucha tea is a treat for me; it is a lightly fermented drink that tastes like a tart, sweet healthy soda. A drink that promises healthy benefits with addition of probiotics. Every week I buy at least four bottles. I was so grateful when my Tao Master suggested I make my own and he shared his scoby (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) with me. Surprisingly, it is very simple to make.
First, I brewed 12 cups of green tea. You can use black tea also. Then you strain the tea and add 1 cup of sugar. Put this solution in a gallon glass jar. Cool overnight.
Next, I add the scoby given to me along with the liquid from the tea batch from Master Kuo. Cover with a dishtowel, secure with a rubber band and let it ferment for approximately one week. Keep it in a dark area at room temperature. The scoby and yeast will eat most of the sugar, making the tea into a refreshing tart, fizzy beverage with a sour edge.
Within a few days, the scoby floated to the top and a whitish plastic looking coating forms on the surface. There were also bubbly brown stringy bits floating under the scoby. This is part of the fermentation process.
After a week, start tasting the tea. Use a straw and stick in half way in and then cover with your finger and taste. My first batch needed 10 days to ferment.
Then came the fun part where I can flavor and bottle. I am experimenting with bottling it with green powder, another bottle with frozen blueberries and finally one with ginger. Keep these bottles out for 1-3 days to increase the carbonation. Remember to burp these bottles if using glass by slightly twisting the cap to let some air escape. If using plastic, in 1 or 2 days, the plastic bottle will feel firm and solid. Then refrigerate and enjoy the fruits of your scoby. Remember to save your scoby, along with 1- 1/2 cup of the Kombucha as a starter for your next batch as it can be used repeatedly.
Maybe the next batch, I am going to keep it plain and add a scoop of coconut ice cream to make a Kombucha ice cream soda.
Cheers and here's to your health!