Learn how to make your own kombucha tea at home

Wednesday, May 02, 2012 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
Tags: kombucha tea, recipes, culture

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(NaturalNews) Kombucha tea, a detoxifying, immune-boosting, probiotic "superfood" beverage that ancient Chinese cultures often referred to as the "immortal health elixir" has taken the Western world by storm today. And while health food stores and many supermarkets now carry bottled kombucha tea that can run as much as $4 a pop or more, it is actually quite easy to make your own kombucha tea at home for just pennies on the dollar.

A simple combination of either black or green tea mixed with sugar, water, and a "mother" culture known as a "scoby" (Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast), kombucha tea really could not be easier to make. If you are capable of heating water on a stovetop and steeping a few teabags, you can successfully brew your own continuous supply of health-promoting kombucha tea at home for just a few dollars a month.

Obtaining a kombucha starter culture

To start, it is necessary to first obtain a healthy, organic starter culture, which is the active component in kombucha tea. Since kombucha scoby continually reproduces over time, those who already brew kombucha tea have a ready supply of new scoby that they often sell or give away on websites like the Kombucha Exchange Worldwide (http://www.kombu.de/suche2.htm) and Craigslist.

You can also purchase kombucha scoby and brewing kits from reputable online vendors such as Cultures for Health (http://www.culturesforhealth.com/) and Happy Herbalist (http://www.happyherbalist.com/kombuchamushroom.aspx).

Making kombucha tea from store-bought kombucha bottles

Another great way to obtain kombucha starter is to make your own from the bottled kombucha sold in retail stores. Simply purchase a 16-ounce bottle of plain (original), unflavored, organic, raw kombucha, and follow these instructions:

* Heat two cups of purified water as you normally would to make tea, and add two teabags of either organic green or black tea to hot water. Add four teaspoons of evaporated cane juice or organic sugar, and allow mixture to steep for roughly three or four minutes. Remove teabags, stir, and allow mixture to cool.

* Pour separate 16-ounce bottle of kombucha tea into sanitized, quart-sized, 32-ounce mason jar. Add just under two cups of the room-temperature, sweetened, organic black or green tea that you just made to the mason jar, leaving some space at the top just below the jar "lip" for kombucha mother to form (http://smallnotebook.org/wp-content/uploads/...).

* Cover mason jar with cheesecloth or paper towel, and screw on mason jar lid without cover so cheesecloth or paper towel is the only barrier between the tea and the air. Place jar in warm, dark space. Within a few days or a week, depending on temperature conditions, kombucha scoby will begin to form on top of the tea.

* Scoby will gradually thicken, and tea will continue to ferment. After scoby reaches one-eighth to one-quarter of an inch thick, taste the tea. If it is too sweet, allow it to brew longer. If it is slightly sweet, tangy, and has a definitive fermented taste, it is ready to drink.

* Pour half the amount of tea from brewing jar for drinking, and add two more cups of sweetened, room-temperature, organic black or green tea to the mixture, repeating the process every few days to create a continuous supply of kombucha. Each time you brew a new batch of tea, a new scoby will begin to form, which you will need to remove from the jar and either share, sell, or discard.

You can also make a larger, continuous brew kombucha system in a gallon- or multiple gallon-sized container. Happy Herbalist has some helpful instructions for creating a continuous brew kombucha system:

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