This is a recipe (?/process) for making Kombucha at home. The benefits of this ancient tea drink are many. In addition to tasting great (elixir of life indeed!), the benefits of Kombucha can be explored in detail here: Kombucha SCOBY by Cultures Market: My Review
It is extremely easy to make Kombucha at home (and highly recommended too!). Please see below the requirements and the method.
To make Kombucha, the first time, you will require two clean wide mouth glass containers, a cotton cloth/cheesecloth, a rubber band, some starter tea, a SCOBY, about 100 grams of sugar (Don’t worry, all of this sugar will be consumed by SCOBY for their growth, essentially leaving you with a minimal/zero sugar product), and some black tea/ Indian Chai patti (about 20 grams). You can buy the SCOBY from Cultures Market from here: Cultures Market
Steps to follow are:
- Boil about 1 litre of water. You don’t need to overheat it. Add sugar and dissolve. Turn heat off.
- Put about 15 to 20 grams of chai patti/tea leaves in this. Stir and let it brew for 10 minutes. Strain the tea so that you are left with a clear, hot black tea.
- Let this mixture cool. It is critical for the SCOBY to survive that this mixture cools to room temperature. Cooling can take upto 30 minutes. Under hot temperatures, the SCOBY will die.
- Put the SCOBY and the starter pack in a clean glass container.
- After the mixture cools, pour the tea on the SCOBY and starter pack till the top leaving about 2 inches of space between the rim of the container and the liquid level. (Don’t buy a container that is too large, as it will increase the chances of contamination due to excessive air. Don’t buy a container too small, as it will make the Kombucha too strong, which means a taste too tart for your liking)
- Put a clean, cotton cloth on the top and tie it with a rubber band or a ribbon. You do NOT need the lid.
- Leave the Kombucha in a clean and dark place. Make sure the place doesn’t have any moulds.
- To keep the Kombucha fermentation conditions sterile, buy a spray bottle and plain vinegar. Pour vinegar in the spray bottle and occasionally spray on top of the cloth during the storage period. This will ensure clean conditions.
- Keep this Kombucha for at least five days. Then, on the sixth day, you will need to see if its ready. Take the rubber band off, take the cotton cloth out, and with the help of a straw, taste the Kombucha. If it still has too much sugar, the fermentation is still underway and you need to keep it longer. If its not sweet but fizzy, your Kombucha is ready. If you like yours to be more tart, keep the fermentation going for one or two more days.
- Depending on the regional conditions, it could take from 5 to 14 days or even a month in extreme cold climates. In Mumbai, its ready in five to seven days.
- When the Kombucha is ready, leave some of this kombucha tea and SCOBY at the bottom (this new kombucha tea is now the starter tea for next batch) and pour the rest in a clean glass bottle. You can store this in the fridge for upto a month.
- What happens (like magic) is another SCOBY (daughter) is formed from the original SCOBY (mother) and for the next batch, you can make two batches of Kombucha. If you want to make only one batch, you can put some formed kombucha in a glass container and store either of the SCOBies in this container in the fridge.
- Keep this Kombucha in the fridge and enjoy as a cool, refreshing drink along with numerous health benefits.