This morning I set out to make my first batch of Kombucha Tea. I have been drinking GT's Kombucha for some time, but after paying $3 each I became obsessed with making my own.
I met a woman from Austria named Marianna, who brought a Kombucha culture to the US on vacation (Shhh! Don’t tell) and she made batches of the tea while she was here. She shared some with my husband and I and offered to leave me a culture, but forgot as she zipped back to Austria.
Her K-Tea was very different from GT's Kombucha in that it wasn’t as fizzy and had a sweeter apple cider vinegar taste.
I began doing research online and found a lot of great resources and recipes for making your own. The HerbalRemedies.com recipe was easy to understand and they also sell cultures and kits.
Well, I am too impatient to wait for a culture in the mail, so I began researching if you could make the tea from a bottled tea that contained some of the live culture in it and it seems you can. We’ll see with my first batch.
My last bottle of K-Tea from Marianna was sitting in the fridge begging to be consumed when I picked it up to see how much culture was floating around. I jumped with glee when I discovered a baby culture floating around in a perfect circle, so this bottle will be my starter and hopefully a SCOBY (the name for the culture disc) will grow from that little baby floater.
I am following the directions at the link above to the tea, although I bought organic raw sugar and organic black tea. I found a cool one gallon jar to use at Target for $6.99 , but really any glass gallon jar will work. I don’t eat huge jars of pickles from Costco, so I didn’t have anything on hand.
It is cold as heck here in Austin right now and I don’t have central heat, so I had to set up a little Kombucha station on my desk over my laptop and with a space heater close by to maintain the heat between 72 and 74 degrees. Wish I was that warm!
Here are the steps I have taken making the recipe linked above:
1. Bring to Boil 3 Quarts of Distilled Water
2. Add 1 cup of sugar (I use organic raw sugar) boil 5 minutes.
3. Turn off heat and add 4 tsp black or green tea in bags, loose or tea ball to steep for 10-15 minutes
4. Remove (strain) tea and let it cool to room temperature. Tea must be cool or it will kill the live culture. I let mine sit covered outside in 40 degree weather (told you I am impatient).
5. In my experiment, I added 12 ounces of bottled homemade Kombucha with a live SCOBY floating in it. This is about 12 percent of the three quarts of tea. You need 10-15 percent old batch tea and the scoby if you have it.
6. Let it sit for 6-10 days covered with a cloth or paper towel between 70-80 F degrees.
Get more detailed instructions from the links on this page. While I didn't read every website in detail, I found a bunch of great resources.
I'll update as I see changes in my tea. This is exciting stuff. Now I have to think about what to bottle it up in when its done.