Recently I have become a convert of drinking Kombucha tea – a fermented tea drink which is great for the digestive system. It has many good bacteria in it and can help the digestive system to function really well.
It seems there is a bit of a craze for fermenting going on at the moment, and the latest one is the tea, Kombucha. It is a fermented tea drink, which originates from China or Japan.
Because it is fermented it contains good bacteria to help your digestive system feel its best. If you suffer from bloating and flatulence, then it may be worth giving this a try. (and if it doesn’t work, then see your naturopath)!
But the best thing about it, is it tastes pretty yummy. I drink mine with breakfast and flavour it with various fruits such as pear, apple, strawberries. I haven’t tried ginger yet – but apparently that is delicious too.
So how do you make this delicious drink I hear you ask?
Well first you need a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast). Once you have that, then you can brew your own kombucha. If you can have a friend give you one, that is the easiest way, but otherwise, you can grow your own. You will also need a large glass jar (preferably 1.5-2 L in size), a couple of glass bottles to store the finished tea in the fridge, and a dark place to keep your fermentation going. I put mine in the back of my pantry.
Making your SCOBY:
You will need to purchase a commercial kombucha tea as that will have in it the good bacteria and yeast to grow your SCOBY from.
Make some sweet tea by combining 1.5 litres of filtered water with 1 tablespoon of loose-leaf tea, and ½ cup of sugar. Boil the mixture until the sugar is dissolved and steep the tea until it cools to room temp. Combine this with one cup of commercial kombucha, and place all the liquid in your glass jar covered with a tea towel. Leave for 2 – 4 weeks and your SCOBY will grow. It will look like a white jelly layer. Keep one cup of this fermenting liquid, but throw away the rest as it will be too vinegary to drink. Keep your SCOBY! For trouble shooting tips, check out this website: http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-your-own-kombucha-scoby-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-202596 (scroll almost to the bottom)
TO make your tea:
After your SCOBY is made, start as you did above, by combining 1.5 litres of filtered water, with ½ cup of sugar, and 1 tablespoon of loose-leaf tea. Boil and steep as above. Add in one cup of the previous batch of tea and your SCOBY once the liquid has cooled. Cover and keep in your pantry for 7-10 days. Start tasting the tea from day 7 on wards to get the flavour you like. I liked mine on day 7 (a little sweeter).
Once you like the flavour – then do as you have done above, set aside a cup of the tea, and your SCOBY for the next batch, and then you can bottle the tea, let it carbonate in the pantry for a couple of days or put it straight in the fridge ready to drink. At this point you can also flavour it with the things I mentioned above.
I would love to hear if you end up making it. And let me know what other fermented foods you like. Leave me a line below.