Another SCOBY forming within the brew is a good sign you are brewing the batch well. Depending on how long the recipe is cultivated for, this recipe will make approximately 800mL.
Storing your kombucha
- Do not use stainless steel or plastic to store your kombucha. We recommend storing it in a glass bottle.
- Make sure your hands and utensils are clean.
- Keep cultures away from strong smells, especially smoke or pollution.
- If you need a break from brewing, refrigerate your SCOBY in a glass jar with brewing liquid. It will keep the culture dormant until you are ready to use again. Give the culture occasional fresh air by opening the lid now and then. Be sure to have the culture at room temperature before brewing again.
What is a SCOBY?
From a mother SCOBY, each batch of tea will produce a baby SCOBY. It will take the shape of the container used to grow and has a gelatinous and tough texture. They are usually light brown in colour but can change depending on the tea used.
The benefits of kombucha
Kombucha tea is endowed with myriad health benefits, such as:
Kombucha’s health benefits are attributed to it being a probiotic drink. This means it contains live (good) bacteria and yeast that are unfortunately quite scarce in typical modern-day diets. These beneficial bacteria make their way into your gut and colonise, which means less pathogens and parasites.
Due to its acidic pH properties, this beverage is a perfect digestion stimulant. As soon as the elixir hits your mouth, your autonomic nervous system stimulates the release of enzymes and acids in your stomach, improving digestion and nutrient assimilation. This can help with digestive disturbances such as bloating, heartburn and flatulence.
Finally, kombucha tea is highly anti-microbial due to its composition of bacteriocins, organic acids, acetic acid, usnic acid, proteins and enzymes.
Kombucha is high in vitamin C, vitamin E, carotenoids and polyphenols, which are imperative for healthy liver function. Furthermore, it contains glucuronic acid, which binds to exotoxins (environmental pollutants, pharmaceuticals) and increases their excretion by rendering them soluble substances through a process called conjugation.
Kombucha is a fermented tea made by adding a SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast) to a solution of tea and sugar. We put together an organic kombucha recipe made with loose-leaf tea for you to make at home.
Vegan, Gluten Free
- 1L non-chlorinated water
- ¼ cup raw organic sugar
- 3-4 tbsp of desired herbal tea such as Organic Merchant’s
- Lemongrass & Ginger, Moroccan Mint or Antioxidant Tea
- SCOBY (see above)
- ½ cup kombucha from a previous batch (if this is your first time making kombucha, use the liquid that the mother SCOBY comes in)
- Boil 500mL water and pour into a pouring glass jug (try to avoid a stainless-steel jug).
- Stir in sugar and add an Organic Merchant loose-leaf tea of your choice.
- Steep for 15 mins, then strain.
- Pour in rest of unboiled water. It should be at a tepid temperature.
- Stir with a wooden spoon. Pour into your clean brewing jar.
- Add SCOBY along with the liquid from a previous batch. Stir with a wooden spoon.
- Cover with muslin cloth or any breathable material and store in kitchen cupboard away from smells and other ferments. Allow to ferment for 7–10 days.
- Strain the beverage using a fine mesh cloth into a flip-top glass bottle or screw-top jars. Pop in fridge and drink as is.
- Note: Alcohol is a natural by-product of this kombucha recipe, but in tiny amounts: 0.05–0.75 per cent.