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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

What is Kombucha tea?

These are a few of my favorite things....lalala
A jar of fermenting tea with several "SCOBY's" in it
A large bottle of kombucha, ready to go
A small bottle of kombucha

Today, I'm going to be talking about one of my favorite things - kombucha. I first discovered it when I was working at a health food store in Hattiesburg, MS, and it was love at first sip! Actually, I do remember my mom making it when I was a kid and I thought it was strange.

Oh no! I'm becoming my mother! :)

What is kombucha tea?
There are two answers I give when asked this question, depending on what type of mood I'm in:

"You know how yogurt has good bacteria in it that make it good for your digestion? Kombucha tea is like that, except it's sweet tea with good bacteria in it instead of milk."


"It's fermented tea. I take sweet tea and put this thing called a scoby (kind of like a mushroom) in it and let it sit on the counter for a week until it gets sour and bubbly."

Both answers are true, one just sounds a lot more strange than the other.

Technically, kombucha is a lacto-fermented tea. Even though it's fermented, it's NOT any more alcoholic than yogurt or pickles, which are also fermented. The good bacteria digest the sugars and produce all kinds of healthy things.

Kombucha is good for digestion because of the probiotics growing in it. It is also good for detoxifying and contains many b-vitamins, which a lot of people are deficient in. A ton of health claims have been made about kombucha, from curing cancer to alkalizing the body. I'm not too sure about all of that, but I do know that I love it!

How is it made?
I can do a detailed post later on how to make kombucha tea, but here are the general directions:

You need:
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 gallon of water
6 tea bags (green, black, oolong, or any combination)

1. Boil the water with the sugar until the sugar is dissolved.
2. Steep the tea in the water until the water is cooled.
3. Pour the cool tea into a glass jar, add your scoby (see above photo) cover with a cloth (you want to let air in but keep out any bugs that wander by), and wait approximately one week.

You'll want to taste your kombucha every few days to see how it's coming along. When it tastes just sweet/sour enough for you, pour it into sealed bottles or jars and refrigerate.

To quote Rachel Ray, Yum-O!

I prefer to flavor my tea and do a second ferment. I'll describe that process on Friday. By doing a second ferment, the tea gets nice and bubbly like super healthy soda.

Have you ever heard of kombucha? Are you interested in trying it?

This post was shared at Simple Lives Thursday and Pennywise Platter Thursday.

1 comment:

  1. I have my first batch working on my kitchen counter now. I can't wait until it's ready!