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Cheers! Kombucha Tea – A tasty, health-boosting drink you can make at home

from the Logee's growers

Cheers! Kombucha Tea – A tasty, health-boosting
drink you can make at home

By Amy Miller & Desiree Nordby of Logee’s

 
 

Kombucha Tea
Homemade kombucha tea

Known as the “Tea of Immortality,” kombucha tea dates to China’s Qin Dynasty (220 BC) and has for centuries been highly prized as an elixir for longevity. At one time, especially during the Cultural Revolution, every household had a pot of kombucha tea brewing. Even Samurai warriors used to carry wine skins of kombucha tea and drink it before battle due to its energy-boosting properties.


Another interesting anecdote that lends itself to the health benefits of kombucha is the story of a group of elderly women who were exposed to the radiation at Chernobyl and showed no ill effect. The only thing they supposedly had in common was the fact that they consumed kombucha daily.


Amy & Desiree enjoying some kombucha!
Amy & Desiree enjoying
some kombucha!

The many health benefits of kombucha can be traced to the bacteria and yeast (probiotics) that live within it. Compounds in the drink bond to and help excrete toxins from the liver. And because the tea is partially fermented, the antioxidants and polyphenols it contains are more bioavailable. The tea is said to relieve symptoms of many common ailments, including: gout, rheumatoid arthritis, arteriosclerosis, arthritis, constipation, impotence, obesity, diabetes, kidney stones, cholesterol, cancer and more.


The popularity of kombucha in recent years has resulted in many new brands and suppliers entering the healthy drink market. But despite the increase in supply, kombucha is still relatively expensive to purchase. That’s why so many people are interested in learning how to make their own tasty and nutritious kombucha tea at home.


Many of us here at Logee’s also make our own kombucha tea. We were so excited about our experiences with our own brewing methods that we wanted to share them with you. With these simple instructions below, you too will be able to quickly and inexpensively produce your own high quality kombucha tea.

  


 

Brewing a batch of kombucha
Brewing a batch of kombucha

HOW TO MAKE KOMBUCHA TEA


Ingredients  & Materials:

      • SCOBY – An acronym for Symbiotic Colony OBacteria and Yeast. This is the kombucha “mother,” a mix of cultures of bacteria and yeast present during the production of kombucha.
      • Starter liquid
      • Brewing jar – Use glass only, never plastic or metal
      • Sugar – preferably organic evaporated cane sugar
      • Tea – Black, green or herbal (be sure to check on acceptable herbs and ratios)
      • Breathable tightly woven cloth to cover jar
      • Rubber band
      • Measuring cups
      • Wooden spoon – no metal or plastic
      • White vinegar – avoid unpasteurized apple cider vinegar
      • Water – never use chlorinated city water. Distilled, spring, or filtered well water is acceptable

One-Quart Batch:

      • 1 ½ teaspoon loose tea or 2 tea bags
      • ¼ cup sugar
      • 3 cups water
      • ½ cup starter tea


Half-Gallon Batch:

        • 1 tablespoon loose tea or 4 tea bags
        • ½ cup sugar
        • 6 cups water
        • 1 cup starter tea


Gallon Batch:

          • 2 tablespoons loose tea or 8 tea bags
          • 1 cup sugar
          • 13 cups water
          • 2 cups starter tea

Instructions:

  1. Gather all materials and sanitize with white vinegar (avoid using antibacterial soap)
  2. Bring to boil one quarter the amount of total water (e.g., for a 1 gallon batch, heat only 1 quart).
  3. Add tea and steep for 5-15 minutes, depending what strength you desire, then remove tea. It is acceptable to use a metal tea ball to contain loose tea for making kombucha. However, the tea ball should be removed before adding the SCOBY and starter tea. The tea ball should not come into contact with the SCOBY.
  4. While tea is still warm, add sugar and mix with wooden spoon until completely dissolved.
  5. Pour remaining three quarters of water into your kombucha brewing jar, then add your sweet tea. This should cool the mixture down. If it is still hot, cover and set aside until lukewarm.
  6. Once tea mixture is cooled, with clean hands, carefully place SCOBY into kombucha jar.
  7. Pour starter liquid over the SCOBY.
  8. Cover kombucha jar with breathable cloth. Secure with a rubber band, and place in a warm area, away from direct sunlight.
  9. Leave kombucha for 7-21 days (1/2 gallon may only take 3-7 days) depending on your preference.
  10. Serve over ice, drink and enjoy! NOTE: Remember to save at least 1 cup of kombucha off the top as starter for your next batch.

Since it is a fermented beverage, some find kombucha tea to be an acquired taste. But once you get past the initial and somewhat surprising “funkiness” of kombucha, it is likely you’ll be brewing batches of this healthy and unusually delicious drink for years to come!