The Magic of Kombucha

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There is a small revolution going on in LA at the moment – grocery stores with drinks fridges full of bottles of Kombucha and no regular fizzy sugary drinks in sight. Why is Kombucha not widely for sale in Sydney? Soon we will have lots of Kombucha but the best thing, is that you can always magic up some at home yourself. It’s pretty much free once you get your culture started. Just like a sourdough starter, a kombucha starter can be with you for life.

So what is kombucha? it is the most delicious nutritious fermented fizzy fruit tea drink which you can make at home. 

I discovered Kombucha at the farmers market in Noosa in January and have been making my own since. Fermentation is an amazing natural process – by fermenting tea, you create real natural probiotics which will help your system work better and the drink is so tasty it would be worth drinking even if you weren’t benefiting from it so much. Fancy shiny hair and glowing skin then try it!

Bucha means tea and that’s really where this adventure starts. There are 2 fermentations to the process. Sounds complicated – but it’s not. You just need a little patience until your first batch is done, and then you can set yourself up to be fermenting regularly so you are always fermenting and always have kombucha in the fridge to drink.

Recipe!

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To make 4L of my kombucha tea:

The First Ferment!

ingredients

Kombucha Culture – Large – I bought mine from www.koalabarefoods.com.au – or google search a supplier!
4L of filtered or bottled water – the culture doesn’t like chlorines and other additives in our water
tea bags – either black or green tea bags
1 Cup white, brown sugar, raw sugar – it doesn’t matter too much which sugar because the culture ‘eats’ the sugar and you don’t end up drinking any sugar

Method

Heat half the water in a pan and add the sugar stir until dissolved. Add 4-6 tea bags (black tea, green tea) or 6-8 herbal tea. I prefer black or green tea and organic is best. Allow to steep for 10 minutes (no longer and no less!). Take out the tea bags and add the tea mixture to the rest of the water in a nice big glass jar. Pour in the kombucha culture, pop a tea towel or cloth on the top and secure with a rubber band. Don’t use muslin as the holes will let in the fruit flies and fruit flies love kombucha as much as we do. Allow to ferment on the windowsill for 5-7 days – 27degC is optimal so at colder temperatures your kombucha may take longer to ferment.

The kombucha is ready when it tastes a little sour and you can taste some fizz! If you accidentally make vinegar, don’t fear. Just start again using your vinegar kombucha as a starter for the next batch.

Second Ferment

Now this is the even more fun part. Decant the kombucha into glass bottles with airtight seals. I use any glass jars i have around. Pour in the kombucha (but without the culture) and add whatever fruit you fancy (again organic is best) – you can add strawberries, ginger, blood orange, rhubarb, apple, peaches – experiment! if you add pureed fruit or fruit juice, watch out when you open your bottles because you might get more fizz that you are expecting. Ferment for 2-4 days again on the windowsill (27degC seems optimal – you may need longer at lower temperatures). then you can pop your bottles in the fridge which slows down or stops fermentation. You can then drink your kombucha. Just a small glass a day at first (a shot glass size is enough) to allow your body to get used to the natural real probiotics.

What do you think? will you try and make your own? Love to see your pics.

Enjoy,

Kamilla

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Categories: Recipes

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