How to Brew: The Best Kombucha
For the Very Best Kombucha, Start with Positively Tea
Kombucha seems to be everywhere now! This ancient beverage is thought to come from Manchuria but has been enjoyed by people around the world for hundreds, possibly thousands of years! It’s only recently made its way to the United States, though, and for those of you that might not be as familiar with it, we’ll start with a quick primer.
Kombucha is a fermented, effervescent beverage made from black, green, oolong, or white teas. Other teas or fruit juices may be used as well, but the base of the kombucha must be derived from the Camellia sinensis (tea) plant.
Sugar is added to the brewed tea base and then fermented by using a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast, commonly referred to as a SCOBY. The SCOBY (aka tea mushroom, tea fungus, mother) includes different yeasts and bacteria that turn your tea into the sweet and sour taste explosion that is kombucha.
The base of your kombucha is tea and you simply can’t start with a better base than organic Positively Tea. Choose from a huge variety of loose leaf tea to begin your brewing. If you’ll be adding other flavors after fermentation, you may want to start with a plain base such as our Organic Assam TGFOP Black Tea. For a more flavorful first fermentation, perhaps our Organic Green Dragon Lemonade Green Tea! Whatever tea you use to start your kombucha, you can be sure you’re getting the best organic tea from Positively Tea.
Kombucha brewing instructions and recipes are available from many sites online but we’re sharing a few of our own tips and tricks.
- Sterilize your equipment – including your kombucha jar and your measuring cups. You want to eliminate the chance of growing mold in the beginning of the fermentation process.
- Regardless of how much kombucha you want to make, your ratio should always be the same – 4 cups of tea, 1/2 cup of sugar, one cup of starter kombucha. Do NOT use honey in the first fermentation
- If you want to make your kombucha more effervescent, you can leave to ferment a second time with a lid on but remember to "burp" your booch at least once a day! It’s in its jar doing its thing and producing gas that could cause your jar to blow up - and make a terrible mess!
- The best way to start your first SCOBY would be to get your starter liquid from a friend, but starters are also available online and at many health food stores. You can start with store-bought Kombucha but many of these are flash-frozen to kill any live bacteria. Look for one that’s unflavored and unpasteurized.
- Yeast and bacteria are good – mold is not. If you see any mold growing on your SCOBY, throw it away and start over.
- Glass is the way to go. Kombucha is acidic and can react to metal containers. Plastic is harder to sterilize and can be hiding some bad bacteria. Plus clear glass will allow you to see your beautiful, jellyfish-like SCOBY!