How to Make Kombucha

I am in love with Kombucha. I don't drink soda pop (haven't for probably about four years now...) but every once in a while I really want to drink something fizzy. Occasionally I will grab a sparkling water, but my preferred effervescent beverage is... (you guessed it...)... Kombucha. 

Unfortunately, drinking Kombucha is not a cheap habit. A bottle costs around four dollars. On the fortunate side, however, it is extremely easy to make. All it takes is a little tea, a little sugar, and a little time...

What is Kombucha?

Kombucha has started to gain in popularity over the past few years, but still very few people know what it is, let alone why it is supposed to be good for them. Kombucha is a fermented beverage made from sweetened tea. The Kombucha scoby digests the sugar in the tea to produce acetic, lactic and glucuronic acid which help with detoxification. The scoby is sometimes referred to as a "mushroom". It is not, however, a fungus. It is actually a symbiotic colony of yeast and bacteria. (Note: Therefore, if you have a yeast allergy you probably shouldn't be drinking it...)

How to Make Kombucha

There are slight variations on how to make Kombucha. The recipe is taken from Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon.

You Will Need:

3 quarts water (filtered preferred)
1 Kombucha SCOBY (also called "mushroom") (Buy online or get it from a friend who makes Kombucha)
4 bags organic black tea (What I Use)
1 cup organic cane sugar (What I Use)
At least a 1/2 cup Kombucha from previous batch

To start, bring three quarts water to a boil in a large pot.

While that is boiling, measure out 1 cup of sugar, and get out four bags of organic black tea.

When your water has reached a boil, stir in the sugar. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until completely dissolved.

Next, add in your four bags of tea. Cover and allow to cool completely. 

When your sweetened tea has cooled completely, remove the tea bags. Pour into a clean glass bowl/large jar. Stir in your half cup Kombucha from a previous batch. Place the "mushroom" on top. 

Cover with a cloth and leave at room temp until ready to drink (typically 7-10 days--though it can highly vary). When it has finished brewing, transfer to the refrigerator.  

How can you tell if it is ready? 

You best bet is taste. I have found that my Kombucha can take anywhere from 3 days to 6 weeks to brew. Mostly this depends on the temperature of my house. In the summer, it brews quickly, in the winter, not so much. Also, typically, my Kombucha grows a second mushroom, though occasionally (especially if the mushroom has been in the refrigerator for a while...) it is ready when the old mushroom has just grown bigger. Again, my advise is: taste it. If it still tastes like sweet tea, it's not ready. If it is slightly fizzy, slightly sweet and tangy, it's ready. Just be mindful because if it goes too long it turns to vinegar... not that I know this from experience...)

I always remove the mushroom(s) and place in a small mason jar with enough Kombucha to cover so I have the ability to make another batch when I want. If you get a second mushroom out of your brew you can give it to a friend or check out this article for more ideas.

Enjoy! I like to drink it straight or mix in an ounce or two of fresh juice. So yummy!

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  1. Just gave my sister a mushroom! Now I can point her here. :D

    1. Awesome. Makes me super happy to think she will stop in! :)

      (Excited to hunker down and do some reading soon btw... ;)

  2. I am so scared of this! haha. I've tried coconut flour, and raw honey, and coconut oil... I've made my own detergent and toothpaste. But this one, it makes me nervous. I need to find a place that sells it by the ($4) bottle so I can try it first. I know what sweet tea that has "turned" tastes like, so I'm hoping it's not exactly like that.

    1. Hey, Kinzie!

      Sweet tea that has "turned". That. Sounds. Disgusting. I personally don't think kombucha tastes anything like that description. It is definitely a personal opinion, though! I, obviously, love the stuff.

      Before you invest all the energy into making it you should definitely try buying a bottle first. Just to make sure. If you do, let me know what you think!


  3. hi keen to give this a go...have recently got into fermenting veggies, and already make kefir, so this is the next step! when you say you need 1/2 cup kombucha from previous batch, but havent made it before, can I just use a store bought kombucha? thanks,Simone!

    1. Hey, Simone!

      Yes, you can use kombucha from the store. Just make sure it is not flavored!

      Hope you are having a good week!


  4. Replies
    1. Hey!

      I have drunk kombucha made from both white and green teas, though I have never made it that way because it doesn't give you as much glucoronic acid.

      It still tastes good, though. :)

      Have a great week!

  5. Would it be possible to buy kombucha from thr store that has the mushroom in it and keep that going?

  6. I recently decided to give Kombucha-making a try, but none of my friends had a mushroom and I didn't want to spend the money buying one online. I did some research and actually found out that you can grow your own using a bottle of raw, store-bought Kombucha and sweet black tea. It's working like a charm so far!


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