One of the amazing things I got acquainted with here in Australia is definitely Kombucha. Not only it is super refreshing and delicious but has numerous amazing benefits as well. It is detoxifying (hello glowing skin and good-bye hangover), an amazing probiotic restoring the balance in your body (works amazingly after antibiotic treatments), immunity-boosting (don’t wanna jinx it but haven’t been sick for ages), great for your digestion, combats arthritis and other joint problems and is supposed to even work preventively against cancer.
I was buying bottles of different brands for over a year now but was dying to try to make my own version. And a couple of weeks ago I finally got my hands on a SCOBY – “the mother” culture, which is alongside with some tea, sugar and water the only thing you need to start making it (try raiding all the different health-food and organic shops, they should have the SCOBY at least in one of them). I wanted to add something extra to it so instead of just using green tea (if you prefer you can easily make it with black as well), I added some peppermint, rose petals and vanilla to the tea while brewing. And when it was all nice and fermented there’s nothing better to add to any refreshing drink than some frozen raspberries, fresh mint and ginger slices. So here’s how easy it all is…
INGREDIENTS: (one batch, approx 1 litre)
- Kombucha SCOBY culture
- 50 g raw sugar
- 2 tsp green tea (I used Lung Ching by T2)
- 1 tsp peppermint and vanilla tea by T2
- rose petals
- 1 litre of water
- ice cubes
- fresh mint leaves
- ginger slices
- frozen raspberries
- sparkling mineral water (optional, to make it a bit more sparkly and a bit milder)
- Bring water to the boil and let it cool to approx 70°C. This will prevent the green tea from acquiring that bitter after taste. Let it brew for about 5 minutes.
- Add the sugar, mix well and let the tea cool down until luke warm.
- Pour the tea over the SCOBY and the starter liquid (it should come with when purchasing the SCOBY), cover with a kitchen towel and use an elastic to make it nice and tight on the lid, as you don’t want any little creatures crawling in there.
- Kombucha should be let to ferment away from direct sunlight for about 8-10 days. The usual house temperatures will do just fine, just note that if it gets a bit warmer inside it will ferment faster.
- When Kombucha reaches the desired dryness and sourness (=when sugar will with the help of the culture turn into CO2, making the drink nice and bubbly) it’s time to pour it into bottles. Close them tightly and let the drink mature for at least a couple of days in the fridge. Make sure to keep approx 10% of the mix as it will be your next starter liquid.
- That’s pretty much it – once you bottle it, you can repeat the procedure and start making the new batch.
- When serving I prefer to pour it over ice, add some fresh mint, ginger and frozen raspberries and top with sparkling mineral water for some extra fizz.
Brewing the tea and SCOBY and some starter liquid resting in the big glass jar.