Green Tea Hibiscus Kombucha
Updated: Jan 4, 2019
What is Kombucha?...well, in brief it's a fermented tea that is rich in probiotics, minerals and antioxidants. You will need some supplies which I chose to buy online, including the starter culture ($20). The entire deluxe home brewing kit is $49 and you will get instructions and have the ability to make more tea without having to buy anything other than more tea and sugar. If you decide to use supplies from home and make your own culture, just make sure your equipment and environment stays clean. You don't want to grow bad bacteria after all! Do not use substitute sugars, only organic cane sugar will do.
Compared to store bought varieties, homemade Kombucha has basically no sugar and unwanted additives used to help it stay on the shelves longer. And it is way more economical!
Often called our "second brain," gut health is so important as it governs nutrient absorption, immunity, hormone production and more. After all, our gut is responsible for most of our immune function - 70% of our lymph nodes live in and around the gut walls, after all. And did you know that hormones like seratonin and tryptophan are made in the gut and not in the brain? If your tummy ain't happy....Drinking Kombucha (in moderation) is a delicious - and festive - way of feeding good bacteria to your digestive tract and helping it function properly.
To make Kombucha:
1) 1 gallon brewing jar*
2) piece of cotton cloth and rubber band to cover*
3) starter culture (can be purchased online or created from scratch)*
4) 8 teabags (or 3 Tbsp loose leaf caffeinated tea of choice) - I used Traditional Medicinals Green Tea Hibiscus (photo below).
5) 1 cup organic cane sugar
6) temperature gauge (optional, but I find it very helpful for peace of mind)*
7) ph test strips (optional but again, for peace of mind)*
* these items can be purchased at The Kombucha Shop, www.thekombuchashop.com
1) Bring 4 cups water to a boil.
2) Remove from heat and add eight tea bags of Traditional Medicinals brand Green Tea Hibiscus. Allow to steep for 5-6 minutes.
3) Add 1 cup of organic cane sugar, stir until dissolved and pour into brewing jar.
4) Fill the jar with cold filtered water until it reaches about 3 inches below the rim (or enough space for the culture). Make sure the liquid is no hotter than 88 degrees before adding the culture.
5) Add the culture and cover with cloth and rubber band (scroll down for photo).
6) Place on counter, away from direct sunlight in a warm place between 68 and 88 degrees Farenheit). Allow to brew for about 2 weeks (7-21 days), depending on temperature. Warmer temps will need shorter brewing times and vice versa.
7) The sugar will feed the SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast) and allow it to grow and create beneficial probiotics, vitamins and antioxidants. By the end of the 2 week brewing time, the SCOBY will have used up most of the sugar. Don't worry if your culture doesn't float at the top, that is not a sign that things have gone wrong.
8) When ready to bottle, using clean hands, remove the culture and place in a shallow bowl with a cup or two of the liquid (you can keep this here for a few days or store in fridge until you're ready to brew again). Pour into bottles (I recommend using a strainer and funnel). Store on counter (more fizz) or in fridge (less fizz).
9) Congratulations, you have just created a beautiful, healthy, delicious, low sugar beverage! Drink this in moderation and, as always, make sure to drink plenty of clean filtered water as well.