Dare we suggest you try Kombucha?

I have Clayden’s distressing bum rash, Google and Wellness Mama to thank for my life changing approach to more natural, organic products and the difference they have made to our family.

This healthy blogger, Wellness Mama, kept on and on about kombucha… and I couldn’t pronounce the word, let alone bother to find out about what exactly it was. Then my friend Suvi offered me a SCOBY (Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria and Yeast) and a game of tennis and that sealed the deal. It was late last summer and I was desperate to get this body onto a tennis court.

So over Suvi came with her SCOBYs and her bottles and her brown/orange liquid with floaty bits in. We went through the first couple steps in kombucha making, headed down the road for some tennis and came back to finish off my first brew. A pretty splendid afternoon.

And I’ve been addicted ever since. Not only is this easy, but its low maintenance, really healthy and super flavoursome (you can play with adding so many fruits/juice flavours). My favourite being pineapple. Also, you feel like you should get a gold star for creativity in the kitchen.

What exactly is Kombucha?

Kombucha is a fermented sweetened tea that has been around for centuries. It is slightly tangy and slightly sweet, and a great treat on a summer day.  Kombucha can be double fermented into a fizzy soda with a slight fruit taste.

Kombucha contains high levels of antioxidants, b-vitamins, probiotics and glucaric acid. It has been reported to have a variety of health benefits including:

  • liver detoxification
  • improved pancreas function
  • increased energy
  • better digestion
  • improved mood (helps with anxiety/depression)
  • kills Candida (yeast)
  • helps nutrient assimilation

Lets give it a go then shall we?

My simple recipe:

  • 3 litres water
  • 3 or 4 teabags (orange pekoe/regular tea, or you can use Rooibos if you prefer)
  • ½ – ¾ cup sugar (the best quality, most unprocessed you can find)
  • A SCOBY (preferably in some starter kombucha itself)

Equipment required: big pot, 3l glass jars, cheesecloth (or a dish cloth), elastic band.

Pour the water into the pot along with the teabags and sugar and bring to boil. Make sure the teabags have brewed their tea nicely and the sugar is all dissolved. In essence you’ve made really sweet tea. Remove from the stove and let it cool until it reaches room temperature (SCOBY’s are destroyed in hot water so be very sure you allow it to cool properly).

Once the tea is cool, pour it into your large glass jar and gently pour in the starter kombucha and place the SCOBY in the jar. Cover with cheesecloth and seal with the elastic around the neck of the bottle – allowing it to breathe but not letting the fruit flies in. Let it sit for 10-14 days. Put it aside, or in a place where you can forget about it for a while. (Interestingly I found that kombucha in SA brews SO much faster than in Canada).

Photo Cred: http://fyi.uwex.edu/safepreserving/files/2014/06/kombucha.jpg


After about 10-14 days, take a peek at the top of your bottle. You should see that your kombucha has formed a new thick SCOBY on the top of your brew. Then you know its ready(ish?). This is no exact science. Then you can decant your kombucha into smaller bottles (drinkable portions) and seal them up tightly to make kombucha soda. This is when you can add fruit (grapes/pineapple etc.) or a bit of real juice and continue to let it brew – remember to leave out of the fridge. This is called the Second Brew. This takes about another 5 days or so until then fizz up nicely.

And that’s that! Drink, enjoy, feel proud that you’re now a brew master, and repeat.

Wellness Mama has kindly researched for us, the benefits of drinking kombucha. Read all about it here. If you’d like to buy a starter kit – do so here 🙂

7 thoughts on “Dare we suggest you try Kombucha?

    1. Hi Lauren,

      Unfortunately not. Stevia and Xylitol are not fermentable by the yeast. While kombucha sounds sugar-heavy (which it kinda is), the sugar is not for you. It’s entirely for the SCOBY and fermentation process. The more you limit the sugar, the more you starve the culture. I’d suggest you go with the most organic, natural sugar you can find. 🙂

  1. Deb, did you make your own scoby or did you buy one? Also, are you able to flavour your Kombucha with ginger etc?

    1. I got one (you can’t grow it from nothing), and I have one for you if you want. I have plenty! Yes, I flavour it too. I have tried ginger, pear, lemon, but pineapple is still my favourite.

  2. Yum thanks I’d love to borrow and try this thing! 🙂 I had some store bought kombucha yesterday at Wellness and it was yummy x

    1. Absolutely! Each time you brew kombucha you grow another SCOBY so I have plenty to spare. Lets make a plan to get one to you! 🙂
      And ps: I cant believe how expensive kombucha is at the shops – once you start making your own you’ll be so stoked at how much Rs you’ll save!

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