Friday, June 17, 2011

Try Something New: Kombucha

Lacto-fermented foods are full of probiotics and natural enzymes that are wonderful for the immune and digestive systems.  And we all know that having healthy digestive and immune systems is awesome!  Since I first tried kefir and started making my own raw milk yogurt, I have become more curious about traditionally fermented foods.  

I'm itching to get my hands on a copy of Sally Fallon's Nourishing Traditions to read more about why these foods are vitally healthy to our body.  I hope the Nook edition becomes available soon.

Another lacto-fermented food, well beverage actually, that I was curious about was kombucha tea.  I had never tried it, nor even seen it locally.  I was shopping at a far flung Whole Foods the other week and they had it so I picked up a bottle to sip on the drive home.  I tried the GT's Enlightened Organic Raw Kombucha citrus tea.

Though kombucha tastes nothing like wine the experience was like the first time I had really good Chardonnay.  Happy, happy tastebuds!  So refreshing and tangy and wonderful, Kombucha is made with brewed sweetened tea and a starter culture made of bacteria and yeast and left to ferment at room temperature for several days.  The result is a tangy, fizzy, delicious drink that is loaded with probiotics.  The yeast eats the sugar to create the fizz, just like in making Champagne!  

This delicious little drink cost nearly $4.  But I did some reading and found that kombucha is very easy and inexpensive to make at home.  The only specialty product needed is a starter.  I'm making yogurt this weekend but homemade kombucha is going to be my next project.

Ann Marie at Cheeseslave has a wonderful article on brewing kombucha at home based on Sally Fallon's method.  This is the method I'm going to try.

What do you think of Kombucha?


  1. I purchased a SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast) a couple of years ago at a CSA fundraiser and we made our own kombucha for quite a while. I really liked using a spiced black tea, one with cinnamon, cloves, etc. Mine never got very fizzy though, and I abandoned the SCOBY during the winter one year when we just weren't drinking enough of it. But now, of course, I want another!

    It's not nearly as good for you as plain kombucha because of the calorie count, but I love the Synergy Mango Kombucha. It's a once in a while treat for myself when I get to a Whole Foods.

  2. I love kombucha! I was really into it last year, and last week just opened up a bottle that's been in my fridge since November (I brew for around 2-3 weeks, then bottle them). It was so fizzy and delicious! You get a lot of carbonation when you let it sit for that long, a lot like the bottled ones you get in stores.

    If you want to mix it up, you can also add fruit juice once it's done brewing and you bottle it. My favorite is pomegranate (about 3 parts kombucha to 1 part juice).

    You can also use green tea, which I prefer to black tea. I've tried chai tea too, but I didn't love the flavor.

    Good luck brewing!

  3. I adore Kombucha. The Ginger one is great too - awesome for settling your stomach. Glad you discovered this too - can't wait to see how your home-brewed batch comes out!

  4. Thanks for the comments, I wish I had some kombucha to sip right now. I'm so excited, I just ordered the kombucha starter along with kefir grains and some more yogurt cultures from Cultures for Health.

  5. If you still have an abandoned scoby and it's still in the kombucha, you might be able to revive it. Just make a couple of batches of kombucha, but don't drink it. Toss it. If it doesn't come back, well, no harm done. I've done this several times, and the scobies have always come back to life--months later. But, it was sitting in the mother, and in the refrigerator the whole time. You might need to add more "mother" than usual.