Kombucha: An Ancient Elixer

So, what the heck is this stuff!?

Kombucha: An Ancient Elixer, really? Some of you have probably never heard of this amazing ancient beverage called Kombucha (pronounced pretty much like you would think kam-boo-cha), but it has actually been around for THOUSANDS of years! It is claimed to have originated in China during the Tsin Dynasty in 221 B.C. (meaning even before Jesus was born!)  Merriam-Webster defines Kombucha as: a gelatinous mass of symbiotic bacteria (as Acetobacter xylinum) and yeasts (as of the genera Brettanomyces and Saccharomyces) grown to produce a fermented beverage held to confer health benefits.  In short, it is a fermented tea with tons of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes that provides amazing heath benefits.  To answer the question you may be thinking though, it only contains trace amounts of alcohol after the fermentation process is complete, so no, you won’t get drunk! *There is Kombucha beer out there though, which I have had and it is delicious! If you are in the Buffalo area like myself, check out Handlebar, a bicycle themed bar on Swan St!  My favorite is their raspberry Kombucha beer! Also, Bootleg Bucha is an amazing place to get high quality, handmade BUCH in the Buffalo area! Check them out!

Aside from being delicious, Kombucha is also very nutritious! It is known primarily for its “probiotic” properties because it aides in digestion, but is also great for detoxifying the body and boosting energy levels because of the countless vitamins, minerals, and enzymes!  I drink it daily about 30 minutes after I eat lunch or dinner to help digest my food and give me a boost of energy!

Don’t be afraid of the BUCH!

Kombucha is SO easy to make and with it costing $3+ per bottle in the store, you can save so much money! Many people are scared off by the the weird name and fact that you have to “ferment” something, but believe me, the hardest part is waiting for this delicious, nutritious beverage to be ready to drink!  The simple supplies and step-by-step instructions are listed in the second graphic below.  Basically, all you need is tea (preferably higher quality, so no, not brands like Salada or Lipton!), filtered water, sugar, and a SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast).  The concept is similar to making wine in terms of the fermentation process where the yeast, or SCOBY in this case, feeds off the sugar to ferment the tea liquid.   Except with Kombucha, it doesn’t turn to alcohol, you don’t have to wait nearly as long, and it’s much better for you!

You can mscobyake your own SCOBY from an unflavored bottle of store bought Kombucha, but I prefer to get a high quality one from a reputable company for guaranteed results (and because making your own takes around 2 weeks).  I prefer to buy my SCOBY from, Brindle Southern Farms, which you can get easily from Etsy for under $10!  After you have your SCOBY, you will not need to buy another one unless you let it die.  Yes, this thing is a live culture! If you ever want to take a break from brewing, simply place the SCOBY in the refrigerator with 1-2 cups of the left over Kombucha and it will last a few months! It will also “grow” and form new “babies” from your original “mother”.  This is great because you can simply remove the “babies” from the bottom (it is the layer that forms underneath) and save for later use by refrigerating them or share with a friend and help them start brewing their own Kombucha! *Beware: as you can see in the picture to the left, a SCOBY is not the most attractive looking thing, but don’t let that deter you! It won’t bite and will provide you with an amazing beverage!

amberbottle16The brewing process for the recipe provided in this post takes 7-10 days depending on the temperature of your house (longer if it’s colder, shorter if it’s warmer).  The overall prep takes around 15-20 and then you let the tea/sugar mixture cool for 1-2 hours until it is room temp before you put the SCOBY into the tea mixture. If you add it too soon, you will burn the SCOBY and it will “die”, so be sure it is room temperature! Once you add everything to a 1 gallon glass container, all you have to do is cover it with a coffee filter and place the container in a warm, dark spot in your house then wait 7-10 days! Taste your brew after 7 days to see how fast the fermentation process is occurring.  If it still tastes sweet, let it ferment longer and be sure to taste it every day until it has a slight sweetness, but is not vinegary.  After that, transfer your BUCH to GLASS bottles and place in the refrigerator.  You can reuse any glass bottle that seals well, but I prefer using the “swing top” amber bottles to keep it as fresh as possible. You can find them easily on Amazon or your local brewing store.  *If you would like a little more “zing” to your brew, place the bottles in a dark place for and additional 2-3 days to add a little carbonation, then place in refrigerator.  Then it’s time to enjoy!

I LOVE making my own “BUCH” because it is simple, quick, cheap, nutritious, and super tasty! You can choose the type of tea you use and really customize the flavor after you get more experienced! I have used teas that have a natural fruit flavor and prefer it over adding juices or fruit to my brew for flavor.  I do love adding Young Living essential oils to my Kombucha though right before drinking.  Not only does it enhance the flavor, but increases the health benefits as well! Some of my favorites to add are grapefruit, lemon, ginger, and tangerine! The great thing is…its up to YOU! Give this recipe a try and be sure to contact me if you have any questions, comments, or just want to chat about how amazing Kombucha is!

Kombucha

Kombucha

 

Kombucha is super easy to make! Give it a try! You can save so much money making your own considering it’s around $3+ per bottle in stores!

Also, be sure to add a few drops of your favorite Young Living essential oils to each individual bottle right before drinking to enhance flavor and bring additional health benefits! Some of my favorites are grapefruit, lemon, tangerine, and ginger!

Make sure you leave a comment or contact me if you try it out or need help getting started!

Where to buy a SCOBY

History

 

 

Disclaimer: The information on this website is based upon my research and personal experiences. Use of Young Living Essential Oils and other products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. I am not a doctor or healthcare professional.

15 Comments

  1. I love Kombucha but I’m not so sure about making it myself! Thanks for the helpful tutorial #SundayBlog Share

  2. Love Kombucha and love your post so we featured it at MeetUp Monday this week! Thanks so much for joining us, and hope to see you again 🙂 http://www.oddsandevans.com/meetup-monday-link-party-55/

  3. I have never tried this, but really want to. Thanks for clearing up the mystery of what it really was for me!

  4. I love Kombucha! I make my own and drink it all the time. Nice post!

  5. I’ve never tried kombucha – thanks for explaining what it is and how it’s made! And thanks for sharing with last week’s Merry Monday party 🙂

  6. I learned of kombucha on Bizarre Foods. The more I hear about it, the more intrigued I am to try it. I’m not an alcohol drinker, so it’s good to know that fermentation doesn’t work the same way. What does it taste like? And is it.. chunky? 🙂 I’d be interested in sampling it somewhere before making my own. So I’ll have to do some research!

    • Jenn,
      Glad to hear you are interested in kombucha! I understand your reservations about making it before you taste it. No, it is NOT chunky! I don’t think I would be able to drink it myself if it was! haha! You should be able to find it easily at your local grocery store. It is everywhere now, not just at health food stores. One very popular brand is Synergy. It is generally in the same refrigerated area as health drinks and juiced drinks. If you can’t find it, just ask. Someone is bound to know! If you do end up trying it, let me know what you think! Same goes with if you end up making it! Feel free to email me if you have any specific questions or concerns regarding making kombucha or anything else for that matter! [email protected]. Hope to hear from you soon! 🙂

  7. Thanks for linking up at Let’s Get Real Friday Party. I love the BUCH, but haven’t tried making it yet. On my list to do in 2016.

  8. Very interesting! I’ve never heard of this but it sounds like it has it’s benefits!! Thanks for sharing on My 2 Favorite Things on Thursday!! Hope to see you again tomorrow! Pinned!

  9. I’m gearing up to try making my own kombucha! Two questions: At what point do you remove the tea bags and how do you recover the scoby to begin a new batch?
    Thanks a bunch!

    • Hi Jen,
      Thank you so much for reaching out! I generally brew the tea according to what it says on the package and then remove it. With some teas, if you leave them in too long they can get bitter and ruin the taste of your kombucha. You brew the tea and add the sugar, then let it cool before adding the SCOBY. To recover the SCOBY and begin a new batch, you simply save 1-2 cups of previous kombucha. It can remain in the same container or you can put it in a new one. Then add the new tea/sugar mixture you made. Hope this helps! If you need anything clarified please feel free to ask! I would love to hear how your BUCH turns out! 🙂

  10. found your blog after hearing your episode on the Revolution Oils podcast 🙂 I’ve never tried making my own kombucha, but I’m excited to try it out. I was just wondering where you get your gallon jar from for fermenting the kombucha? I wasn’t really sure what the best option would be. I’m also curious what the best method for getting the kombucha from that large jar to the small bottles would be? I just see myself making a huge mess going from the pot that I brewed the tea in to the big glass jar and then another huge mess when going from that big glass jar to the small glass bottles…Thanks for your time!

    • Hi Colleen! Thank you for reaching out 🙂 I am glad you are considering brewing your own kombucha! It is SUCH a money saver and a lot of fun. I ordered my glass container on Amazon. There are many options, but a big factor is getting a stainless steal spigot if you choose a container that has one. The majority come with plastic, so you will most likely need to purchase it separately. You could also choose to use just a glass container without a spigot and simply scoop the kombucha out and put it into bottles with a funnel. Be sure whatever you use is clean, but do not use an antiseptic soap. It will kill the beneficial enzymes in your buch! Boiling utensils and other items used is usually my go-to process to kill germs effectively. In short, the spigot is much easier to transfer your ready-to-drink kombucha from the big glass container to the smaller bottles, but you need to be sure you get a stainless steel one since plastic may break down and contaminate your brew. Hope this helps! Please feel free to contact me with any more questions! [email protected] Have a great day! -Shannon 🙂

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