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November 19, 2010

Kombucha!

Kombucha is a fermented tea that can be drunk for medicinal purposes.  You've probably seen people drinking it at your yoga studio as well as sitting on the shelves at many health food stores.  It kind of reminds me of apple cider.  It is super refreshing and I find it quenches my thirst like nothing else.

According to Wikipedia, the first recorded history of Kombucha began in Russia in the late 19th century where it was called "tea mushroom" or "mushroom tea".  This website says Kombucha originated in China during the Tsin Dynasty and was called the Tea of Immortality.  The drink, apparently, has many health benefits, such as aiding our digestive tracts and altering the pH balance of our large intestine.  It also contains many different acids that are good for the body as well as B vitamins.  However, none of these benefits have been proven by any Western scientists, so there are many skeptics out there.  I figure that if people have been consuming this beverage for so many years, there must be some truth to it.

I started making my own Kombucha a couple months ago.  My yoga friend, D, gave me a "baby" from her "mother".  A baby is other wise known as a S.C.O.B.Y (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast).  It is weird looking, kind of like a placenta - I know, gross.  It is very firm and mushroom like and smells like vinegar.  You add the S.C.O.B.Y to brewed black or green tea and sugar and allow it to ferment for 7 to 10 days.  The S.C.O.B.Y feeds off of the sugar while producing acids, such as acetic acid, malic acid and folic acid.  The fermenting tea must be kept in a dark space at room temperature.  The bacterial culture does not like to be exposed to light or cool temperatures, or it dies.  After it has fermented you pour the liquid into jars, I use Mason jars.  I fill them right to the top and then put them back in the cupboard for 5 to 10 days.  This seems to make the tea slightly fizzier, which I like.  I, then, keep the jars in the fridge and drink about a cup a day, usually after yoga class.

There are many different ways to make Kombucha.  The basic steps are the same, you can find them on the website above or at Seeds of Health.  I have used two different teas, always black.  And have tried different steeping times for the tea.  I like my Kombucha best when I steep the tea for only a few minutes, steeping it longer makes the Kombucha taste more like actual black tea, which I don't particularly care for.  With my next batch I am going to put a few slices of ginger in the jars and see how it tastes.

If you can get your hands on a S.C.O.B.Y, I highly recommend trying to make your own Kombucha.  It is very satisfying, extremely easy and it's always fun to drink something that you've made.

Me and my first batch of Kombucha.



My gorgeous Kombucha.

3 comments:

Some Guy said...

Hey, you're cute.

Lady J said...

Glad I know who this Some Guy is:)
Thanks, love.

ellelove7 said...

Awesome! I just tried kombucha for the first time a few weeks ago.
Its nice to see your face finally, btw! :)