Wednesday, September 7


My latest excitement in the food world: kombucha. I have been wanting to try my hand at kombucha for quite some time now, but have either been limited by time or without a mother culture. For those of you unfamiliar with kombucha, let me just say that I think it is quite a treat! However, because it is quite pricey at the grocery store, it is not the top on my list of consumption. A while back (say, 2 years or so) my dear friend Garrett started making his own. He even shared with me a lovely illustrated guide on how to make your own batch. After talking to him, I realized how simple it is to make your own, and it is very, very, very affordable! In fact, all you need is some tea of your choice, a little sugar, water and a mother culture (also known as a scoby). More recently, my dearest friend Liza has been making her own too, which she then combines with fruit juice from overripe fruits she gets at the market. The end result: a super tasty treat, to be enjoyed by all!

A little while ago, my new friend David shared with me a mother culture from his home brewed kombucha. Since I am finally settled in at my new place, and have my very own scoobie, it is time to begin the kombucha adventure. Now, I am no expert but I am trying my hand at a batch, and thought it worth while to share with you, my new fermenting adventure!

Really, like I said before, it is simple. My prior notion that I needed time to make kombucha is practically irrelevant, because it really only takes 10 minutes and a little patience. I have included Garrett's illustrated instructions, for your viewing pleasure.

(Click the photo for a larger view!)
For my first batch, I definitely didn't let it sit long enough. However, it seems that my second batch was much more matured; after waiting one week.

Kombucha itself, is quite vinegar-y in taste. Personally, I love this aspect of it, but it is not for everyone. If you are not so keen on the taste of your first batch, try changing the type of tea you are brewing. While herbal teas that have more oils are not, such a great option, as they tend to lead to contamination; there are many varieties of teas that will work great. I urge you (once your scoby has multiplied!) to experiment, experiment, experiment! My current favorite is equal parts of green and black tea, with ginger added to taste. Simple, yet tasty!

Happy fermenting!


  1. oh my this makes me happy

  2. Let me know if you have any scobies to share in the future. I gave mine away last year and have contacted the person to give me some back, but to no avail.

  3. NICE! Ali, I'm so so glad that you've passed on the joy of kombucha. It's the gift that keeps on giving. I gave a scobie and an instruction sheet as a White Elephant at Christmas last year. Everyone thought it was ridiculous and disgusting except one person, and that person is happily brewing today. YESSS!

    I'd like to offer some updates to my above drawings and instructions.

    1. This is my most recent recipe proportions:
    1 gallon of water, 1 oz of tea, 1 cup of sugar. 1/2 oz of ginger will suffice if you're doing a ginger infusion.

    2. Instead of steeping for hours (!) or days (!!) as I mentioned above, I'm now just steeping 3-5 minutes, as you would if you were just brewing a cup of tea. This gives a delicacy to the flavour of the finished 'bucha.

    3. RE: Fermentation time (5-14 days): I'm fermenting right now betwee 6-8 days for the flavour that I like (and the flavour my housemates can tolerate, ha). Always remember that this amount of time can depend on a number of factors, only one of which I actually know: temperature. Warm room? 75ish?! (Turn the heat down!) It will ferment quickly. Cool room like a basement? 55ish? It will ferment more slowly (word on the street is that this will create a higher alcohol content. I have no way to easily confirm this :P)

    Sorry for writing a book.