I heart kombucha. In fact, it’s a regular part of my diet for so many reasons. First of all, it tastes great and it makes you feel good. Not to mention that it contains all sorts of healthy nutrients and probiotics. But there’s so many more reasons to love this age old fermented tea. Are you familiar with kombucha? Do you drink it regularly? Here’s everything you need to know about kombucha.
What’s Kombucha Anyway?
Kombucha was invented in ancient China in 221 BC during the Tsing Dynasty. It was known as “The Tea of Immortality”. Kombucha is a fermented tea that’s made by combining a culture of bacteria with yeast, tea, sugar, and flavorings. It can also be made without any flavorings. It’s slightly bubbly, sweet, and sour all at the same time. When you’re not drinking water, it can be a great option because it only contains around 30 calories per serving.
Is Kombucha Actually Healthy?
While there’s little research done on kombucha, there are likely some health benefits. First of all, it contains probiotics, or good bacteria that’s great for digestion. It boosts the immune system and your overall health. Not to mention that it contain B vitamins. It should however, still be enjoyed in moderation because it does contain a small amount of alcohol and it can cause an upset stomach and acidosis in some people. For most of us, however, it’s a great substitute to unhealthy soda and other sugar sweetened beverages.
It’s other major downside is that kombucha is pricey, averaging $4 per bottle, which usually contains around 2 servings. For the frugal shopper, this adds up fast, especially when you can make it at home for a few cents per serving.
Make Your Own Kombucha
First of all, order your own kombucha starter, (also known as SCOBY or mother). This is the bacteria and yeast which is used to ferment the tea. It’s what creates the bubbles and turns sweetened tea into kombucha.
2 black tea bags
¼ cup sugar
2 to 3 cups water
½ cup starter tea or vinegar
1. In a large glass jar, combine hot water with sugar. Stir until the sugar dissolves.
2. Place tea bags in the sugar water to steep. It should be hot, but not boiling.
3. The mixture should cool to around 68 to 85 degrees F. Steep tea bags for about 15 minutes.
4. Remove tea bags and add starter tea or white vinegar. Add in SCOBY.
5. Cover the jar with a tight weave towel or coffee filter and secure with a rubber band. The mixture should sit at room temperature, out of direct sunlight, for 7 to 30 days or to taste. The more it ferments, the less sweet it will be.
6. Kombucha can be flavored and bottled. Ensure the you keep part of the SCOBY for the next batch. Ginger, strawberry, watermelon, etc. are all great flavor ideas. Experiment with kombucha flavors to find the ones that you really love.
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