Kombucha!

My latest experiment is homemade Kombucha Tea. Kombucha is an ancient fermented tea with live bacteria. Many claim that is has various health benefits from improving your immune system to aiding in detoxification. Health benefits aside, I just love that it is fizzy and I enjoy the taste.

Last Christmas, Rich got me a Kombucha kit to feed my Kombucha addiction. I started using it about a month ago and am really happy to report that Kombucha is quite easy to make. Well, aside from the first time when I capped the bottles too tightly and we had to use a gigantic wrench to get them open. A It can also be a little unsettling at first being confronted by the live scooby (bacteria) in your drink, but now I am just impressed by how much it grows!

I have been experimenting with several different kinds of flavors. My favorite so far was the Orange-Ginger. I made a lemon-ginger flavor that was also very good. I like to mix it up. The recipe and method are below. If you want to try the lemon flavor, just substitute the orange juice with lemon juice.

Ginger-Orange Kombucha Ingredients 
6 black or green (decaf or regular) tea bags
1 cup of sugar

3/4 cup of fresh squeezed ginger
1 cup of fresh squeezed orange juice

1 Kombucha Scooby

Equipment
1 large mason jar
1 square cotton cloth to cover the jar
several empty bottles

Method
1. Fill the mason jar with water to see how much you need and then dump this into a large pot and bring to a boil.
2. Add 6 tea bags to the water and let sit for 10 minutes. Then remove the tea bags.
3. When the tea cools to luke-warm, add 1 cup of sugar. Be careful not to add the sugar too soon or it will crystalize.
4. Pour the liquid into the mason jar.
5. Once the liquid has cooled, add the Kombucha Scooby (if your water is too warm it can kill the scooby so make sure it is luke-warm).
6. Cover with a cotton cloth and let sit for 7-14 days.
7. Once the 7 days are up, remove your scooby. Store it with a little of the liquid in the refrigerator.
8.  Put about 1/4 cup of the combined orange-ginger juice in each bottle.
9. Add the Kombucha liquid until it is almost full. Be sure to leave some room.
10. Store the bottles is a warm place 2 two days, this helps the drink become fizzy. If you go much longer, you will get new a new scooby in your drink so be careful.
11. After two days, place the bottles in the fridge and enjoy chilled!

If you are wondering where to get Kombucha equipment and the live scooby, you can buy a Kombucha kit from Kombucha Brooklyn. Alternatively, you could do it for much cheeper by buying your own equipment and getting some one to give you their extra scooby (each batch gives birth to a new scooby). I know I always have extra.

Instead of wine, we often share a romantic bottle of Kombucha on weekday nights!