The wonder drink!!
Kombucha is usually made with black or green tea and is fermented by a culture (SCOBY). SCOBY is an acronym for symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast, it has also been referred to as a mushroom.
Common bacteria and yeasts found in a SCOBY:
Acetobacter: This group of bacteria species is aerobic which means it requires oxygen to thrive. It produces acetic, which is responsible for its distinctive sour taste and pungent smell similar of Vinegar and gluconic acid which acts as a acidity regulator. The Acetobacter also grows the mushroom.
Saccharomyces: These are strains of yeast which produce alcohol and common in kombucha.
Schizosaccharomyces pombe: Also known as “fission yeast” and was commonly used in traditional brewing.
Brettanomyces: Another yeast species responsible for producing alcohol.
Lactobacillus: Not always found in kombucha. They are a strain of bacteria and produce lactic acid.
Pediococcus: An anaerobic bacteria species that creates lactic acid. Again, these are not always found in kombucha.
Gluconacetobacter kombuchae: A bacteria common to kombucha. It produces acetic acid and gluconic acid. This bacteria feeds from the mushroom and encourages its health.
Zygosaccharomyces kombuchaensis: This a yeast strain which is common in kombucha. It produces alcohol and creates the fizz in the drink. This yeast also helps build the SCOBY.
Kombucha health benefits:
- Aid digestion.
- Balance good and ‘bad’ bacteria.
- It’s a food source so it’s easily digested.
- Contain B vitamins
- Supports liver function.
- Boosts immune function.
- Acts as an antioxidant
If you manage to get your own SCOBY, here's how to make your own kombucha.
- 8-10 black tea bags
- 8-10 cups of water
- 1 cup of sugar (I use raw)
- ¼ knob of ginger (optional)
- 1 big jar
- Boil all the water and add to tea bags
- Add sugar
- Mix all together.
- If adding ginger, peel and grate ginger and add to jar
- Leave till tea is at room temperature or cooler (leave teabags in while it is cooling)
- Take tea bags out and add to your jar with the SCOBY
- Cover with paper towel and secure it with string
- Leave for 10 days - 3 weeks (depending how fizzy you like it)
- After the tea has fermented pour out the liquid in the jar but leave in ¼ cup with the SCOBY (And repeat steps one and two)
- Pour kombucha liquid in to individual jars and store in fridge.
What you add to it, is up to you. I have added apple and blackcurrant juice, orange and mango juice and recently, I've been adding a Red Seal Hot or Cold brew tea bag to it.