Wednesday, September 9, 2015




Kombucha is a beverage prepared by fermenting tea and sugar with the help of a scoby (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast).  The scoby is a jelly-like layer of cellulose, which is a home for yeast and good bacteria, which floats on the surface and seals the fermenting kombucha from the air, protecting it from undesirable bacterias.  The scoby (much like the mother used to make vinegar) eats most of the sugar, transforming the tea into a refreshing fizzy, tangy and slightly alcoholic beverage (1% or less) that is relatively low in calories.  Kombucha can be homemade in a straightforward and streamlined process which takes less than a half hour every seven to ten days. 

Tea contains several nutrients and compounds that feed the Kombucha culture including nitrogen, caffeine and L-theanine to name a few plus along with sugar is the main fuel for the scoby.  Loose leaf, organic  black tea traditionally is the most reliable for fermentation, but once you have a good, strong scoby, you can try other kinds of tea from the Camellia sinensis plant.  Each type has specific healing properties which the fermentation process helps release.  White tea produces a milder tasting Kombucha which is high in catechins.  Green tea produces a thick and healthier scoby plus requires a shorter brewing cycle.  Pu-erh tea adds to the body’s ability to deal with fatty foods, lower cholesterol and help lose weight.  The most common recipe for brewing Kombucha includes a combination of green & black tea.  Avoid teas which are flavored or have added essential oils like Earl Grey and strong smoky teas such as Lapsang Souchong which are considered a poor flavor match.

Experiment with herbal infusions for unique flavors but use at least 25% of black or green tea to make sure the scoby gets all the nutrients it needs otherwise it will atrophy and eventually die.  Yerba Mate provides a slightly smoky flavor and an energy boost and Rooibos a deep, smoky flavor which in combination with other teas may be overpowering. For additional flavors, infuse fermented Kombucha with assorted flavorings such as fruits, herbs and spices by using a separate jar covered with cheesecloth for a couple days, then strain and bottle.

Called the “Tea of Immortality” by the ancient Chinese, kombucha has been around for more than 2,000 years with a history of health benefits.  It is full of probiotics to improve digestion and fight candida overgrowth plus other nutrients, acids and anti-oxidants that boost overall health.  Kombucha is not a cure, but one of its greatest benefits is to detox the body and bring the body back into balance so that it can heal itself.

Kombucha has enjoyed a revival in Europe over the last few decades
 and has become popular in both Australia and the United States,
especially since 2000


Taste and see that the Lord is good;
blessed is the man who takes re
fuge in him.”
Psalm 34:8

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