Health Benefits of Kombucha Tea and How to Make Your Own At Home

Kombucha starting fermentation
image source: emerson

The healthy food and living fans probably already know about kombucha and are aware more or less of its many health benefits and healing properties. Used for centuries to protect and strengthen the immune system of our body, the kombucha is a type of fungus that can be found easily on the Internet or in specialty health stores.

What are the health benefits of drinking kombucha tea?

The type of fungus the kombucha is made of is nothing like the mushrooms that we know as the traditional porcini mushrooms or button mushrooms. Kombucha is a fungus that takes the shape and the form of the place(or container) where it is growing. Mostly composed of a special culture consisting of different yeasts and micro-organisms and called SCOBY, which means – Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast, the kombucha has generally the form of a not very pretty looking rubbery pancake.

The benefits of the drink made of this fungus are used primarily to prevent all types of diseases or relieve some of the their symptoms. In particular, it contributes to the strengthening of the immune system, and has been attributed with an anti-carcinogenic properties.

Kombucha tea is also very beneficial for stomach problems as it contains many healthy probiotic bacteria and elements that help the good bacteria in the guts to grow, while in the same time it eliminates the harmful bacteria and toxins in our system

In addition, the kombucha tea is also known to be a very effective diuretic, as well as an excellent detoxifier . To take advantage of its many benefits, you can easily whip up a kombucha tea that we can drink cooled or cold, at least once per day.

How to prepare and brew a Kombucha tea at home?

You will need a starting scoby culture to make kombucha and/or some already fermented kombucha tea that you have left from previous brewing, or you can get some either from a friend or just use a store bought kombucha that is raw, unpasteurized and unflavored( if you see some blobby particles floating at the bottom of the bottle, then it’s fine and you will know that you can make your own kombucha from it). You will also need 1 liter of water, 70 grams of sugar and 5 grams of black or green tea.

Mix the sugar with the water and boil it in a saucepan. As soon as it is boiling, remove mixture from the heat and then add the tea that you will have to steep for at least ten minutes or until it cools down to a room temperature.

Scoby Symbiotic culture grown up
image source: jason

You will have to add either the scoby starter culture if you have one or about 200 ml of the fermented store bought kombucha tea along with the blobby particles or both. Which one you will need will depend on ehst you are trying to do. If you are growing your own SCOBY culture, then you will need the already made Kombucha tea, whether you get it from the store or from a friend ir doesn’t really matter, just make sure there are the dark blobby looking particles at the bottom.

But if you don’t see them, don;t worry it will still grow the scoby, just may take a little bit longer for the entire process to be finished.

Or if you are making just another continuous batch of Kombucha then you will need the SCOBY culture, which you will most probably already have available.

This cooled sugar sweetened mixture must be then put in a container made of transparent glass, preferably not plastic or metal. Then, add the starting kombucha tea or SCOBY culture within this container and then close the opening with cheesecloth or paper napkin secured with a rubber band.

Then let the tea rest between 5 to 8 days in a place protected from direct sunlight and moisture and warm enough (about 25°C) at room temperature. It can take up to several weeks for the kombucha tea to fully ferment, form the SCOBY culture and to be ready for drinking. This will really depend on the temperature you keep the fermenting kombucha. If you like to brew and make your tea fadter, then it’s recommended that you store the kombucha at higher, warmer, but not hot temperature, as you nay accidentally kill or unwillingly boil your precious and healthy scoby fungus. At the end of this period, remove the SCOBY and then place the tea in the fridge.

To remove the particles left in the kombucha, you can filter it, but don’t worry you can drink the tea with these particles and filtration isn’t necessary. However, be cautious if there is a mold formed on top of the scoby, if you find any, then don’t drink the kombucha and trow it away. Kombucha tea have to be prepared and brewed in clean environment and protected from any pollutants as much as possible

One little tip: to speed up the Kombucha brewing process, just place it somewhere where it can ferment at warmer tempeeature, if you are brewing it at winter, then keep it close to some type of heater you use, but not too close. If you are brewing it at summer or at warm time of the year, then just keep the kombucha in a safe(so you don’t brake the jar or the container you use) pkace in your room. You can check whether the tempeeature is warm enough by touching the container with the combucha, if it’s nicely, body temperature warm, then your combucha will ferment and get ready at normal or little bit faster pace. If when you touch it you feel it kind of cool, then the tea will get ready little bit slower.

So, the cooler the container where you brew and ferment your Kombucha tea feels when you touch it the slower the entire brewing process will be and the longer it will take and the warmer(but not hot) the kombucha container seems, the faster the brewing and fermenting process will be.

kombucha tea bottles
image source: ed summers

The kombucha tea can be consumed at any time of the day, in quantities that you desire, but preferably not to exceed a half-litre (so as not to tire the liver, because of the strong detoxing and diuretic properties of the Kombucha tea).

Interesting advantage of SCOBY is that, similarly to another similar fermented drink called  “kefir”, the kombucha fungus can be reused many times. To do this, you will need to keep it in its fermented liquid, so that it retains all of its health enhancing properties!

Be healthy and drink kombucha:)

If you have any questions, just ask in the comments below and I will gladly answer.

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