KOMBUCHA IS A FERMENTED TEA-BASED BEVERAGE often consumed to aid digestion and support overall health. It is made by mixing a culture of bacteria and yeast into sweetened tea and then letting it ferment for a week or more. During fermentation, the mother culture consumes the sugar, producing acids that result in a pleasantly tart flavor. When the tea has reached the desired balance, the mother culture is removed and a small amount of starter for the next batch is reserved. At this point you can drink the kombucha or add flavoring ingredients before a second fermentation.
Fruit juices are a very easy way to add flavor to kombucha, but you can also try fresh ginger, dried or fresh fruits and berries, edible flowers and herbs. After the flavoring ingredients are added, the kombucha is bottled and stored at room temperature for several days. The remaining live yeast and bacteria will ferment further, imparting even more flavor. This second fermentation will also create light carbonation in the kombucha if it is stored in airtight containers.
- Easy to make—the process consists of just six simple steps and two weeks of fermentation.
- More healthful than sugary soda and costs less than commercially packaged products.
- Provides probiotic compounds, vitamins, organic enzymes and amino acids.
- Can be customized to your personal taste by using different types of teas and flavorings.
- A great project for locavores, food crafters and anyone who wants to feel connected to their food source.