Did you know that you can brew your own Kombucha at home? It’s simple and doesn’t require much equipment. If you love this drink, you might find that it is too expensive to buy Kombucha from the store (here in Norway it typically costs 50 kroner (or around $5 or more per bottle). Kombucha, which is fermented tea, originates from China. To brew Kombucha, a “SCOBY” is required, which stands for Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast. It sounds like scary stuff and looks very strange – but that’s what’s needed.
The biggest obstacle for most people who have considered making their own Kombucha is getting hold of a SCOBY. You can actually easily cultivate one yourself. All you need is to buy a flavorless store bought Kombucha, some sugar, black tea, and a container (e.g., a Mason jar). Otherwise, all you need is time, as it takes up to 4 weeks to cultivate a new SCOBY.
- 1 tsp pure black tea (e.g., Twinings English Breakfast)
- 300 ml boiling water
- 2 tbsp sugar
- One bottle of flavorless Kombucha from the store
Start by cleaning a Mason jar or another glass container, preferably a tall type with a round design. Then boil water and add tea and sugar. Let this steep while the tea cools down completely. Then mix the tea and about 250 ml kombucha. Let the mixture stand on the kitchen counter without a tight lid, or with a cloth held in place with a rubber band, until a gel-like film forms on top. This will continue to grow after it has formed, and you have to wait until it has become a few millimeters thick. Meet your new friend, SCOBY. You will be able to use this for a long, long time to make as much Kombucha as you want. Keep both the SCOBY and the liquid in the jar until you are ready to brew the first batch of Kombucha. To get started with brewing, you need a large glass container, bottles, bottle cleaner, sugar, and more black tea.
Follow part 2 of the recipe once you have a finished SCOBY and you are ready to brew the first batch!
Please check out my podcast episode on Kombucha below 👇