our friend amanda kapousouz does many things well; one thing we really love is how she cooks for her family. her two young children drink this kombucha everyday and love it. i spent a day in her kitchen a few weeks back learning how to make it, and a few other things too (which we will share soon!).
amanda adds dried lavender and blueberries to this batch:
we ended the day with a drink of the kombucha with some grapefruit bitters...yum!
makes 1 gallon
- 1 gallon filtered water
- 2 TBSP loose black tea (8 teabags) **do not use flavored teas-they contain oils which will affect fermentation
- 1 cup granulated cane sugar
- 1 SCOBY (this is the 'mother' ; SCOBY stands for 'symbiotic culture of bacteria & yeast')
- 1-2 cups plain kombucha 'starter' (can be store bought)
- bring water to a boil. then turn off heat and add sugar; stir to dissolve. add teabags / loose tea in bag and let steep until tea cools to room temp. discard tea bag, and pour sweet tea into a large glass brewing vessel. only when tea is at room temperature, add the SCOBY and 1-2 cups of kombucha starter. place a handkerchief or napkin over the opening and secure with a rubber band. be sure that the opening is wide enough to be able to remove the SCOBY after fermentation. (note, you can get a SCOBY from a friend, if you know someone who is making their own kombucha...).
-place in a warm-ish spot (on top of a refrigerator or in a pantry) and check back in a couple of weeks. a new SCOBY 'baby' should form on the surface of the tea. in the cooler seasons, it may take a little longer to ferment, and in the warmer seasons, fermentation will speed up, but 2 weeks is generally a good amount of time.
-when you are satisfied with the taste (it should be a little tangy and have a slight fizz), brew a new batch of tea to repeat the process, and now is when you can flavor your first batch in a 'second fermentation'! you may use the new 'baby' SCOBY in your new batch or the original mother. SCOBYs will last a long time; you may share your new SCOBY with a friend, compost it, or start a SCOBY 'hotel' --- look it up! SCOBYs should not be kept in a refrigerator.
-how to do a 2nd ferment: divide the kombucha into grolsch style bottles and add a few slivers of ginger, blueberries, or a splash of your favorite fruit juice. seal the bottles and let them sit an additional day or two. this will create a flavor and a stronger fizz, so be sure to be careful when opening bottles!!
* a tip from amanda: for ideas, how to videos, and other recommendations, i use http://www.culturesforhealth.com/kombucha#beginner
thank you, amanda!
recipe by amanda kapousouz, photographs by rinne allen