Learn how to make flavoured kombucha in your very own kitchen
Kombucha is quite possibly the trendiest new drink on the market right now, but it’s actually not really new at all. Kombucha has been around for years! Popping up in grocery stores, health food stores, restaurants and bars alike, this trendy drink has become widely available!
But did you know that you can also learn how to make flavoured kombucha in your very own home?!
We visited Kara Sam, founder of local Vancouver business Bucha Brew to find out how!
What is kombucha?
Kombucha is a fermented tea. It’s a tasty combination of sweet and sour, with all the fizzy goodness of soda. Except, it’s way healthier!
Drinking kombucha provides a healthy dose of probiotics and live enzymes that help keep our digestive systems happy! Kombucha can help to relieve symptoms of heartburn, indigestion or bloating.
Even better, it’s low in sugar, low in calories, and contains minimal caffeine!
The fermentation process
Kombucha is created through a fermentation process. It’s a combination of caffeinated tea and sugar with an added culture. This culture is called a SCOBY – that’s a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast.
The SCOBY doesn’t look particularly appealing, but it’s what helps make the magic happen.
The fermentation process breaks down the sugar creating lactic acid, and produces healthy bacteria and live enzymes. Those are things that you want in order to reap the benefits of healthy digestion!
How to Make Flavoured Kombucha
Ready to start brewing?
Bucha Brew founder Kara Sam has been brewing kombucha for the past year for her growing business. She’s a pro! She even makes a delicious Mint and Algae Kombucha using Organika® Organic Spirulina Powder!
She loves kombucha, and she really wants you to love it too! So, she’s helped us put together this recipe for do-it-yourself at home brewing. Let’s get started!
You will need:
- A clean workspace
- A 2 gallon glass jar with a wide opening
- A piece of paper towel, or a breathable cotton napkin
- An elastic
- 8 Tbsp of loose tea, or 8 tea bags of caffeinated tea (you can use black, green, oolong etc. – no blends, and it must be caffeinated!)
- 2 cups of organic sugar
- 2 gallons of filtered water
- A SCOBY and 1L of plain kombucha from a previous batch*
*You can find a SCOBY online, or ask others that make Kombucha. A new SCOBY is created in every batch of Kombucha brewed, so it’s typically easy to find generous people willing to share. You can also try asking local kombucha companies.
Basic Kombucha Recipe
- Boil a portion of your filtered water to make your tea mixture.
- Once the water is boiled, add 2 cups of sugar and stir to dissolve.
- Add your tea and let steep 5-10 minutes depending how strong you want it to be. Let it cool.
- Pour the tea mixture into your 2 gallon glass jar, and add the remaining filtered water.
- Place your SCOBY in the vessel, along with the 1L of kombucha from a previous batch.
- Cover your jar with paper towel, cotton cloth (a napkin or old t-shirt will work), to keep fruit flies out!
- Wait! Let your kombucha ferment at room temperature for approximately a week. Taste your brew after 5 days to determine how much more time it will need. (Fermentation time can vary based on the environment and temperature)
Once your kombucha is done, most of the sweetness will be gone, and a slight tart and acidic taste will have developed. You can drink your kombucha at this stage, or you can go on to flavour it!
Flavouring Your Kombucha
- Remove the SCOBY from your kombucha along with 1L of plain kombucha for storing your SCOBY or starting your next batch!
- Pour your kombucha into glass bottles with sealable tops (flip top or screw cap only – no corks!)
- Be creative! Add juiced fruit, or frozen or fresh fruit to your kombucha in whatever flavours you wish! You can also add herbs like mint or basil, or finely milled powders like cinnamon, or Organika Organic Spirulina Powder!
- Cap your bottle and allow it to continue fermenting with your flavourings at room temperature for about 2 days. (Your kombucha will also increase in CO2 at this stage for a fizzier drink!).
- After 2 days, taste your kombucha to check if it’s ready. If your happy with the taste of your drink, strain your kombucha and pour it into a sealable glass bottle for storing in the refrigerator!
- Drink and enjoy!
There are numerous flavour combinations that work well with Kombucha’s mildly sweet and sour profile.
Kara at Bucha Brew makes her kombucha in 4 different delicious flavours including raspberry, blueberry, mint and algae, and her personal favourite, ginger.Bucha Brew’s ginger kombucha is great flavour for helping to settle upset stomachs, while her Mint and Algae flavour gets an extra boost of iron and plant based protein from using Organika Organic Spirulina Powder.
Try choosing your favourite fruits, or opt for herbs and superfoods that offer an extra nutritional boost.
The possibilities are endless.
And if you ever run out of ideas, head to your local grocery store or health food stores to try some of the creative kombucha flavours available for sale.
Bucha Brew can be found at grocery stores and health food stores throughout the west coast.