Kombucha is a fermented drink made from sweetened black tea. It is fermented by yeasts and bacteria that are good for your health, and is therefore a drink that strengthens the immune system and improves bowel functioning. Its preparation is similar to that of homemade yogurt and Kefir, but black tea is used instead of milk as a key ingredient.
Black tea with white sugar are the most used ingredients to make kombucha, but you can also use other herbs and additional ingredients such as green tea, hibiscus tea, matte tea, fruit juice and ginger, to give it a more pleasant flavor.
How to do Kombucha at home
To prepare the Kombucha base, also called the first fermentation, you should follow these steps:
Ingredients for the first fermentation:
- 3 L of mineral water;
- Stainless steel, glass or ceramic cookware
- 1 cup of refined sugar (white sugar)
- 5 sachets of black tea
- 1 kombucha mushroom, also called Scoby
- 1 glass container scalded with hot water
- 300 ml of kombucha ready, equivalent to 10% of the total volume of kombucha to be produced (optional)
You first must thoroughly wash your hands and utensils, pour hot water and vinegar to help eliminate any contamination by micro-organisms. Put the water in the pan and let it warm up. When the water boils, add the sugar and mix well. Then turn off the heat and add the tea bags, letting the mixture rest for 10 to 15 minutes.
Put the tea in the glass jar and wait until it cools and reaches room temperature. Then add the kombucha mushroom and the 300 ml kombucha ready, covering the glass jar with a cloth and an elastic, which will allow air to circulate without leaving the mixture exposed. Store the bottle in an airy place without much light for about 6 to 10 days, at which time the final drink will be ready, it will have a vinegar aroma and be sweetless. At the end of the process, a new kombucha colony is formed on top of the first one. This new colony can be stored in the refrigerator or donated to someone else.
15 Main benefits of Kombucha
Kombucha originated in China and tastes like a sparkling apple cider, and by consuming it, there are several benefits for your health:
- Contributes to weight loss because it regulates appetite and decreases obesity;
- Fights gastritis, by eliminating H. pylori bacterium, one of the great causes of gastritis;
- Prevents intestinal infections by fighting other bacteria and fungi that cause diseases in the gut;
- Helps to detox the body, by binding to toxic molecules in the body and stimulating their elimination through urine and feces;
- Relieves and prevent problems like gout, rheumatism, arthritis and kidney stones, by detoxifying the body;
- Improves the functioning of the intestine by balancing the intestinal flora and working as a laxative;
- Balances blood pH, which leaves the body naturally stronger to prevent and cure diseases;
- Reduces stress and fights insomnia, being a good choice for periods of increased stress or exams;
- Reduces headaches and the tendency to develop migraines;
- Improves liver function, being a good choice for after you take antibiotics;
- Strengthens the immune system by being rich in antioxidants and acting in the gut;
- Prevents diseases like diabetes and cancer because it improves the functioning of the whole body;
- Normalizes blood pressure;
- Decrease the symptoms of menopause;
- Prevents urinary tract infections because it is a good source of fluids, which will help you to produce more urine.
The benefits of kombucha are greater than when black or green teas are taken in their traditional form, and therefore this beverage has been used as a powerful health aid.
How to make Kombucha tasty
Also called kombucha of second fermentation, the kombucha can be flavored with ingredients like ginger, pear, grape, strawberry, lemon, pineapple, orange and other fruits, bringing a new flavor to the drink and adding the benefits of these fruits. The fruits and other ingredients should be added to the kombucha ready base, and in this fermentation the drink will be carbonated, resembling a soda.
Kombucha with lemon and ginger
- 1,5 liter of kombucha
- 3-5 slices of ginger
- 1/2 lemon juice
- bottle with 1,5 L capacity
Put the ginger slices and the lemon juice in a clean bottle. Add the kombucha to the bottle, filling it well until the bottle is completely full, so that there is no air in the bottle. Cover and let it rest for 3 to 7 days, which is the time required for further fermentation, but in general this flavored beverage will be ready after 5 days of fermentation. However, the drink creates gas quickly and some consumers like its taste after only 24 hours of the second fermentation process.
To make the kombucha with other flavors, you just have to beat the fruit in the blender, strain and add in the bottle along with the kombucha base, waiting for 5 days, because the new fermentation will add flavor to the drink.
Where to buy
Ready-to-eat Kombucha can be found in health food and nutrition stores, being available in both traditional flavor and varied fruit and spice flavors.
Since Scoby, which is the mushroom or kombucha wafer with the fungi and bacteria responsible for the fermentation of the drink, can be found on websites or forums on the internet that offer scoby for free, just like with Kefir. As each fermentation a new scoby is formed, kombucha consumers usually donate their scobys to other people who wish to make the drink at home.