Freak out your friends! Wow your kiddos! Save a bundle! Support your gut!
After over a year of wishing I was making Kombucha, reading about Kombucha, watching youtube videos on Kombucha, and spending way too much money drinking someone else’s Kombucha, a SCOBY fell in my lap last month. I mean my friend gave me her baby. I mean she pulled the baby apart from her mother. I’m sorry, I can’t help it – my best friend gets so creeped out when I talk about the SCOBY being a mother and producing a baby, that I just can’t stop trying to make it sound horrible.
I know the Lean.Green.Kitchen community has people all over the Kombucha spectrum -from avid daily drinkers on one side, all the way over to those who have never heard of it (or worse, read Wikipedia and think it kills people.) My hope is that this post motivates you to move along the continuum towards enjoying or at least recognizing and appreciating this super cool fermented beverage.
LEVEL ONE: What is Kombucha and what is a SCOBY? Kombucha is a fermented tea beverage. Sugar and brewed tea are placed in a glass jar with a SCOBY and left on a shelf, then mad scientist magic happens and –boom– you have Kombucha a week or two later. A SCOBY is a Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria and Yeast. It kind of looks like a flat disc mushroom. It is the mad scientist that eats the tea and sugar and produces the Kombucha. It is also called the mother. And during each brewed batch of Kombucha a new SCOBY forms on top of the old one and it is called the baby. I know, it’s really creepy. Or kick-ass cool, depending on the voice you use when saying it.
LEVEL TWO: Why would anyone want to drink this stuff? In a nut shell, Kombucha provides the gut with both probiotics and prebiotics. That means it provides food for the healthy bacteria in your gut and helps you grow new healthy bacteria. This is important due to the fact that so many of us do not have a high enough ratio of good to bad bacteria in our gut, and a healthy gut equals a healthier you. Kombucha is also filled with B vitamins, antioxidants, and enzymes. You can find list after list of the benefits of regular Kombucha drinking and it appears it is awesome for just about everything. The things that jump out to me are: improving digestive issues, increasing energy, combatting seasonal allergies, reducing depression symptoms, supporting bone and joint health, and bolstering the immune system. World peace is probably on the list too, but I haven’t read that far down.
LEVEL THREE: What does it taste like? Delicious! Okay, that’s a little vague. Kombucha can taste like a mild sweetened tea or like vinegar, and every fun sweet-tart flavor in the middle. It all depends on how long you let your Kombucha brew, which type of tea you started with, and if you choose to flavor it. My first batch I flavored with lime, ginger and pomegranate. Interestingly, my daughter loved the spicy ginger the best and my son liked the tart lime. I would have put money on the pomegranate for both of them, so there you go. I think flavored Kombucha tastes like a cross between soda and beer. Maybe you should go try one and then describe it for me. I seem to be having trouble putting it into words.
$24 worth of Kombucha that I made for just over a buck!
LEVEL FOUR: Why would you make your own? This is an easy one. Because Kombucha cost $3 a bottle and I want to drink it every day. When I make it myself it costs maybe 15 cents a bottle. Now how motivating is that? Then there are the extra benefits, like feeling like a rock star goddess with a pet SCOBY making the world a better place with my brew. There is something undeniably fantastic about being in charge of your own healthy elixir and being able to share it with others. Like real-deal, in-your-core awesomeness, that can’t be described, only felt.
This is all you need to make Kombucha (once you get your SCOBY). Kombucha is a total prima donna – she only drinks filtered water and eats caffeine and sugar.
I’m so new that I’m not going to fill up space telling you step by step how to make Kombucha. I’m going to send you to all the AMAZING resources that I used to learn how and tell you that IT CAN BE DONE. IT IS TOTALLY DO-ABLE. And I’d love to hear all about your adventures. Let me know if you need a baby. I’ve got a short waiting list going. Read below to determine your next step!
This is me with my first SCOBY. I am VERY happy here. You can tell because my eyes disappeared.
NEXT STEPS IN YOUR KOMBUCHA EDUCATION (jump in where appropriate):
1. Read more about it.
Holistic Squid: Kombucha Visual Guide
Weed ‘Em and Reap: Brewing Kombucha – The Basics, The Benefits and The Bravery
The Cultured Life: How to Make Kombucha
2. Try it! My favorite store-bought is GT’s Classic Ginger and Citrus. You will need to prove that you are over 21 to buy this as it may contain a tiny amount of alcohol from the fermentation process. Please chuckle with the grocer when they card you over this and you then go give a sip to your six-year-old. Anywho… you can more readily find GT’s Enlightened which they make sure does not have the alcohol so anyone can buy it. If you are really panic-y about trying this drink then you can start with one of the sweeter versions, like mango. You can tell how sweet it will be by reading the label for the grams of sugar. Most of the sugar comes from whatever they have added, so mango has 8 grams (I think, don’t quote me on that) and the ginger and citrus have about 2 grams. Buy a few and do a taste test with a friend after freaking them out with photos of SCOBYs.
3. Learn more about making it. Watch some videos. Message me with questions you have. Find an official recipe. Start eyeing large glass containers for “some day.”
Kombucha Kamp How To Videos
Cultures For Health
4. Start a batch!! The biggest challenge it to find a SCOBY. You’ve got to ask around to find your fellow Kombucha friends (everyone loves to give SCOBYs to a friend). If you are starting the Kombucha craze among your friends, you may need to order your first SCOBY. I would recommend going here: Kombucha Kamp Cultures. One SCOBY is $24.88, and will start you on your way! Just do it. What do you have to lose? And you MUST MUST MUST share a photo with me when that first batch is rolling. MUST. MuSt. must. We clear?
Party on, rock stars!
This post is linked to Party Wave Wednesday at HolisticSquid.com!
Read more: http://holisticsquid.com/party-wave-wednesday-110613/#ixzz2jtyBoiIw