I was planning on writing another post this month – something clever involving the historical tie between opium and tea – but necessity required that I do a little research on kombucha instead. I have been getting sick off and on now for months. I am not opposed to drinking anything – such as kombucha – that has a probiotic organism content of one billion, along with antioxidants, organic acids, amino acids, and 20% of one’s daily value of five different Vitamin Bs. But my question was: “Is kombucha a tea?” I have heard it called one, but just how accurate was that assertion? It was time to do some research.
The verdict? Although kombucha is considered a fermented tea, it is mainly a Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria and Yeast (or SCOBY). Kombucha is formed when yeast produces a small amount of alcohol, which contributes to the bacteria’s production of acetic acid. As a result of its acidity and slight alcohol content, kombucha is not easily contaminated by mold or bacteria.
I decided to buy a glass canning jar and use some starter kombucha to create my own SCOBY so I won’t have to buy in the store. This is my plan:
- Pour my store-bought kombucha into a glass canning jar.
- Cover the jar with a paper towel or cloth. The SCOBY will start to form after about four days.
- Add sweet black tea to promote growth (use a cup of water, a little sugar, and one tea bag). The SCOBY will be ready in another ten days.
- If it is too strong, use your new SCOBY to make another batch.
I figure it’s worth a try, right? More to come on the outcome.
I will be eager to hear about your progress. I took a class on making kombucha a few years ago. We were given a scoby to use and it worked like a charm. Actually grew a few of our own. Friends and family said it was the best kombucha they’d ever tasted. We seem to make it in spurts. We made a few batches, enjoyed it tremendously and then basically forget about the scoby siting patiently in the frig. I’m not familiar with commercial starter kombucha but again, looking forward to hearing about your experience.
I use to do a lot of Kombucha (about 20 liters a week) the best tea to make it is the white tea, then the Kombucha becomes like champagne, and taste great.
I love that idea! Thanks. Do my directions seem okay to you? I haven’t made it yet.
I would like to add a slight variation to your definition. Although a SCOBY (or zoogleal mat) is the source of Kombucha, I’m not sure I would define it as that. Nor, necessarily, would I define it as a tea. I believe, IMHO, that it might be more accurate to define it as a fermented beverage, created from the use of a SCOBY. The medium, although most often made from tea, can be almost anything. What is most important is the SCOBY and sugar ( many different forms can be used), which is what feeds the bacteria. Technically, although I’m not certain about this, you could probably just use water. If you used fruit juice, you might not have to even add sugar as it’s already built in. Making Kombucha is a fun process to play around and experiment with.