How to Make KOMBUCHA

Have you heard about KOMBUCHA yet?

SCOBY starting a new fermentation

SCOBY starting a new fermentation

It's the new trend and yet has been used for centuries in Central and Eastern Europe. KOMBUCHA is a fermented tea, but don't worry, it's a good kind of fermentation! It's full of the good bacteria that you need in your gut to help you digest, fight diseases and be healthy. It can be expensive to buy at the store, or you can make your own. It's easy and all it takes is some sugar, tea and a SCOBY.

What's a SCOBY? The SCOBY, or mother, takes the form of a rubbery disk, and is what ferments the tea. You will need one to get you started.

How to Make Kombucha Tea

1. Gather Equipment for Making Kombucha Tea

  • Quart-Size Glass Jar
  • Plastic or Wooden Stirring Utensil
  • Tight-Weave Cloth or Paper Coffee Filter
  • Something to secure the cover to the jar (rubber band or canning jar rings work well)

2. Gather Ingredients for Making Kombucha

  • Unfluoridated, Unchlorinated Water
  • White Sugar
  • Tea Bags (back or green tea)
  • Starter Tea

If you have just started making kombucha, you can work your way up to larger batch sizes to help maintain proper ingredients ratios and to avoid stressing the SCOBY.

3. Select Ingredient Ratios for Making Different Amounts of Kombucha

One-Quart Batch:

  • 2 tea bags
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2-3 cups water
  • ½ cup starter tea

Half-Gallon Batch:

  • 4 tea bags
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 6-7 cups water
  • 1 cup starter tea

Gallon Batch:

  • 8 tea bags
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 13-14 cups water
  • 2 cups starter tea

4. Follow Instructions for Making Kombucha Tea

  1. Combine hot water and sugar in a glass jar. Stir until the sugar dissolves. The water should be hot enough to steep the tea but does not have to be boiling
  2. Place the tea bags in the sugar water to steep.
  3. Cool the mixture to 68-85ºF. The tea may be left in the liquid as it cools or removed after the first 10-15 minutes. The longer the tea is left in the liquid, the stronger the tea will be. 
  4. Remove the tea bags from the liquid.
  5. Add starter tea from a previous batch to the liquid.
  6. Add the SCOBY.
  7. Cover the jar with a tight-weave towel or coffee filter and secure with a rubber band.
  8. Allow the mixture to sit undisturbed at 68-85°F, out of direct sunlight, for 7-30 days, or to taste. The longer the kombucha ferments, the less sweet and more vinegary it will taste.
  9. Pour kombucha off the top of the jar for consuming. Retain the SCOBY and enough liquid from the bottom of the jar to use as starter tea for the next batch.
  10. The finished kombucha can be flavored and bottled, if desired, or enjoyed plain. There is no limit to the flavoring possibilities. For a fizzy finished kombucha, try bottling it in a tightly-sealed container.
Estelle Levangie