Kombucha is a type of fermented drink made from sweetened black tea and it is fermented by yeasts and bacteria which are good for health. It strengthens the immune system and improves intestinal health functioning. The preparations is similar to that of homemade yoghurt and kefir, but in this case black tea is used instead of milk as a fundamental ingredient.
The main ingredients used in making kombucha are black tea with white sugar, but other herbs and additional ingredients such as green tea, hibiscus tea, matt tea, fruit juice and ginger can be used to achieve a more pleasant taste.
Kombucha has its origin from China and it tastes like sparkling apple cider and its consumption has the following benefits:
- Contribute to weight because it regulates appetite and decreases obesity
- Combat gastritis by acting by eliminating the bacterium H. pylori, one of the major causes of gastritis
- Prevent intestinal infections by fighting other bacteria and fungi that cause diseases in the intestine
- Act as detoxifier, by connecting to toxic molecules in the body and stimulating their elimination by urine and faeces
- Relieve and prevent problems such as gout, rheumatism, arthritis and kidney stones, by detoxifying the body
- Improve the functioning of the intestine by balancing the intestinal flora having laxative action
- Balance the pH of the blood which makes the body naturally stronger to prevent and cure diseases
- Reduce stress and fight insomnia, being a good option during periods of increased stress or evidence
- Reduce headache and tendency to migraines
- Improve the functioning of the liver, being a good option for after taking antibiotics
- Strengthen the immune system as it is rich in antioxidants and act in the intestine
- Prevent diseases such as diabetes and cancer because it improves the functioning of the whole body
- Normalising blood pressure
- Decrease menopausal symptoms
- Prevent urinary infections because it is a good source of fluids, which will produce more urine
The benefits of kombucha are heightened when black and green teas are taken in their traditional form because that is the only way it will have powerful health benefits.
How to make Kombucha at home
To prepare the base of kombucha, also called the first fermentation, the following steps must be made:
Ingredients for First Fermentation:
- 3 L mineral water
- Stainless steel, glass or ceramic pan
- 1 cup caster sugar (white sugar)
- 5 black tea bags
- 1 kombucha mushroom, also called Scoby
- 1 glass container scalded with hot water
- 300 ml of ready kombucha, equivalent to 10% of the total volume of kombucha to be produced (optional)
Wash your hands and the utensils thoroughly using hot water and vinegar so as to eliminate any contamination by microorganisms. Put water in the pan then heat. Once the water boils, add sugar then mix well. Turn off the heat and add the tea bags and let them rest for about 10 to 15 minutes.
Pour the tea in a glass jar and let it cool at room temperature. Add the kombucha mushroom and the 300ml of ready kombucha, as you cap the glass jar with a cloth and an elastic. This will allow circulation of air without exposing the mixture. Store the bottle in a cool airy place for about 6 to 10 days, so that it may have the aroma of vinegar without sweet flavour once it is ready. At the end of the process, a new kombucha colony will form on top of the first, and it can be stored in the refrigerator or given to someone else to use it.
Most delicious Kombucha recipes
This is also called the second fermentation of kombucha, and it can be flavoured with other ingredients such as ginger, pear, grape, strawberry, lemon, pineapple, orange and other fruits. This will give the drink a new flavour and it will also add the nutritional benefits of the fruits. These fruits and other ingredients should be added to the base of the kombucha when it is ready, and the fermented drink will resemble soda.
Lemon and Ginger Kombucha
- 1.5 liter kombucha
- 3-5 slices ginger
- juice of half a lemon
- 1.5L capacity pet bottle
Put the slices of ginger an lemon juice in a clean PET bottle. Add the kombucha and fill the bottle well until it is full, so that there is no air in the bottle. Cover it and let it rest for about 3 to 7 days so as to give it time to ferment. Usually, the drink will be ready after about 5 days. However, the drink generates gas quickly and some people will love the taste after just 24 hours of the second fermentation.
To mix the kombucha with other flavours, blend your preferred choice of fruit then mix it with the kombucha. Wait for 5 days for the new fermentation so as to get the new flavoured drink.
Where to buy
The readymade kombucha can be purchased from natural products and nutrition stores. It is sold in both the traditional flavours and the varied flavours of different fruits and spices.
Skoby, which is the kombucha mushroom or wafer with the fungi and bacteria is the one responsible for the fermentation of the drink. It can gotten from websites or internet forums that offer skoby free of charge, just like kefir. With each new fermentation, skoby is formed, and for this reason, kombucha consumers usually donate the skobies to other people who wish to prepare the drink at home.