The first time I heard of Kombucha tea, I wondered why anyone would want to try it. I could not even pronounce the name, so the idea that it would taste good, or be beneficial for me, did not really cross my mind.
I got over my skepticism, and I am truly glad I did, since drinking it introduced me to all the amazing benefits of this wonderful tea.
What is Kombucha?
Kombucha is really a type of yeast, sometimes also called a mushroom or ‘Scoby’. It is a natural probiotic that contains beneficial bacteria, yeasts and acids that can help our bodies to achieve and maintain overall good health. As a probiotic, Kombucha’s beneficial bacteria, called gut flora, spread and live in the large intestine with the purpose of eliminating harmful micro-organisms.
Benefits of Drinking Kombucha Tea
• Regular consumption of Kombucha tea assists in the process of detoxifying the body, since it provides gluceronic acid, which is normally produced by the liver during the body’s detoxifying process.
• Kombucha also provides much needed energy boosts to regular drinkers, since a body free of toxins can run and perform more effectively. The energy provided by the tea also comes from the myriad of B vitamins present. These include B1, B2, B6 and B12. Vitamin C is also present, further assisting in the detoxifying process and providing even more energy.
• Kombucha tea is great for weight loss. The group of B vitamins present helps the body process fats and proteins quicker while improving metabolism.
• This tea is even helpful for people with sleep disorders. A nice cup of Kombucha tea calms the body and spirit, helping people find their natural sleep rhythm so they can sleep better at night.
• Kombucha tea helps to strengthen the immune system. It can even aid in fighting off infections because the acids present in Kombucha tea have antibiotic properties. It is also used in preventing and treating acid reflux disease and helping with digestion.
• Kombucha tea can also be used to soothe and help with the effects from ailments such as arthritis, bronchitis, chronic fatigue, diabetes, cancer and many others.
How Do You Prepare Kombucha Tea
The easiest way to prepare and drink Kombucha tea is to buy it already brewed from a health food store. However, preparing it fresh at home, while it does take a little planning, is easy to do and brews an enjoyable tea specifically created by the brewer. The steps to brewing a quart of the tea at home are simple:
Important Note: NEVER touch the kombucha mushroom with a metal instrument (ie: knife, spoon, etc.) Metal will kill the mushroom. Only use plastic or wooden utensils. It is also very important to remove any rings when handling the mushroom. It is best to wear rubber gloves to protect the mushroom from any contamination.
Ingredients: The ratio of the ingredients can be adjusted by the brewer to fit individual tastes.
- Kombucha mushroom. (Mushrooms can be found in health food stores or online.)
- 2 or 3 tea bags or ¼ ounce loose tea. (The best options for these teas are Black or Green tea, plain, without any oil.)
- ½ cup starter tea, which is Kombucha tea that has been previously prepared.
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 quart filtered water
Brewing Kombucha Tea
Step 1: Get a glass container with a wide mouth to brew the tea in.
Step 2: Bring water to a boil in a stainless steel pot.
Step 3: Add the sugar and stir until it is completely dissolved.
Step 4: Add tea bags, steep to desired strength, then set aside to cool to room temperature.
Step 5: Remove the tea bags, then add the kombucha culture (mushroom) and the starter tea to the mixture in the wide-mouth glass container. (Make sure the tea is at room temperature. Hot temperatures will kill the mushroom.)
Step 6: Cover the container with a coffee filter or cheese cloth, secured with a rubber band and let it stand out of direct sunlight for at least 4 to 5 days. (You can let it brew longer, up to 7 days or more. The longer it brews the stronger the taste and more nutritious it is.)
Step 7: After 4 or 5 days, begin tasting the mixture until you are satisfied with the taste.
Congratulations – You’re Almost Done !
Once you are pleased with the taste, remove the mushroom and any new mushroom that might have formed. (New mushrooms formed during the brewing process are called ‘babies’. They may either be attached to the ‘mother’ or floating within the tea.) Strain the tea through the cheese cloth and pour into a pitcher or a clean canning jar. A perfectly brewed tea will have a slight effervescent fizz, as shown in the image at the top if this page.
It is recommended to begin drinking 2 to 4 ounces per day, although you can drink more. Keep in mind that tea is a diuretic, so if you decide to drink more, make sure to keep hydrated throughout the day by also drinking a lot of water.