Kombucha Tea

The effervescent, sweet & sour beverage, Kombucha aka the “Immortal Health Elixir”, is on the #DSSCRecommends list to beat the monsoon blues, meet the detox requirements, and greet the energized you. Loaded with probiotics, antioxidants, and Vitamin B, the sugary tea gets its ace health benefits from SCOBY and Fermentation. Understandably you’d like a steady flow of this probiotic drink and as long as you have a starter pack and the faithful SCOBY, you can brew Kombucha at home in any flavour your heart desires!

Before we get on the recipe, here’s a little about SCOBY. Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast is the culture used to prevent contamination by undesirable bacteria while fermenting. This slimy, but immensely useful disc, also known as Kombucha mother can be ordered online.

 

Prep Time: 7 to 10 days

Caters to: Makes 4 litres

Challenge Level: Expert

From the Pantry:

  • 3.5 litres water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons black or green tea leaves
  • 2 cups unpasteurized and neutral-flavored starter tea from last batch or store-bought kombucha OR distilled white vinegar
  • 1 SCOBY per fermentation jar

Cook Away:

  1. Bring the water to boil and remove from heat. Stir in sugar to dissolve.
  2. Add tea leaves and allow it to steep until the water has cooled to room temperature.
  3. Once cool, strain the loose tea and stir in the store-bought tea batch or the vinegar. This adds the required acidity which will prevent unfriendly bacteria from fermenting alongside.
  4. Pour the mixture in a sterilized large jar and gently slide the SCOBY in with clean hands.
  5. Cover the jar with a few layers of tea towels or coffee filters and secure with a rubber band.
  6. Keep the jar at room temperature and out of sunlight for seven to ten days, occasionally checking the kombucha and scoby for a new cream-coloured layer of scoby (Brown stringy bits floating beneath the scoby, sediment collecting at the bottom, and bubbles collecting around the scoby indicate good fermentation).
  7. Taste the kombucha after seven days, pouring a little out of the jar into a glass. If the ferment has balanced sweetness and tartness that appeases your palate, it’s ready to be bottled. If not, keep tasting small sips every day until it showcases the fine balance.
  8. Before bottling, remove the layer of SCOBY with clean hands and measure out enough tea to use as starter tea for a new batch, if required.  
  9. Strain the fermented kombucha and pour into locking swing top bottles.
  10. Add peaches, blueberries, ginger, or rosemary as per taste, leaving a half inch room in the bottle.
  11. Store at room temperature for one to three days, away from sunlight, until carbonated.
  12. Check the bottle for carbonation everyday to ensure it doesn’t explode. Once you see fizz, it’s ready to be refrigerated. Consume within a month to avoid spoilage.

 

#DSSCTopTip: Avoid prolonged contact of kombucha with metal while prepping and storage to prevent a change in flavour.

 

Disclaimer: Use quality ensured SCOBY and be cautious about fermentation. Ensure the bottles are properly sealed during fermentation and storage. Discard immediately if SCOBY gets spoiled or the culture gets infected with undesired bacteria.

 

Featured Image Courtesy: mnm.com