Home Brew: Kombucha!

Here’s the thing: I hate tea. I have always said it tastes like leaves in water. Of course, being a crunchy mama, that just can’t be right? I’m supposed to LIKE tea. I didn’t even consider trying tea straight up until my midwife recommended a blend of peppermint and pregnancy tea to help with indigestion during my last pregnancy. Turns out I LOVE peppermint tea. I love it so very much I’ve been known to call it the “gateway tea”. I now drink some tea.

Kombucha is tea, right? It took me a long time to try the stuff, because, you know, I hate tea. I only took a sip based on two facts: it’s really good for you, and it comes in flavors. I figured that flavored tea chock full of probiotics, folic acid and B vitamins was worth forcing down. Commercially available kombucha turned out to be yummy. To me. Hubby still thinks it smells like stinky feet and refuses to try it. It also happens that kombucha doesn’t taste like tea much at all.

I’d had the pleasure of trying home brewed kombucha from a friend a few times, but I hadn’t taken the leap and tried brewing the stuff because it seemed like a lot of trouble to go to just for me. Eventually, I realized that the boys would probably drink home brewed since it isn’t as fizzy (it’s the bubbly part they don’t like), and I just might be able to brew a flavor Hubby would tolerate. Plus, home brewing the stuff is a significantly cheaper way to get the needed nutrition, and I hear it has a much larger quantity and variety of probiotic goodness.

A few months ago my friend who brews came to visit with a backpack full of goodness to share. We popped open a bottle of strawberry lemon kombucha she’d brewed and sipped away while she taught me the basics of brewing at home. It’s really quite simple; you make a cool a specific batch of sweetened tea, cool it to room temperature, and add starter kombucha and culture. She left me with two scobies (aka mushrooms, the culture that grows while you are brewing) and 2 cups or so of starter tea. In grand busy mama fashion I popped the jars in the pantry and got distracted by the start of school, home schooling, and life in general. You know, the 3 or 4 loads of laundry every day, the dishes, the garden, the squabbles, and the general living that prevents you from trying something new just got in the way.

A few weeks ago I decided it was just time; we needed the nutrition in our bodies. I brewed a batch of tea according to the instructions my friend had emailed me; then I waited for it to cool and added the cultures and tea she’d left. A week later we tried it, and we bottled some strawberry and two different ways to make ginger. Slowly, everyone is learning to drink it except Hubby. As expected, he will tolerate the ginger varieties, but I haven’t quite convinced him he needs the probiotics enough to eek down something he doesn’t love. (I predict he will get there, and when he does, the kombucha will be here.) The rest of us are enjoying it, and I am hoping it helps prevent some of what ails us. I’ll keep you posted. For now, batch number 3 is fermenting in the cabinet as I type.

As it turns out, I do like *some* tea!

3 Responses to “Home Brew: Kombucha!”

  1. October 6, 2012 at 9:03 am

    Ths is really interesting – I have another friend who brews kombucha but I have never tried it (I do drink tea, bucjetloads 🙂 ). If it is as easy as you say, i shall have to have a go.

    • 2 Jennifer
      October 22, 2012 at 3:00 am

      IT really is pretty easy, but you do have to keep up with it. I left our culture dormant too long recently, and it died. I’ll have to replace it now. 🙁 Of course, as you know, things are a bit stressful in my life at the moment.

  2. 3 Beth
    April 2, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    Okay, now I just feel silly I didn’t say hi at the poll this morning! Just wasn’t sure enough until later. Hi!!!

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