Kombucha Tea or Tea Kvass

 Kombucha Tea has been around for over 2000 years in China. It is a sweetened tea that is fermented with a scoby a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast (sounds cheerful, doesn't it?).  Extensive research was done in the early 20th century in Germany on this drink in hopes of help with finding a treatment for cancer. They were able to pinpoint what it was this tea held that helped to fight against cancer (glucaric acids).

This tea is consumed chilled and the resulting beverage is full of vitamin B, probiotics, and glucaric acids.

It is important to start this in a clean environment so I sterilize my jars and such to make sure that everything is clean. To do this I boil water and pour into my jars, on my spoons etc.

1 Gallon-sized Glass Jar
 3 Quarts of Spring Water
 1 Cup of Organic Raw Sugar
 4 Bags of Organic Green Tea
 1 Bag of Organic Black Tea 
 1 Cup of Starter (your kombucha tea saved from your last batch)
 SCOBY  (This is your culture)
 Rubber Band or Twine
A label of some kind.

Put 1 1/2  quarts of water in your gallon size glass jar and the other 1 1/2 gallons in your pan.
Heat and add your sugar and stir until dissolved.  Add your tea bags and let steep for 10 minutes.
Remove bags and add tea to your water in the glass jar. The tea in the jar should be about 96 degrees so if it is too cool warm it up in the pan again or if it is too hot, let it cool a bit.  

To this add your starter and stir gently.  Next, place your SCOBY on top of your liquid.  Cover with your flour sack and secure with rubber band or twine to keep bugs and things out of it.  Place your jar out of direct sunlight where it will be untouched from 5-8 days.  Check it and make sure there is no mold on your SCOBY.  I have never had this happen, but if you do, discard and try again with another SCOBY.

When the time has passed remove the SCOBY and 1 cup of the tea for your starter and put in your new batch of kombucha.  You will notice that your SCOBY has created another SCOBY.  Save that, and add an extra cup of the starter into your reserve.  The smaller story is no less effective than the large in making your kombucha and now you can make two batches or give the scoby and starter to a friend.

From here we strain the kombucha tea and bottle. The brown things floating in the tea is yeast.  This will not hurt you, but we like to strain it out.  You can leave your kombucha plain or flavor it.  We like to do both but the flavored is really yummy.  In this, we do a second ferment. We use some organic juice (we normally juice our own fruit) and pour in the bottom of the bottles.  Then we pour the kombucha on top of the juice, cork it and let sit an additional day or two.

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