Kombucha For Dummies

Chandra checking out the scoby action

Chandra checking out the scoby action

Kombucha - the drink of gremlins and weirdos alike! #healthy.

Just kidding, maybe it doesn’t deserve a #healthy, but it is really good for you. And, no it’s not the drink of gremlins or weirdos. But we are super weird.

Some people really don’t like kombucha and some people love it. It’s one of those things where there’s no in between, you either love it or hate it. For me, I really like it. I’m not crazy obsessed with it. (Some people are total kombucha lovers and it feels like the only thing missing is a t-shirt to go along with it.) We’re not crazy obsessed t-shirt wearers here. We just really like it and make lots of it.

…Well, not all of us like it. But recently Robin, Chandra’s mom, started to drink it and, if you know Robin, you know that she has good taste in pretty much everything, from decor to clothing to food and everything in between! So if Robin drinks kombucha, you probably should too. Just kidding. You don’t have to. But that should be the new tag line for our Kombucha, ‘Robin drinks it, so should you! Need we say more?’ Honestly though, we don’t force anyone to drink it. Some t-shirt wearing enthusiasts may make you try it, (I may or may not be one of them), but after that you can decide for yourself whether you like it or not.

So what actually is kombucha?

Kombucha is fermented tea. It’s similar to the process of brewing beer in that a bacteria eats the sugar and makes the drink a little bit more acidic. In this case, the SCOBY is the bacteria, and it’s tea instead of beer. While we sleep, magic happens overnight (or over many nights) and the bacteria eats the sugar and grows to make more of itself, turning the sweet tea into this tasty, tangy drink known as kombucha. Best served cold.

Fun fact:

Did you know that scoby stands for symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast?

That’s right symbiotic not psychotic! I’m looking at you mr and mrs “how do you drink that stuff???” We drink it in a small glass, bigger than a shot glass, smaller than a glass of milk, just the perfect size to satisfy a kombucha craving. And yes, eventually you start craving it, don’t judge me.

Kombucha does something to your gut, I’m not sure what exactly, something about good bacteria and digestion. I personally like the taste of it more than anything else, the health benefits are just added benefits. Sometimes it gets too bitter or vinegary - Chandra and Matt still really like it when it gets vinegary, so you just have to taste test every couple of days to see if you prefer it on the sweet or sour side. Hands down, my favourite thing about making kombucha is test tasting it with Matt and Chandra and then going on a mason jar hunt trying to find large empty jars or flasks to store it in. Heat affects the making of kombucha, I think it makes it brew faster, but that isn’t always a good thing because if you leave it for too long then it just becomes straight up vinegar.

Making the ‘buch in Cookhouse

Making the ‘buch in Cookhouse

We’ve been experimenting with new flavours recently. We have lots of mint and thyme and lemon thyme in the garden so we used all those flavours in batches of kombucha. Yesterday we tried one with apple mint and I really didn’t like it as much as the other ones but it still definitely works.

Kombucha is one of the most simplest things you can possibly make, the thing basically does itself, you just gotta keep your eye on it and check it regularly. Find some kind of simple procedure that works for you to make the tea and refill the jars because you will be doing it often. If I can do it anyone can. After a few times of making it you get the hang of it, and if a batch ever turns into vinegar you can use it for other things, like laundry, nothing ever goes to waste!

  • by Sara Malak