That is such a fun word Kombucha! A loves to help me make it she loves to just say it over and over and over again! Today I am going to share how I started making kombucha. I had been reading several different books and blogs about tradition foods. All of the recipes sounded interested and tasty however there was one that seemed just downright weird to me and that was kombucha. For those of you that don’t know
Kombucha is a living health drink made by fermenting tea and sugar with the kombucha culture. (Definition from Seeds of Health.co.uk)
Sounds weird right? I kept reading more and more different articles and stories about this so called “wonder drink.” I am very skeptical when it comes to health foods and homeopathic stuff. Don’t get me wrong I use quite a number of them, but since I was raised in a very “western medicine centred” family (many family members are traditional doctors, nurses dentists etc) I tend to approach things with caution.
The other thing that kind of scared me was this Kombucha mother thing. What is the mother, well after looking around I learned it is called a SCOBY (with the O sound as in Scope mouth was and not Scooby Doo). This stands for Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast. Yeah that sounds like something I want to drink!
One day I was in my local health food store picking up some vitamins and I saw a bottle of Asian Pear and Ginger Kombucha Wonderdrink. So I thought I would give it a try (after I nearly chocked on the +$4 price tag I took it home. That evening when the girls were in bed and my wonderful husband was at class I curled up with my drink and my book. It was bubbly and delicious. But at over $4 a drink that was totally out of my price range!!!
As I was looking around on the internet I saw this post by Food Renegade of How to Grow your own Kombucha SCOBY and I though I would give it a shot. The only problem I ran into was the kombucha that I had tried earlier was pasteurized so there was no living culture in it. That meant that I couldn’t start my own from that particular brand. Finally after much searching (small towns tend to have limited health food options) I found Tonica Kombucha. I bought two, one to drink (yum) and one to start my mother. So I followed the instructions of the Food Renegade post, covered my drink and hoped and prayed this jug of sweet tea would grow me a mother.
I left the jug a lone for about 7 weeks. I wouldn’t really recommend starting it in the winter if you live in a cold climate unless you want to wait a LOOOOONG time. I live in Ontario and it was pretty chilly until about mid-March when it hit almost 30C (86F) then things really took off! When I peaked under the cover I saw a bumpy opaque mass of stuff floating on top of my tea.
Isn’t it lovely! I know it isn’t much to look at but man does it make me happy. I know there are several thousand website around that purport that kombucha can do everything from regulating your digestive system to growing a new limb (ok well that may be a wee bit of an exaggeration). For me, I drink it because it is tasty, it doesn’t have too much sugar (you can make it according to your tastes) and it is bubbly. I like pop (or Soda as I am told it is called in the US), I love the bubble in it and I love that it is not water. I drink a lot of water in a day so having 1 glass of something that is bubbly and refreshing is a nice change. Since I have started drinking the kombucha I haven’t had any pop, I will take the KT over the pop any day now because I can pronounce all of the ingredients in it (tea, water, and sugar) and it doesn’t have any scary ingredients like aspartame or caramel colour.
So that is how I started drinking the weird drink called kombucha and how I started my own mother. Tomorrow I will tell you all about how I actually use the mother to make my kombucha and some of our favourite flavours!
Shared as part of Fight Back Friday.