Kombucha

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I don’t tend to really drink things besides water (well, and alcohol and coffee). But when I want something a little special I tend towards kombucha because it’s fizzy and fun and also super good for you. Years ago I was making it for myself, and I’m not exactly sure why I stopped, but I decided to start again.

It’s kind of like sourdough bread because you need to get a starter from someone. I got mine from my friend Rebecca when I was back in Minneapolis last time – she gave me a small piece of a “scoby” (which is what the mushroom thing that causes the fermentation is called) that would fit in a 3oz airplane-safe jar. It survived the trip and has succeeded in making me lots of delicious kombucha! Here’s what you do:

– Boil water and add in black tea and sugar (real sugar – not coconut or honey or anything I usually like to use. Don’t worry, the “scoby” eats the sugar, not you). I don’t think it matters too much the ratio of these things, although other people think it matters. As a guide, The Kitchn says 1c sugar for 3 1/2quarts water.

-Let the sugar dissolve and the tea steep until it’s cool, and then strain it and add it to a large jar along with the scoby and a couple cups of previously-made kombucha (from a batch of your own, or you can use store-bought)

– Cover the jar with a paper towel and then just let it sit for about a week. You will see bubbles and a new scoby forming!

– Pour out all but 2 cups of the liquid into bottles to drink, and then use the rest to make another batch!

Some notes:
– Make sure to handle the scoby with clean hands and clean jars
– Every batch will result in another scoby layer. You can keep them all in your jar (until they become too much!) or throw them out or give them to a friend who wants to start their own or use them in your compost (if you have one, i.e. non-New Yorkers)
– After you put the kombucha in jars you can add other flavors, like cranberry juice or ginger or whatever. I think just plant matter.
– I like to mix mine with water because sometimes it’s a little intense.
– Writing this post I am becoming curious about the possibility of a kombucha cocktail – look for this in the future!

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