Friday, June 26, 2009

Kombucha Redux

I used to make my own Kombucha tea in 1995. It's a lot of fun to make. You get a big bowl, fill it with water, add some black tea bags and some sugar, and then place a pancake-like kombucha "mushroom" on top of the bowl. The mushroom (it's really a "spongey cellulose mat produced by the kombucha bacteria and yeast cells") feeds on the sugar and ferments the solution. After about a week, the mushroom has made a copy of itself that you can peel from the mother mushroom. (You can give one of them away and keep the other to make more kombucha tea.)

The resulting tea is a fermented, tangy, fizzy brew that I find very tasty. I stopped making it after a couple of years because we moved (and moving always knocks all my patterns and routines out of whack). It took over 12 years for me to get the idea to start making kombucha again. I read some of self-experimenter Seth Roberts' writings about the health benefits of fermented foods, and he is making kombucha, too.

I ordered the starter kit shown about from Kombucha America. I can't wait to get started making it again. I'll keep you posted.

By the way, Arwen O'Reilly of Craft magazine ran a how-to on making kombucha.