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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Kombucha Tea Health Beverage.

Homemade Kombucha health drink!

Have you heard of Kombucha Tea?
Just hit 'Kombucha tea' on google search and you will get hundreds of sites telling you about the wonders of kombucha tea.
The Kombucha Culture, sometimes mistakenly referred to as a mushroom, is a symbiotic, probiotic colony of yeast and bacteria (the friendly type). Kombucha Tea is made by combining the culture, with a mixture of black tea and sugar or green tea and brown sugar. The ingredients are allowed to "ferment", usually from 7-10 days. The resulting beverage contains dozens of elements, many of which are known to promote healing for a variety of conditions.
Kombucha tea is suppose to cure everything and it isn't something you can buy in a bottle or a bag. You need to brew up a batch of kombucha starter culture and grow your own.
I found it rather fun growing this fungus in my tea!

Kombucha Culture on 5th day! Notice the formation of the new culture on top layer.

1. kombucha 'mother' 2. Large glass container 3. brown rock sugar n rose buds
4. stainless steel pot 5 . boiling the rose buds and brown sugar 6. greentea bags 7. Adding the teabags 8. adding the culture into cool sugared tea 9. closing the top with cloth. 10. The culture on next day.

What you need to make your own Kombucha tea?
A stainless steel pot for boiling 2.5 litre water .
some brown rock sugar
5 green tea bags
15 rose buds
Holick glass jar
Kombucha culture
How to make your own Kombucha Tea.
There are many version of making Kombucha Tea, I learnt mine from my sister Pat. I noticed that her recipe include rose buds. I think the rose buds are for the fragrance of the tea. By the way, I got my Kombucha mother culture is from her.

First step is to bring to boil 2.5 litres water in a stainless steel pot. Add 3 pcs brown rock sugar and 15 rose buds. Turn off heat when the sugar has dissolved and put in the 5 green tea bags .Let it steep for at least 15 minutes then remove the teabags. It's necessary to make a strong sugared tea in order for the culture to grow.
Let your tea cool down to room temperature. A hot liquid will kill your starter culture. Pour the tea into a large glass container. Add the culture.
Cover the jar with a fine-mesh cloth or paper towel, to keep out fruit flies but to still allow air in. Secure it with a rubber band.
Keep your culture in a warm place, with no direct sunlight. A relatively dark place is best. Do not move the jar while it is fermenting. Let the fermentation process go on for 7-9 days. You'll likely have to experiment a bit to get the timing right for your own tastes. Longer period gives you a more tangy taste. Warmer temperatures will speed up the process. You will notice a new layer of culture developing on the 3rd or 4th day . That's the daughter culture on top and the mother culture right below.
While your kombucha tea is fermenting, the sugar will be broken down by the yeast in the starter, and CO2 will be formed. Your tea will start to bubble and develop a sharper, tart flavour.
At this point, you'll need to create a new, fresh batch of tea for your new culture (see the first steps). Remove the cultures from your completed tea, now you have 2 pieces of cultures, mother and daughter kekeke!.
Rinse them off lightly with lukewarm water, and place one in the new container of tea. Keep the other piece in the fridge or give it away to your relative or a friend who wants to try fermanting some of their own Kombucha tea.
Pour your completed kombucha tea into bottles. You can strain it if you like, as there will be a little bit of yeast sediment at the bottom. Stopper the bottles tightly.
Let it sit for 3-4 days, to finish maturing. Store in a cool place.
Your kombucha tea will keep for several months.
Kombucha tea is reputed to help with many health problems such as: excema and other skin problems, hair loss, hypertension, digestive and intestinal disorders, arthritis, high cholesterol and more.
I'm not sure how much of this has been scientifically proven, as it seems to cure almost everything. All I can say is, give it a try.
Drop me a line if you want a kombucha culture. I am happy to give you one if you are in the neighbourhood.

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