Monday, June 29, 2009

kombucha

Kombucha has been used as an alternative medicine for the treatment of cancer... Something we fed my mother among other things during her struggle with the disease...It is funny that at the time I made fun of kombucha and now John and I drink this daily…although Martin-Lane now makes fun of us…

Kombucha is a tea made with a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast sometimes referred to as a SCOBY or a mushroom... What happens is you brew a tea--I prefer a green tea-- add sugar "to taste" let cool and float a SCOBY in it for about two weeks... after two weeks you have a fermented tea and a baby SCOBY in addition to the Mother you originally floated...separate the baby from the mother and set the SCOBYs aside... Now you bottle your tea in air tight jars, I use small mason jars. Then let bottles sit in a dry airy cool place for two more weeks... Refrigerate and drink when cool... What you have is a carbonated tea that is full of good bacteria and is a pro-biotic similar to yogurt...

Kombucha has been brewed for hundreds of years and is believed to have originated somewhere around the Russian and Chinese border. Only in that last five or six years have we seen it being sold commercially. In the seventies I can remember going to more than one friends house and seeing these creatures growing in large jars on kitchen counters.

John gave me my SCOBYs when I was visiting him in Brooklyn. Evidently there is a lot of kombucha brewing in BK and at 6 bucks a bottle retail I can see why... The secret to success is finding the right spot as the SCOBY collects and grows not only from the bacteria of the tea but also from it's/your surrounding environment. Feeding back into an ecosystem in a micro-form of permaculture...

2 comments:

allison said...

so cool. i want to try this. but where do i get the yeast/mushroom? anywhere? do you cut a scoby from someone else? is there a scoby swapping party? are some better than others? do they affect the taste?

Sidra said...

If you know anyone who is kombuchaing they will have plenty of scoby to share. I have also seen some to order online. As long as you have a live scoby and take care of it by floating it in good quality tea and sugar all is well. When you inherit a scoby you should inquire into what your scoby was previously floated in. I have heard of someone that made kombucha with mountain dew...i would not want that scoby.