Months ago, I promised to write about my kombucha tea brewing experience, but I haven’t kept that promise. Something about finishing Winds of Freedom, the sequel to my first novel (Winds of Wyoming), and getting it ready for publication…
At the moment, a proofreader is going through the final version of the story and a graphic designer is working on the cover (it’ll be a beauty!). If all goes well, Winds of Freedom should debut on or before July 1st, yay. Wow, I just realized my freedom title will release just in time for Independence Day. Great timing, even if it was unplanned. J
Back to the k-tea. Last fall, a young man at the local farmers’ market who was giving away samples of his kombucha tea told me to keep notes regarding the fermentation process. Great idea, but I didn’t do as he said, so I can’t give you a blow-by-blow account—which you probably didn’t want, anyway.
My advice for those wanting to create their own delicious brew is to read all you can from the library and on the Internet regarding the dos and don’ts of kombucha. Plenty of information is available, if you look for it. You’ll find that making the tea is easy and fun—and cheap.
Cost is a big factor for many brewers. Last I looked, k-tea in the stores averages $3 per bottle. The same great taste can be achieved at home for pennies a cup. Not only does the tea taste good, the health benefits have been touted for generations. Some say kombucha aids digestion and immunity, helps with weight loss, stress and energy levels, detoxifies the liver, restores hair color and even counteracts hangovers. Many other positive results are reported at sites like http://www.kombuchakamp.com/health-benefits-of-kombucha.
On the other hand, you’ll find professionals who warn against kombucha. http://www.naturalnews.com/035316_Kombucha_tea_dangerous_health.html
Back to my brewing experience, which seems to change with each batch of tea. I’ve learned that the fizzy taste I like requires more brewing time in the winter than in the summer. I also learned that using molasses instead of sugar to feed the SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast) is a bad idea. The surface of the mold created by my experimentation could have rivaled Mars in color and texture. But it was interesting! Also, separating a daughter SCOBY from the mother too early results in a weak, ineffective “mushroom” that doesn’t have the power to ferment the tea properly.
I have also experimented with different teas and a variety of additions to the bottled tea. Fruit pieces, like currants, can be dropped into the bottles for a slightly different flavor. Ginger root chunks add tang to the taste.
Although I haven’t seen any major health changes after consuming kombucha for several months (or noticed that my gray streaks have darkened), I can say I like the taste and appreciate the probiotic boost to the beneficial bacteria in my digestive tract as well as the enzymes, amino acids, vitamins and minerals present in the brew. I also feel energized when I drink the tea.
Next time, I’ll fill you in on my sauerkraut adventures!