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Kombucha Tea

Years ago when we first became Wonderfully Well all we drank was water; which was really fine with me… I enjoyed water and our morning fresh veggie juices, so a “treat” cup of coffee on Saturday mornings was all I needed Not so with Phil, he missed coffee and iced tea and soda and rootbeer floats and…so did my students! The biggest complaint I heard was not about having to eat veggies but about the lack of beverage choices. Over the years, as healthy foods have become more mainstream, I discovered Kombucha and began to recommend it to my students and drink it myself as a treat. Many of my students have used Kombucha as a substitute for alcohol (AA calls Kombucha legal alcohol because it does contain from 2-5% alcohol, the same amount as soda pop…surprise!) A beautiful glass of apple-lemon Kombucha, tastes like Martinellis’ Sparkling Cider


  • 6 organic black tea bags oolong is really good
  • 1 cup organic sugar
  • Purified Water
  • Cheese Cloth
  • Rubber bands
  • 1 gallon glass jar
  • 4-6 glass jars with screw or lock top lids
  • Homemade fruit juice or frozen organic fruit juice concentrate


  • I don’t have a picture of boiling water…I think you know how to do that. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil, remove from the stove and add 1 cup Organic sugar (no honey doesn’t work well because it is an anti-bacterial and the SCOBY is…bacteria) and 6 organic black tea bags. Allow to steep for 20 minutes, stir, remove tea bags and squeeze out all the liquid.
  • Your bottle will look like this…although the SCOBY may fall to the bottom at first, that’s OK.
  • Put the tea brew into your jar and add cold water almost to the top
  • Cover the jar with a cheese cloth and secure with a rubber band (real high-tech, right?) Put the jar in a warm dark place…for me it’s the hot water closet. I’m talking with Phil about putting up some shelves in here for my brewery! There are two fermenting cycles…this is the First Fermenting.
  • First Fermenting: Allow the “buch” to ferment for 3-4 days You will know it is ready for the next step if it does not taste like super strong sweet tea but more like a slightly sweet and sour weak tea. I stick a straw under the SCOBY and sip it. No Fender did not try the tea and pass out on the floor…he is just extremely tired from our long walk in the woods, chasing chipmunks and squirrels and swimming in the river at the bottom of our lot.
  • Now for the FUN Part…when the Buch tastes right, slightly weak sweet and sour tea with a bit of a “bite”, you can add fruit juices to flavor it and make it taste fabulous like Martenillis’ or a sparkling juice. Some people like to put a bit of raw ginger, which is also a great health benefit. My fav is apple and lemon or cranberry. Grape juice will give it kind of a champagne or wine effect. Be creative, look on line for ideas. I bet Pinterest has some good ones.
  • First strain the Kombucha into a bowl and then pour into your clean glass jars or bottles. The bottle should be 2/3 full of Kombucha. I usually MAKE my own juice with my juicer but you can also buy organic frozen concentrate. I used concentrate for the cranberry kombucha. My sister-in-law, Cyndi used a raspberry apple blend that was really good. Of course, fresh is always best. If you use frozen concentrate you will need to make it according to the package directions first. Add the juice to each bottle (ratio: 1/3 juice to 2/3 kombucha) Seal each bottle with a screw top lid or a locking lid (no corks). Put your sealed bottles back in your dark warm place (mine is on top of the hot water heater) for a few more days.
  • How to tell when the second fermentation is ready. One of my jars is plastic. I fill it 2/3 full with the juice/komucha mixture and seal it tight. Set it in the warm dark place (hot water heater) and each day I test it by squeezing the plastic jar. At first it has some give to it. I know the buch is ready when the plastic jar is hard and tight, no give. Now it will be FIZZY! and YUMMY!


One of our students tried this Chai kombucha recipe from Nourishing Joy and loved it!