This summer, we are all about loving ourselves inside and out. Before recently, I would avoid kombucha despite enjoying other fermented foods. It is more of the mystery of what kombucha is that deterred me, but I am here to elucidate that. This beverage is refreshing, bubbly, and the fact that it is good for your health makes it all the better. Best of all, you can brew kombucha too. Also, when you’re done, you can even upcycle the teabags. Here’s why you should be incorporating kombucha into your wellness routine.

You Brew Kombucha:

photo: Healthline

What is Kombucha?

Kombucha is simply a fermented sugared tea drink. It is lightly sweetened, carbonated, and usually enhanced with fruits and spices. As the sugared tea ferments over time, acetic acid, gas, and alcohol are produced. Kombucha is really no different from making hard cider or sauerkraut. The bacteria and yeast that drives the fermentation process can support gut health.

Benefits of Kombucha

Benefits of Kombucha

Your gut and immune system are heavily intertwined, so benefitting one will boost the other. Incorporating appropriate amounts of kombucha into your diet balances the gut population with probiotics. Thus, there is less competition with pathogenic bacteria that may cause infections. Additionally, kombucha reduces inflammation and the oxidative stress from free radicals. Therefore, kombucha is beneficial for cardiac, liver, and mental health.

Kombucha Precautions

Precautions

Though kombucha can be commercially produced or made at home, clean preparation is key. Contamination during the process risks incorporation of pathogenic bacteria or mold. Be sure to disinfect all surfaces that will touch ingredients, as well as your hands.

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Kombucha

Prep Time1 hr 30 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 SCOBY disk
  • 8 cups water
  • 0.5 cup sugar
  • 4 tea bags black or green caffeinated tea
  • 1 cup store bought kombucha
  • distilled white vinegar or any food grade sanitizer
  • 1 coffee filter
  • 1 rubber band
  • 1 glass jar

Instructions

  • Disinfect any tools touching the kombucha, including the glass jar, pot, and your hands. Rinse everything with a food grade sanitizer, like distilled white vinegar or Star San
  • Boil water in a clean pot and dissolve sugar into it
  • Steep the tea bags until the water cools to room temperature, which may take an hour
  • Combine the tea, kombucha, and SCOBY disk into the clean glass jar
  • Seal jar with the coffee filter and rubber band
  • Allow the kombucha to ferment for a week. However, giving it a few extra days will allow a stronger taste to develop and additional bacteria to colonize
  • Store in sealed glass bottles and refrigerate

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Isabel Yick

Isabel is a recent Wellesley College graduate, earning a B.A. in biology with a minor in psychology. She is passionate about cooking, sewing, design, and her plants. In her spare time, you'll find her hiking, trying new recipes, and working on her own DIY projects!