Kombucha drink has many healing qualities and it is becoming popular around the world. Here is how you can prepare it.
Kombucha is also known as Russian, Japanese, Chinese and Indian tea mushroom. Its name comes from the Chinese language. Tea mushroom is actually a symbiosis of two organism types: fungi (yeasts) and acetic acid bacteria. It is believed that this drink restores youth, “irons” wrinkles, darkens hair, but also enhances immunity and delays age-related diseases. It is even beneficial as a prevention of cancer.
Even though there is the word “mushroom” in its name, kombucha is more than that. Actually, it is a colony of different organisms, including lichen, yeast and some bacteria. Its name came from the practice of putting it into various chilled tea drinks. Kombucha stays in liquid a few days, well closed, until desired acidity is reached.
Moderate consummation of kombucha drink provides protection from various kinds of pollution which can interact with human organism through respiratory system, or some other way, and can cause malign diseases.
It is the best to first prepare 2 liters of tea. When your kombucha culture has grown enough and started replicating, you will be able to prepare larger quantities of this drink.
- Prepare your tea the usual way. Add two little spoons of black or green tea into one liter of freshly boiled water. After 15 minutes, take the tea bags out of water.
- Add approximately 70-100 grams of white sugar per liter of tea, before it gets cold. Stir the tea until the sugar is completely melted. There are about 20 grams of sugar in one tablespoon.
- Cool the tea to the temperature of 20° – 25°C. Tea should be lukewarm. If you put kombucha culture into the hot tea, it will die.
- When the tea reaches room temperature, pour it in a glass, porcelain or clay bowl. Avoid metal and plastic dishes.
- If you prepare this drink for the first time, add to the tea the liquid that came along with the tea culture. For all the following preparations, make sure to save enough of this drink so you can use it as a starting liquid for your new quantities. Ten percent should be enough for that purpose.
- Put live kombucha culture in your tea.
- Use linen or cotton piece of fabric to cover the fermentation dish in order to protect it from fruit flies, dust, plant spores and other pollutants. Fix the fabric with rubber band, just to be sure that fruit flies cannot enter. The fabric must be sufficiently porous to allow the air to circulate, your culture needs to breathe.
- Fermentation lasts 8 to 12 days, depending on the temperature. The higher the room temperature, the faster fermentation. A period of 8 to 12 days is only an approximate fermentation period. Kombucha culture needs warm and quiet place and must not be moved at all. Temperature of the tea should not fall below 20°C nor to rise above 30°C. The ideal temperature is between 23° and 27°C. The light is not needed for fermentation. Culture also thrives in the dark and can be damaged by exposure to sunlight.
If you prefer slightly sweet drink, stop the fermentation earlier. Longer fermentation gives dry or slightly acidic taste.
- When the tea has attained adequate degree of acidity (pH 2.7 to 3.2) depending on personal taste, remove the culture from the bowl with your clean hands. Wash the culture under cold or lukewarm water. Pour new tea into the bowl and add the culture immediately. Check if the temperature of the tea is adequate. Pour the drink into the glass containers, which should be filled to the brim. Keep 10% of the amount as a next batch starter. Keep the container tightly closed. It is not necessary to strain fermented beverage. A certain amount of sediment is normal. This is due to the growth of yeasts, which produces the gas and aerates the beverage.
- In order to achieve the ultimate enjoyment, set it aside for a few days (at least 5 days) after pouring it into the bottles.
- The drink has a pleasant taste. It is sparkling, slightly sour and refreshing. The normal amount you should drink during the day is three glasses – one glass on an empty stomach in the morning, the second glass after lunch, and the third one just before going to sleep. Kombucha culture grows and completely covers the surface of tea. While growing, it considerably gets ticker. The thickened culture is composed of easily separable layers. These layers can be separated from each other and each one can be used as an independent kombucha culture. If the culture sinks to the bottom of the container, the new one will show up on the surface.
This is how each piece of this culture keeps replicating until it becomes dark brown. When this happens, throw it away and replace it with younger piece of culture. Kombucha tea is used for centuries in Russia and Asia, and it is believed that promotes longevity. This tea contains concentrated high quality proteins that human body can use immediately.
It is believed that this drink lowers blood pressure, stimulates glands, stimulates metabolism, helps burning fat thus reduces body weight. It also reduces level of sugar and cholesterol in blood, it helps with rheumatic and arthritic disorders, increases joint mobility and spine flexibility. The tea restores intestinal flora, helps with constipation, accelerates blood circulation and helps people reduce the stress.
In addition to this, kombucha serves as a prevention from some types of cancer by increasing immunity. It decreases “hot flashes” during menopause, helps those who suffer from asthma, bronchitis and cough, gallbladder problems, colitis, infectious diarrhea, insomnia and restores hair growth.