Sounds like some Russian dance or something. At least that’s what I thought when I first heard the word. But no, wikipedia reckons it’s from Japanese and not Russian at all. Either way, it sounds exotic.

According to Beginner’s Guide to Health, “Kombucha tea is made by brewing tea and sugar then adding a Kombucha culture, often called a mushroom or scoby (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeasts). The scoby looks like a pale rubber pancake. The culture turns the sweet tea into vitamins, minerals, enzymes and health-giving organic acids. The taste varies on the amount of fermentation time and the tea used. It has been likened to cider and champagne and if left longer it becomes vinegary in taste.”

Sounds delish, no? Well, as I mentioned a couple of days ago, I acquired a kombucha scoby via freecycle.org. Today I followed the accompanying instructions, and now I’m going to tell you what I did. Like all fermented things, it takes a while to “mature”, so you’ll have to wait a couple of weeks to hear what it tastes like.

First instruction: make a litre of two-teabag tea – check.


Steep for at least 15 minutes, pour into fermenting container, then add 4 tbsp sugar. I was pleased to find I had enough.


Allow to cool to body temperature, then add the scoby and tea from last batch (supplied by my lovely donor). Here’s the scoby and tea:


Cover with cheesecloth or similar, and put somewhere warm out of direct sunlight. Hmm, better move it. No sun today though.



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