Kombucha

Have you heard of kombucha, the beverage the ancient Chinese call the ‘Immortal Health Elixir’?

Kombucha, it is said, has been around for more than 2000 years and was traditionally used in Russia and Eastern Europe. Kombucha (pronounced kawm-boo-chah) is made from sweetened tea fermented by a SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast).

During the fermentation process, the yeast converts the sugar in the tea to alcohol and the bacteria convert the alcohol to organic acids (such as acetic acid). What results is a refreshing, lightly effervescent and slightly sour drink.

Much of its appeal lies in its low sugar content and its reported health benefits.

Kombucha has a lot going for it.

It contains a live culture of bacteria and yeast and can act as a probiotic (which can improve digestion and gut health, help protect against disease and enhance immune function). It is made from tea, which contains polyphenols (naturally occurring plant chemicals) which have strong antioxidant properties and can protect against some diseases.

Kombucha also contains B vitamins, folic acid and other antioxidants. It’s important to note, although the potential for beneficial health properties is evident, there’s no guarantee, nor is there any good scientific evidence, the immortal health elixir’s features directly translate into actual health benefits.

Nevertheless, I was intrigued while talking to a friend recently about kombucha – in particular I was curious about its therapeutic effects on digestion and gut health.

So I embarked on my own homebrew kombucha-making journey. It has been a really fun and interesting process over the last two months. I have found kombucha is cheap and easy to prepare and there is enormous scope for flavour variations (from fruit to herbs and spices).

I have personally tried adding frozen raspberries to a batch of my kombucha and also fresh passionfruit pulp to another batch – both were delicious. With my next batch, I can’t wait to try adding fresh, finely chopped pineapple, finely grated ginger and mint leaves.

To make your own kombucha, you only need a handful of simple ingredients: the starter culture (SCOBY), water, tea and sugar. It’s important you do not use metal containers or utensils when making kombucha because the acids can react with metals and may cause your scoby to die.

Please also ensure you keep equipment sterile to avoid contamination by rinsing in salted or very hot water.

If you are interested in home-brewing some kombucha of your own but would like to learn the art from a professional rather than following some instructions online then you are in luck, because on Saturday, 9 December Christine Corner from ‘Crave Natural’ will be hosting a kombucha workshop right here in Bathurst.

Join Christine to learn all about kombucha, the potential health benefits, the history, how to make and care for your living culture as well as trouble-shooting.

How to start growing your SCOBY, all steps in the fermenting process and second fermentation will be demonstrated in the workshop.

You will take home your very own living kombucha SCOBY (value $25) and a bottle of ready to drink kombucha you have made in class ($15 value). Notes and ongoing support are also included in the $70 workshop fee.

The kombucha course will be held at the Rahamim Ecology Centre, 34 Busby St, Bathurst from 10:00am-11:30am on 9 December. To book your spot call Christine on 0417 060 224 or email cravenaturalfood@gmail.com.

More information can also be found on the Crave Natural Facebook page.

Happy brewing!
Love Mumma C xx