That Weird Tea Stuff

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Ever tried kombucha (come-boo-cha)? It’s a fermented, fizzy, tangy tea. You can buy all different types of already brewed booch and I’m a huge fan. However not only will you be saving yourself some major dollars by brewing your own but you will also be taking advantage of the GOOD bacteria from your own habitat. Meaning, each bottle of kombucha has a  culture of bacteria unique to it’s origin. When you brew in your own home, the live culture is specific to the bacteria that already exists in your home. This is not a bad thing. This is a great thing. We LIKE bacteria. We need bacteria!

If this talk totally weirds you at, I would encourage you to check out  http://www.kombuchakamp.com/health-benefits-of-kombucha

I would recommend trying kombucha before making your own, it isn’t for everyone! You can find some legit brands at Whole Foods or Sprouts, some restaurants/markets sell it as well. For some people (like myself) they like it right away. For others, they have to work at it. But don’t kill yourself to like this stuff, there are many ways to incorporate probiotics into your daily routine. Kombucha is not the answer to health. It is merely one of the thousands of ways you can nourish your body. What I do love about kombucha is all the yeasty goodness it has to offer to our guts. I am a firm believer that health begins and ends with the gut. Kombucha is one way to encourage and cultivate healthy flora.

FERMENT. FLAVOR. REPEAT (sorta)
I followed Jill Cicarelli’s instructions found here http://www.firstcomeshealth.com/kombucha/. And in case you haven’t heard, her new book Fermented is out. It’s unreal. I made our own scooby following Jill’s directions and it has grown beautifully! Here is a picture of what it looks like (it’s about 6 weeks old). This picture was taken right before I started our second round, hence why the tea level is so low. I use a dry erase marker to write the date the tea should be about ready, on the side of the vessel.

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We live in Arizona. That being said, it doesn’t take very long for our tea to ferment. Back in CA, our apartment was much cooler and it took about 3 weeks. Here it takes about 10-12 days. I have a feeling it will take an even  shorter amount of time in the summers. After tasting your tea and making sure you like where it’s at flavor wise (some like it sweet, some like it tangy), you can go ahead and flavor your tea! We started with a green tea and flavored with the following . . .

1. Ginger (freshly grated. I might try crystalized ginger next time for a sweeter taste)

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2. Blueberry (I already had frozen ones on hand)

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3. Raspberry (tied with ginger for first place. fresh berries)

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* You do not have to flavor your tea, once the first round of fermentation is up, you can drink it as is. If you choose to flavor your tea, this would be where the “repeat” comes in. After you flavor and bottle your tea, it goes through a second fermentation process so that the bacteria can feed on the sugar in your flavorings. The duration is up to you. I like my booch pretty tangy so I waited a week before straining the fruit and returning the tea to its bottles and then kept them in the fridge. Enjoy!

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