Is this fermented tea drink good for you?

This naturally fizzy drink, made from fermented tea, has rapidly moved from its hipster/hippie/folklore beginnings to mainstream, driven by a growing demand for a wider choice of non-alcoholic drinks, especially those that claims to impart some health benefits.

 

The distinctive and curious taste that adds to its popularity is coupled by the attention around gut health  and the benefits of consuming live bacteria.  

The health benefits ascribed  include boosting the immune system, improving gut health, reducing your odds of diabetes, as well as tackling  depression and so on.  

Of course scientists have so far struggled to demonstrate a clear cause and effect between consuming fermented food/beverages and improved health as there is a sparsity of human evidence and clincial trail but let that not stop you.

There is little we can factually claim but we can assume that consuming such a fermented beverage instead of drinking something like Coca-Cola is probably better for you. 

 

There is a delight in brewing your own at the very least, as the flavours and variety is beyond anything you could find on a supermarket shelf.

Grapefruit & turmeric, Carrot and tangerine anyone? The possibilties are endless and the benefits yours to trial.

INGREDIENTS

4 TBSPS raw cane sugar

4 bags of black tea, green tea or a mix or 4 tbsp loose tea

100ml starter tea from the last batch of kombucha

1 kombucha scoby

1L filtered water

 

 

HOW TO MAKE

1 Add the sugar to boiling water and add in the teabags and allow it to steep until the water has cooled. Once the tea is cool, remove the teabags (or pour the tea through a sieve to remove loose leaves)

2 Pour the mixture into a clean litre jar. Gently slide the scoby into the jar along with the starter tea. Cover the jar with a  tightly woven cloth/kitchen paper/tea towel secured with a rubber band. 

 

3 Keep the jar at room temperature, out of direct sunlight, and allow to ferment for at least seven days. It’s not unusual for the scoby to float at the top, bottom or even sideways during fermentation. However, a new cream- coloured layer of scoby should start forming on the surface of the kombucha within a few days. You may also see stringy brown bits floating beneath the scoby or sediment collecting at the bottom. These are all normal signs of healthy fermentation.

4 So what happens next? After seven days, begin tasting the kombucha daily. When it reaches a balance of sweetness and tartness that’s pleasant to you, the kombucha is ready to bottle. Remember to leave some behind to start another batch!

5 Transfer the fermented kombucha a clean bottle using a funnel. Keep the bottles at room temperature, out of direct sunlight, for a further one to three days if you want it to be carbonated. you can add flavours to your kombucha at this stage.

6 Prepare and cool another pot of strong sweet tea for your next batch of kombucha, as outlined in the first step. Add this to your starter tea and SCOBY from your brewed batch of kombucha and hey presto off we go again.