The first time I tried kombucha I hated it. It sort of reminded me of a weak beer, and I hated beer. Then I did the Whole30 and my drink choices plummeted. My husband Ty was dying for something new to sip, so we caved and bought a bottle of the fermented stuff. This time, I actually sort of liked it. Over time, I learned that GT’s Orginal Kombucha was my favorite, as opposed to the flavored options that always sounded great, but never made my taste buds happy.
If you’re wondering “What in the world is kombucha?!”, basically it’s a naturally fermented sweet tea that’s full of probiotics and things that keep your gut healthy. It sort of reminds me of a cross between beer and vinegar, but tastes so much better than that sounds. There’s a very minuscule amount of alcohol in the stuff because of the fermentation. And the best part is its fizziness. It makes me feel fancy.
Typically, we buy GT’s Kombucha and it costs around $4/16oz bottle, which definitely does not fit within the Crafty Coin budget. Needless to say, this beverage rarely makes it into my house.
I’ve recently begun brewing my own kombucha and I have to say, it couldn’t be easier! The thing that always held me back before was finding a SCOBY (Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast), the thing that makes kombucha, well, kombucha.
- In a large saucepan, bring your water to a boil.
- Once your water has boiled, dissolve the sugar in it and remove from heat.
- Add the tea and let brew.
- Allow the water to sit until it's at room temperature; this can take hours. Be patient.
- Once cooled, combine brewed sweet tea in the jar with the store-bought kombucha.
- Cover with cheesecloth or paper towels and a rubber band and store someplace where the jar won't get jostled and will be out of direct sunlight.
- This is the fun part. Wait.
- Depending on many factors, like the temperature of your house, it can take 1 to 4 weeks for your scoby to form. (Mine took about 2 weeks.)
- Once you've got a rubbery-looking blob about a 1/4 inch thick, your scoby is ready!
- Typically, drinkable kombucha only brews for 1 week. The liquid used to grow the scoby has essentially turned to vinegar because it sat for so long, so you won't want to consume it. However, reserve 2 cups of the liquid to start brewing your first tasty batch of kombucha. You can toss the rest or use it for one of these purposes.
- *This is seriously the only time I've used white sugar in the past year. Other sweeteners don't work well with kombucha, but don't worry, the sugar content decreases as it ferments. The longer kombucha ferments, the lower the sugar content.
Curious where I get my prices from? Even though I may have found an ingredient cheaper, to keep things simple, I’ve calculated all costs based on my Budget Grocery Price List, my list of maximum prices I’ll pay for any groceries.