Thursday, 7 January 2010
Kombucha 101 :
1. Made with a healthy bacteria colony that eats sugar and converts it into good things
2. Brew some tea and throw in half a bucket of sugar
3. Let it sit nice and warm for a few days
4. Bottle it up before it turns into vinegar (and it will if you leave it too long)
5. Stick it in the fridge for a few days and you have a lightly fizzy, tart beverage that has more healthy bacteria than an entire Tescos full of Yakult.
Quite a lot of faff but unlike California you can't buy this stuff in the local store and it's cheap to make...
....cheap to make if you stick to the usual PGTips tea bags and white sugar. Unfortunately, being a complete idiot, I decided to 'up the spec'.
What you see in the picture above is today's batches, the one on the right is made using a Dong Ding Oolong base. The one of the left goes further, it's made from a Da Hong Pao or Big Red Robe yancha base with a soft brown sugar as a bit of an experiment. The 'scoby' or bacteria thingy for the Da Hong Pao also has an experimental history since it's last brew was made from honey and water with no tea at all (it's suppose to be champagne like). If the Red Robe doesn't work it doesn't matter too much, without pushing the limits a bit you'll never learn!
In the past I've made kombucha from Dragon Well and Mao Feng green teas with much success. My pu erh brewing experiment with a 2007 Bu Lang was an unmitigated disaster and became moldy thus forcing me to bin it, scoby and all.