23 Feb 2013

kombucha with goji berry green tea

My boyfriend says I should call this a love potion (or health potion). I'm going to save that title for a juice recipe that's coming up, but that doesn't mean it's not true for kombucha - this fermented mushroom tea is carefully made with love and so it makes loves! Oh... that sounded more sexual than I thought it would.

I'm going to be lazy here and just copy and paste this recipe from The Kitchn. (So the recipe below was not written by my hands.) There's nothing special about how I make my kombucha and the original process is tried and true. The only difference for my recipe is that I used goji berry green tea and agave nectar instead of white sugar. As long as there is a sugar for the bacteria to eat, it doesn't matter what kind it is. You could also use cane sugar. Whatever floats your boat. Or in this case... your baby mushroom.

I just found this good looking raw kombucha recipe which I will try for my next batch. I love GT's kombucha and it's entirely raw so there's my incentive. Plus... I obviously just like raw food.

The health benefits of kombucha are pretty awesome. I'm not saying that it's like a super miracle cure for all ailments or the secret to longevity - that comes with eating a whole foods, plant based diet, drinking enough water, exercising regularly and laughing a lot - but this fermented mushroom tea definitely has it's perks. It's excellent for detoxification, your immune system, and keeping your digestive tract happy and healthy. It's got loads of good-for-you bacteria that help keep your gut clean and efficient. Try it out! Buy a bottle at your health food store, see if you like it. If so - try making your own.

kombucha with goji berry green tea:
3 1/2 quarts water
1 cup agave nectar/raw cane sugar
8 bags goji berry green tea (or whatever tea you prefer)
2 cups starter tea from last batch of kombucha or store-bought (unpasteurized, neutral-flavored) kombucha
1 scoby per fermentation jar
Stock pot
1-gallon glass jar or two 2-quart glass jars
Bottles: Six 16-oz glass bottles with plastic lids, 6 swing-top bottles, or clean soda bottles


Note: Avoid prolonged contact between the kombucha and metal both during and after brewing. This can affect the flavor of your kombucha and weaken the scoby over time.
1. Make the Tea Base: Bring the water to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in the sweetener to dissolve. Drop in the tea and allow it to steep until the water has cooled. Depending on the size of your pot, this will take a few hours. You can speed up the cooling process by placing the pot in an ice bath.
2. Add the Starter Tea: Once the tea is cool, remove the tea bags or strain out the loose tea. Stir in the starter tea. (The starter tea makes the liquid acidic, which prevents unfriendly bacteria from taking up residence in the first few days of fermentation.)
3. Transfer to Jars and Add the Scoby: Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon glass jar (or divide between two 2-quart jars, in which case you'll need 2 scobys) and gently slide the scoby into the jar with clean hands. Cover the mouth of the jar with a few layers of cheesecloth or paper towels secured with a rubber band.
4. Ferment for 7 to 10 Days: Keep the jar at room temperature, out of direct sunlight, and where it won't get jostled. Ferment for 7 to 10 days, checking the kombucha and the scoby periodically.
It's not unusual for the scoby to float at the top, bottom, or even sideways. A new cream-colored layer of scoby should start forming on the surface of the kombucha within a few days. It usually attaches to the old scoby, but it's ok if they separate. You may also see brown stringy bits floating beneath the scoby, sediment collecting at the bottom, and bubbles collecting around the scoby. This is all normal and signs of healthy fermentation.
After seven days, begin tasting the kombucha daily by pouring a little out of the jar and into a cup. When it reaches a balance of sweetness and tartness that is pleasant to you, the kombucha is ready to bottle.
5. Remove the Scoby: Before proceeding, prepare and cool another pot of strong tea for your next batch of kombucha, as outlined above. With clean hands, gently lift the scoby out of the kombucha and set it on a clean plate. As you do, check it over and remove the bottom layer if the scoby is getting very thick.
6. Bottle the Finished Kombucha: Measure out your starter tea from this batch of kombucha and set it aside for the next batch. Pour the fermented kombucha (straining, if desired) into bottles, along with any juice, herbs, or fruit you may want to use as flavoring. Leave about a half inch of head room in each bottle. (Alternatively, infuse the kombucha with flavorings for a day or two in another jar covered with cheesecloth, strain, and then bottle. This makes a cleaner kombucha without "stuff" in it.)
7. Carbonate and Refrigerate the Finished Kombucha: Store the bottled kombucha at room-temperature out of direct sunlight and allow 1 to 3 days for the kombucha to carbonate. Until you get a feel for how quickly your kombucha carbonates, it's helpful to keep it in plastic bottles; the kombucha is carbonated when the bottles feel rock solid. Refrigerate to stop fermentation and carbonation, and then consume your kombucha within a month.
8. Make a Fresh Batch of Kombucha: Clean the jar being used for kombucha fermentation. Combine the starter tea from your last batch of kombucha with the fresh batch of sugary tea, and pour it into the fermentation jar. Slide the scoby on top, cover, and ferment for 7 to 10 days.


Unknown said...

So, no recipe after all? For a beginner kombucha maker, that sucks. I needed a step-by-step! Oh well....

Em von Euw said...

Haha it is in the link. Click on "The Kitchn" in the post. She provides excellent step by step directions that I couldn't improve on.

Em von Euw said...

Okay to save some confusion and frustration I've copied and pasted the recipe with a few adjustments into the post =)

Anonymous said...

I've never had kombucha... I hear many people praise it but I'm scared of fermented and mouldy things (tempeh freaks me out), if it's not soy sauce. One day I WILL try it, though.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to try making kombucha one day. Thanks for sharing all this great information.

Koko said...

Emily, I'm ddddddddyyyyyyiiiiiinnnnngggggg to make my own Kombucha! Where'd you get your little scoby from!? I was debating buying one online from some random person...but are there other options?

Unknown said...

Sorry to have made you do that!! I hate hopping around tho (I'm VERY lazy!!) HA HA! Thanks tho for paying attention to my whining!! And thanks so much for the recipe!!!

Nat @ The Apple Diaries said...

What a great idea to add Goji berries! A love potion indeed ;)

Elise said...

I lovve raw honey! But, I would strongly advise against using raw honey for kombucha! I've tried it with both my kombucha & water kefir and it ended up killing the good cultures :( Raw honey contains its own colony of bacteria that could kill the beneficial effects of the kombucha.. I use raw honey for everything else, but don't want anyone killing their scobys :)

Em von Euw said...

Oh hmm... thank you for that, Elise. Useful information! I'll mention that in the post.

Renard Moreau said...

[ Chuckles ] This one has my stamp of approval; I LOVE the tea aspect!

May I point out that vegans don't use honey, but I am sure that there are other vegan-friendly sweetners that people can use. I recommend, stevia.

Thank you for another enjoyable and informative post!

Unknown said...

I've been wanting to try kombucha & hear its great. Instead of using honey or agave, I recommend using coconut nectar because it is a healthier alternative to all these sweeteners such as honey, agave & stevia. i actually wrote a post about the benefits of coconut nectar & why it is the best sweetener out there. http://rawveganliving.blogspot.com/2013/01/agave-nectar-vs-coconut-nectar-secret.html

great post by the way;)

Consuela Vanantwerp said...

OMG! My cousin introduced me to the wonders of kombucha. At first, I was hesitant to drink this because I was not sure if it was safe or not. But then, he told me that drinking kombucha has countless benefits, so I listened to him. Though it tastes sour and can get you sort of drunk (I drink at least 2 glasses, straight), if you drink it continuously or frequently, in time, you’ll be feeling its benefits.

Em von Euw said...

Yes!! In total agreement =D

Unknown said...

Thanks for kombucha recipe. It is really a healthy drink. I will surely try it. Your post is really superb. Goji berry tea has several health benefits which makes it a popular drink among its users. This tea is also known as organic tea and is available in many flavors.
Goji berry juice