Yes, I have finally given in to the temptation of kombucha. I have seen it mentioned in so many blogs and, since we no longer drink any sodas, we needed something different for our thirst. Kombucha is essentially a tea...with a SCOBY...allowed to ferment. When it is done, it will be a naturally carbonated drink, flavored however we choose. It is a live drink, meaning that the "mother" is always growing and replicating as long as you keep it fed. I ordered a kit from Amazon that included EVERYTHING you need to get started (except the filtered water) even the jar to do it in. Seems to be pretty easy. So far, I have cleaned the jar, boiled the water, poured in the sugar and tea bag and am letting it set for 15 minutes.
After it sets, I stirred to make sure the sugar dissolved and removed the tea bag. Once the tea was room temperature, I poured in enough filtered water to fill the jar 1/2 halfway.
Now for the fun part. Adding the SCOBY. I poured the liquid (starter Kombucha) that the SCOBY was packaged in into the jar and then added the SCOBY.
Now, we wait. First we wait a week. The jar stays in a warm, dark place for a week. I periodically need to check the level of liquid as the SCOBY grows so that the jar doesn't get too full. After the 7 days, I get to start tasting it daily. I will be looking for a "vinegary sharpness and a significant decrease in sweetness". This can take anywhere from 14-21 days. Then the kombucha gets bottled and the SCOBY gets set aside to start the process again. Once I bottle it, I can add any flavoring to it that I want. YAY!!! The bottles will sit out for another 5-7 days where the sharp flavor will mellow and it will become carbonated. Then we stick it in the fridge and can start drinking it.
Yes, the process will take awhile but it isn't a lot of "hands on" time so it shouldn't be too bad. Once I start tasting, I will post an update to how things are going.
It has now been a week and I just tasted it for the first time. It kinda tastes like apple cider. There is a vinegar-y taste but it is very light right now. I am going to taste it daily for the next couple of weeks and see how the taste changes. Oh, and look at what I found floating on the top of my mother SCOBY.....