What actually is Kombucha? Well, it’s a fermented, bubbly, tea-infused drink that’s tart and can be flavored with fresh fruit and herbs (bonus it’s good for you too). We’ve told you how to ice it, cold brew it and turn it into lattes, and now we’re sharing how to transform our tea collection into homemade kombucha.
We turned to booch experts at Inspired Brews in Philadelphia to get all the info you need to make it at home (p.s. we teamed up with them to create an exclusive Fishtown Kombucha featuring our Pu-erh Tea, Peaches, Lemon and Thyme available at our Fishtown café in Philly all summer long – details at the end).
Pro tip: in order to make Kombucha you must use tea (green, black and oolong are best). Herbal tisanes or flavored teas won’t do the trick, so stick with the pure stuff (don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with our Hojicha Green Tea, Yunnan Breakfast Black Tea, or Ruby Oolong tea).
- ½-gallon glass vessel (sanitized)
- Linen cloth
- Rubber Band
- 1 liter glass bottle (with swing top)
- 3-inch and 2mm thick SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast)
- 2 tablespoons or 2 tea sachets (to make ½ gallon brewed tea)
- ½ cup organic sugar
- ¼ cup kombucha starter
- ½ cup fruit or juice or ¼ cup fruit puree (plus herbs, spices and extracts, if desired)
First, you’ll need to purchase a SCOBY and kombucha starter online or at home brewing stores. In a large pot, heat ½ gallon water and steep the tea (refer to water temp and steep time on packaging). Once steeping is complete remove the tea and stir in the sugar until dissolved. Let the tea cool to room temp (a warmer temp would ruin the SCOBY).
Pour the cooled tea and sugar mixture into the ½ gallon glass vessel (without any metal elements), and then top off with the kombucha starter and the SCOBY. Cover the glass vessel with the linen cloth and place a rubber band around the top to secure the linen. Ferment at room temperature for 7 days.
After 7 days of fermentation have passed, now you’re ready to flavor your kombucha. Place a funnel in the top of your 1 liter glass bottle and add ½ cup fruit puree or ¼ cup fruit juice. Carefully pour your kombucha and fill the rest of the bottle. Seal tightly and let ferment at room temperature for one day. Then, strain out any herbs or spices and place in the fridge to cool. Drink and enjoy! You will have 10% of your kombucha starter left (along with the SCOBY) to make your next batch.
In Philly? Visit our Fishtown café all summer long to try our exclusive Fishtown Kombucha crafted by Inspired Brews. This on-tap sip features a blend of La Colombe Pu-erh tea, Peaches, Lemon and Thyme. We were inspired by a historical Philadelphia recipe for Fish House Punch crafted by members of a pre-revolution social club (the recipe often featured alcohol, black tea, peaches, lemon, thyme and sugar).