Have you tried Kombucha Tea?

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist Healthy LivingComments: 21

kombucha teaKombucha tea is a traditional Russian drink that is made from fermenting plain black tea (or a combination of black and green tea) and sugar.     It has been consumed for hundreds of years and, through extensive testing in Russia, proven to be an effective overall body detoxifier through the binding of the organic acids in the kombucha tea to all manner of toxins present in the body.   Once tightly bound to the organic acids, the toxins are then rushed to the kidneys for excretion.

Russian communities that drink a lot of kombucha tea do not suffer from the cancer epidemics that plague folks who live near that country’s toxin spewing factories – even when the local flora and fauna are dying!       Moreover, the Soviet Union used kombucha as one of its secret weapons in the training of its Olympic athletes – the athletes would drink up to 1 quart of kombucha per day while training to prevent lactic acid from accumulating in the muscles (lactic acid =  sore muscles).   So, athletes drinking this brew would be able to train harder and longer than athletes who did not drink kombucha.

The best thing about kombucha tea is that is is bubbly, delicious, and extremely hydrating.  It very adequately replaces all the sports drinks and sodas that everyone seems addicted to today.   My family has been drinking kombucha for almost 8 years now and it’s longstanding reputation for preventing gray hair is astonishing. Neither my husband or myself have any gray hair and we are both mid 40’s! It is simply “homemade soda” to my 3 children and it has proven itself over the years to be an extremely important facet of our overall wellness.

Many health food stores now sell raw kombucha tea.  How raw it truly is, I do not know.   I can tell you that store bought kombucha does not taste nearly as good as when you make it yourself.   And, since it is so very easy and cheap to make, why not give it a go?    Here’s what to do ..

Buy yourself a 1 gallon glass bowl to brew in, a box of plain black tea and green tea, and white sugar (yes, white sugar .. no worries as it all gets consumed during fermentation).

Boil 3 quarts of water.
Add 1 – 1 1/2 cups white sugar to the boiling water and dissolve
Continue to boil sugar water for 5 minutes

Remove pot from heat and add 3 black tea bags and 2 green tea bags.
Brew for 15 minutes.
Remove tea bags and let tea/sugar mixture cool to room temperature.  Do not cool too long!
When mixture is just room temperature, add 6 oz of kombucha starter and 1 kombucha culture.
Cover with a white, prelaundered flour sack cloth (available at Walmart for $5 for a pack of 5) and attach with a large rubber band (available at Office Depot or Staples)

Leave in a quiet semi-lit room (no direct sunlight) for 7-10 days.   When a new “baby” culture forms on the top of the brew and it is at least 1/8 ” thick, you may harvest the brew.

Store in clear glass only in the refrigerator.   Repeat the process to brew as much as your family desires.


More Information on Kombucha Tea

Want to know more about kombucha tea?  These articles provide more detail for your research.

Fluoride in Kombucha: Should You Be Concerned?
Can Candida Sufferers Drink Kombucha?
Kombucha: What it is and How to Make it (plus video how-tos)
Does Kombucha Prevent Grey Hair?
Batch vs Continuous Brew Kombucha
Safe Traveling with Kombucha
Kombucha: Drink It and Wear It?
Jun Tea: Kombucha Champagne
Maple Kombucha Salad Dressing


Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

Comments (21)

  • Annie

    Hi Sarah,
    What do you do with the new “baby” culture once you’ve harvested the kombucha? Do you have to use it all at once? Can it be refrigerated?

    May 24th, 2009 1:18 am Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    You can keep the baby and make 2 batches with the baby and the mother culture or you can give one away to a friend. Yes, the kombucha should be refrigerated when it is ready.

    Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

    May 27th, 2009 8:13 pm Reply
  • on a journey

    Can you use a caffeine free tea? I'm not able to tolerate caffeine.

    January 29th, 2010 1:10 pm Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    No, you must use caffeinated tea. The caffeine is used up during the fermentation process so you should not have any problem with the final brew. I do not tolerate caffeine at all either and have no trouble with kombucha

    January 29th, 2010 1:44 pm Reply
  • Jim Kearney

    Huge fan of Kombucha You can do it the lazy way, and just keep using the same "blob" many layers thick if you don't want to store a new one every time. It's a great storage place for them all. And you can give them away when ever you want. A great gift.
    a great web site kombuchaamerica.com
    Very easy to make. I use Thai tea for a great flavor. and I use raw or brown sugar. ALSO USE FILTERED WATER. You can also find great Youtube videos of making Kombucha

    May 10th, 2010 7:41 pm Reply
  • MariaL

    Hi Sarah,
    Am a new reader to your blog and am really appreciating all the good info you're sharing! I used to brew kombucha regularly but every week I noticed more and more fruit flies would show up, just hanging out on top of the cloth I used to cover the jar. The fruit flies were especially prolific during the summer and I just had to stop making kombucha for awhile. Now I'm ready to get back to brewing my own -definitely tastes better than store bought- but am dreading seeing those pesky fruit flies… any suggestions on how to keep them away? Many thanks, Maria

    May 25th, 2010 6:58 am Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    I've never had much of a problem with fruit flies. A couple of suggestions .. get a carnivorous plant or some of that old fashioned sticky fly tape that maybe you could hang in the vicinity of the brewing kombucha.

    May 25th, 2010 2:11 pm Reply
  • Anonymous

    Another trick that works for ridding your kitchen of fruit flies is a mixture of apple cider vinegar and a pump or two of dishwashing liquid, set out in a small prep bowl and sometimes within minutes, several fruit flies will plummet in.

    May 29th, 2010 3:24 am Reply
  • Lydia H

    Thanks for all your work you put into your blog!! I’ve thoroughly enjoyed learning, and you have made the overwhelming Nourishing Traditions book seem so easy!

    About the Kombucha, can you think of any reason why it should not be consumed during pregnancy or would you drink it throughout the entire 9 months?

    June 23rd, 2011 5:15 pm Reply
  • Erin

    I have the same question as Lydia H. about drinking it during pregnancy. I also wonder what your thoughts are about children drinking it at what ages and how much. I’ve found varying advice online regarding kombucha and children and pregnant or breastfeeding women, most of which I do not trust as I just do not trust the medical community and/or status quo in general. Thanks!

    July 1st, 2011 10:49 am Reply
  • Karen


    I tried some store bought Kombucha the other day. I don’t drink much soda at all, but every now and again, I really crave something fizzy and slightly sweet (like soda). Before I invested in large jars (to make Kombucha) and the Kombucha culture, I wanted to make sure I’d actually like it.

    The bottle said, to try just one serving at a time (1/3 a bottle) to see if you react to it negatively. I tried 1/3 of a bottle, and am still having negative intestinal reactions to it (though I consumed it over two days ago). Is this normal, and is there something I could do to alleviate this?


    July 8th, 2011 1:34 pm Reply
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  • theresa

    actually, you do NOT have to use caffinated tea, you can also use rooibos tea.

    September 5th, 2011 7:46 pm Reply
  • Stephanie


    I know it is recommended to drink kombucha on an empty stomach about 15 minutes before meals to get the beneficial effects on the body/gut. Do you know if drinking it with food and/or after meals would eliminate the beneficial qualities of the drink, particularly the probiotic effect if any? I just read that it is a myth that kombucha has probiotics. I wonder if that is true?


    October 23rd, 2012 1:45 pm Reply
  • Peggy

    I have been making Kombucha for a long time and for fun I just finished watched your videos on Kombucha making. I have a question about the crock issue. I have a Gartopf crock that I use for making fermented veggies. When I am not using the crock for such things as this I have been storing my extra S.C.O.B.Y.’s in to make Kombucha Vinegar; but after listening to you on this issue I am wondering if that is such a good idea. Would a Gartopf crock be a bad thing to use?

    April 17th, 2013 5:46 pm Reply
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  • jennifer glasgow

    Hi! Is it okay to keep the kombucha brewing in a kitchen cabinet?

    October 9th, 2013 12:38 pm Reply
  • Emily

    Hi Sarah ,

    I ordered a culture in the mail and it shipped frozen. Is the culture dead or compromised?

    January 7th, 2015 5:16 pm Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      I would return it … I recommend the sources on my resources page which never ship frozen or dried .. always fresh and full power. http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/resources/#starters

      January 8th, 2015 8:10 am Reply
      • Emily

        I ordered from kombucha kamp. Chicago is experiencing sub zero temperatures. I’m sure it wasn’t shipped frozen but froze in the mail truck. Better luck in a warmer season. Thanks for your speedy reply!

        January 8th, 2015 9:43 am Reply
        • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

          Must have frozen in truck! Kombucha Kamp never ships frozen! I would just let them know and they will reship for you.

          January 8th, 2015 10:35 am Reply

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