Kombucha is a ‘tea fungus’ that ferments cold tea in complex ways. It benefits the immune and digestive systems and promotes radiant skin. It has a 2000 year legacy, stemming from both China and Russia where it was held in high esteem. Your fungus keeps growing and you will soon be ready to part with some of it again.
The fungus can remain healthy and well, immersed in kombucha liquid in a plastic container in your fridge for up to several weeks. This is useful to know for when you are out of town.
The kombucha fungus ‘likes’ glass, crockery and plastic but must not come in touch with metal.
Get a one-gallon glass jar and two 1,5 lt plastic bottles, e.g. a large mayonnaise bottle, or buy a glass storage jar (@ Pick ‘n Pay..) and 2 large bottled water bottles.
Fill your kettle, bring it to a boil. Place 2 ceylon tea bags, or 1 GAIA green tea bag and 3/4 c raw sugar or fructose in the jar, and a large metal spoon (so the bottle doesn’t crack when you pour boiling water into it). Fill it with boiling water and leave to cool down completely. Remove the teabags with the spoon. Immerse the fungus and cover with a doilie. Le tit stand in a quiet spot in your kitchen out of draft and direct sunlight (e.g. on top of the fridge). Allow to ferment for approx. 1 week. You will soon discover at which strength you like your kombucha best.
When ready to ‘harvest’, wash your hands with water and soap. Lift the fungus out of the bottle, rinse it under cool tap water, gently removing little bits of loose fungus. Place in a plastic container, cover with kombucha liquid and keep in the fridge. Strain the liquid into bottles and store in the fridge. Prepare tea as above and when cool, immerse kombucha fungus in it. The process begins anew!
Enjoyable combinations: As kombucha contains many enzymes promoting digestion, it makes a healthful drink before lunch or dinner, as well as an after-meal digestive. Mix half and half with sparkling water or juice. A ts of Swedish Bitters is excellent in it, too. Drink some every day.