Kombucha tea is a centenary drink and well known for the enormous benefits it brings us, but it is becoming more and more famous and popular. Therefore, today we want to talk about kombucha; what it is, what properties and benefits it has for our body; and how to use it correctly.
This probiotic drink, made from the fermentation of sweetened tea, is a perfect natural substitute for soft drinks. In addition, kombucha has a multitude of properties and benefits for our body. But we must also be aware of the contraindications it may have, especially for those of you who want to make it at home.
As we have mentioned, it is the result of a fermentation process using the black tea fungus. During this process an effervescent effect is produced. In this way we obtain a slightly carbonated drink. This is why it is a natural alternative to soft drinks.
This tea fungus, also known as Scoby, can be purchased in specialized stores or online.
But before we start, let’s see what Kombucha Tea is
As we said, kombucha is a soft drink. This fermentation is made with tea, usually black. It is sweetened with sugar. During this fermentation a microbial colony, known as tea fungus, is created. This drink has a taste between sour and sweet due to the sugar we have to use. And due to its fermentation process it also acquires that slight point of acidity.
Did you know… ?
There is a belief that this drink could be related to nothing less than immortality. This “small” misinterpretation comes from the name given to this drink in China. Known as the elixir of immortal health, for years kombucha was credited with this benefit. However, its name has nothing to do with us. It is because the microbial colony, or Zooglea, has a high regenerative capacity. And it can remain active for a very long time if we feed it correctly (with water and tea). (We could compare it in this sense with kefir).
This “immortality” of the mushroom is the reason why we know this drink as the drink of immortality.
But does Kombucha Tea really have benefits for our organism?
If brewed correctly, following all the necessary steps and with scrupulous hygiene, homemade kombucha tea has many benefits for our organism. Contrary to the drinks with this name that we find in the supermarket. When Kombucha is sold in large supermarkets, it has to be pasteurized beforehand. In this way, they eliminate all the microbial colony (including the beneficial one). Therefore, the benefits that we tell you about can only be attributed to the authentic kombucha, the one that we elaborate at home with the Kombucha or Scoby fungus.
- One of the benefits of this probiotic drink is that it helps us regulate our appetite. So it is a great ally for those seeking to lose weight.
- Being a drink rich in antioxidants, it strengthens the immune system.
- It is considered an energizing drink.
- It also improves the functioning of the intestine, and helps our body to balance the intestinal flora, while preventing intestinal infections.
- Its consumption reduces blood pressure.
- It balances the PH of the blood, which helps us to prevent and cure many diseases.
- In addition, Kombucha is a powerful detoxifier, as it helps us to eliminate toxins from the body. It also prevents urinary infections.
- This drink reduces the symptoms of menopause.
- It reduces stress and helps our body to fight insomnia. It also reduces and relieves headaches.
- Drinking Kombucha improves the condition of people with asthma or bronchitis. It reduces their symptoms.
- In addition to all these benefits, kombucha also provides us with vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, C, E, K and folic acid.
Do you want to brew Kombucha Tea at home? First, we need to know a few things
How to prepare homemade Kombucha
To elaborate the base of the Kombucha, also known as first fermentation, we must take special care in the cleaning. We will see the reasons for this later on.
We will need:
- 3 liters of mineral water
- One stainless steel pot
- 1 cup of white sugar
- 5 sachets of black tea
- 1 Kombucha or Scoby mushroom
- A glass container (previously boiled in hot water to sterilize it).
- 1 Cup of Kombucha or the liquid where the mushroom comes from.
We begin by washing all the utensils we will use very well. And remember not to touch the mushroom with your hands during the whole process, to avoid contaminating it. We will always manipulate it with the utensils that we have previously sterilized. One option is to wash them with hot water and a little vinegar. In this way we will eliminate any contamination by microorganisms.
In a pot we put the water (very important that it is mineral), and we put it to the fire. Add the sugar and stir until it dissolves. Before it starts to boil, add the tea and turn off the heat. Let it stand with the lid on for 10-15 minutes.
After that time, put the tea in the glass container, and let it temper. When it is at room temperature, add the kombucha or Scoby mushroom and the cup of kombucha or the liquid from which the mushroom comes.
Close the container with a cloth and fasten it with a rubber band. Store it in a cool, dark place. Let it stand for 6 to 10 days. After that time the drink will be ready to drink. Remove the fungus with a plastic spoon.
After this time, a new colony will have been generated on our Scoby.
Strain the resulting liquid and let it rest in the refrigerator for 4 more days before starting to consume it. Reserve some kombucha to keep and preserve the fungus in good condition.
Homemade Kombucha Recipe
- 1 glass container (previously boiled in hot water to sterilize it)
- 1 stainless steel pot
- 3 l Mineral water
- 1 Cup White sugar
- 10 g Black tea
- 1 Kombucha mushroom, or Scoby
- 1 Cup Kombucha or the liquid the mushroom comes in.
- Remember that, when making a home fermentation, the most important thing is hygiene. Therefore, before starting to prepare our kombucha we will sterilize very well all the utensils we use. We will also wash our hands and dry them with a completely clean cloth (although we will never touch the fungus or the inside of the containers with our hands). We will always manipulate it with the utensils that we have previously sterilized.We can wash the utensils with hot water and a little vinegar, we can also sterilize them by boiling them.
- Put the mineral water in a pot on the fire, add the sugar and mix until it is incorporated. Just before it starts to boil, add the tea and remove from the heat, cover the pot and let it rest for about 15 minutes.3 l Mineral water, 1 Cup White sugar, 10 g Black tea
- Transfer the tea to a glass container and wait for it to warm up. When it is at room temperature, and no longer burns, add the fungus and the cup with the liquid or Kombucha, close the container with a clean cloth and tie it to the neck of the container so that it does not move.1 Kombucha mushroom, or Scoby, 1 Cup Kombucha or the liquid the mushroom comes in.
- We let it rest between 6 and 10 days in a cool place without light. We can put it in a closed cabinet. After that time, we remove the fungus with a plastic spoon (remember to sterilize it before). And a new colony will have been generated on our Scoby. We strain the resulting liquid, which we will let stand in the refrigerator 4 days before starting to drink it. Keep some kombucha with the fungus to keep it in good condition.
As you can see, preparing kombucha tea is very easy. And the people who consume it usually give away the Scoby, because in each fermentation you will get one more. But we insist on the delicacy of the process due to the risk of contamination of the fungus. So if you finally dare to do it remember:
Don’t forget these tips if you dare to prepare it at home
Never touch the fungus with your hands even if you think they are clean. Hands are an important source of bacteria no matter how well we wash them.
The starter liquid for a new fermentation must be extracted from the top, not from the bottom. And do not use it if you notice any type of mold.
Remember that it is essential to sterilize every utensil that is going to come into contact with the Scoby fungus. And never put it in contact with anything metallic. The container where you keep it must be made of glass, and handle it with a sterilized plastic spoon.
Risks and Contraindications
Although kombucha brings us a multitude of benefits and is a very healthy drink, it also has a number of risks associated with home brewing.
When we do this fermentation at home, we must be especially careful and pay a lot of attention to hygiene. Therefore, we have to sterilize all the utensils we use. Otherwise, we can contaminate the kombucha with other unhealthy fungi; thus causing intoxications or diseases. It is for this reason that many people do not recommend its consumption to those who have liver or kidney problems. If kombucha is homemade, its consumption should also be avoided by people with depressed immune systems.
In addition, we do not recommend this drink to people suffering from bacterial overgrowth. It is also not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women.
If you have finally decided to use it, how to consume it?
If you have never drunk Kombucha Tea before, start small. For example, with about 100 ml. per day. As you see how your body tolerates it, you can gradually increase the amount, although it is difficult to have side effects.
You can drink this beverage at any time of the day, but it is advisable to avoid it in the afternoon-evening. Especially if you are not used to drinking coffee, since it has a small amount of caffeine. So if your body is not used to this substance you may have problems at bedtime. That is why it is better to drink it in the morning.
As with all fermented foods, kombucha contains a little alcohol (less than 1%), generated naturally during fermentation. So you should take this into account before drinking it.
And before we say goodbye, let’s take a look at the origin of this drink.
It is believed that kombucha originated in eastern China, in the region of Manchuria. In China it is a very traditional drink and is part of many rituals. It was already consumed there more than 2,000 years ago. However, despite being such an ancient drink, it arrived in Europe at the beginning of the 20th century. And since then, its fame has only increased, gaining more and more followers
And you, do you dare to try Kombucha at home? Do you know this fantastic drink? Remember to leave us your comments, ideas, opinions… We love to read you!
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