Yes, I drink Kombucha tea. The pages in this section will help you understand what Kombucha is and how to make Kombucha tea. You can also read through all of the material that we have collected to learn as much as we know about the subject.

According to Traditional Chinese medicine, Kombucha balances the Middle Qi (Spleen and Stomach). By aiding the stomach to better digest food and by assisting the spleen to deliver more nutrition, the body heals itself. Normally kombucha is brewed between 6-8 days when it arrives at a semi sweet sparkling apple cider taste. Aged kombucha (8-14 days or longer) produces a sharper vinegar taste. Vinegar (Kombucha) helps to break stagnation and reduces damp and phlegm.

KombuchaAlthough many people call Kombucha a mushroom, it is not. Although the disk like cultures you see in the picture look like mushrooms, Kombucha is actually a colony of helpful bacteria and yeast. They consume the sugar in the fresh tea and convert it into complex compounds that are very helpful to your body.

When you follow one of the many Kombucha tea recipes, the Kombucha culture ferments the sweet tea into a semi carbonated and much less sweet drink. The taste of the black tea recipe (our favorite) tastes most like an apple cider when the fermenting process is complete.

As you can see from this picture, the Kombucha culture can often look weathered. The culture takes on the color of the tea it is used to ferment. The culture can also develop thin spots or wholes. This is not a problem, it is just the effects of uneven growth in the fermentation process. Nothing to be worried about.

KombuchaDuring the brewing process a new culture (known as the baby) develops on the under side of the original culture (known as the mother). Between brewing batches these cultures are separated. Either the mother or the baby can be used to start your next batch. You may give either culture away to a friend if you like. You may also keep it aside as a backup but this takes some care to keep the culture alive. You may wish to refer to the FAQ section relating to freezing kombucha as a means of keeping your extra cultures. Or for short term storage read the section on keeping your culture while on vacation.

When you first start drinking Kombucha tea, remember to start slow. You may wish to start with only 4 ounces a day for the first week in order for your body to get use to it. The tea has a cleansing effect and may cause mild diarrhea. If the symptoms are strong you may need to reduce your intake or stop all together. Kombucha tea is an all natural and healthy food product, but there is always the chance that a person can be allergic. Consult your doctor if you have any concerns about Kombucha tea or any other food or health product.

After your first week of drinking Kombucha tea you will most likely wish to increase your consumption to reach the maximum results. Do so slowly so you can see how your body reacts. You may wish to move up in steps of 2 ounces every 3 to 5 days until you are drinking between 8 and 12 ounces each day. Many people recommend breaking your intake into smaller amounts spread out though out the day. For example you may wish to drink 4 ounces with each meal. Or 5 ounces in the morning and another 5 in the evening. You will need to listen to your body in order to tune your intake for the best results. Personally, I like to have a full 8 ounce glass first thing in the morning and I feel great for the entire day.

No matter what recipe you decide to use to brew your Kombucha tea, you will need some items common to all recipes.

You will want to get yourself some coffee filters. When you brew using a large glass jar, these filters are secured to the opening using a rubber band or string. The filters allow air to pass in and out of the jar. This allows the culture to breath and prevents pressure from building up in the container. We are recommending coffee filters over a clean cloth because the filters are very cheap so you can dispose of them after each batch. By disposing of the filters instead of recycling a cloth you reduce the chances of bacteria getting into your brew. No matter how well you clean your cloth, there is the chance that something will remain behind. And the cost of washing your cloth separate from other cloths would be too much over the course of time.

You will also want to get yourself a wide mouth glass jar to brew in. Some people will suggest a plastic container. The problem is that many types of plastic will over time leach chemicals into the material they hold. In the case of Kombucha tea, this process of leaching can be accelerated by the fermenting process and acids. This can also cause some problems with you tea or in extreme cases could cause health issues if enough chemicals leach into your tea from the plastic.

We recommend using a one gallon jar such as you would find pickles stored in. I know most people can't eat a gallon of pickles just to get the gar. And cleaning out the pickle smell is a chore too. You may be able to visit local resturants or taverns and ask them for their left over jars. They are often willing to give them away or sell them very cheap. These jars are preferable to large bowls because the coffee filters described above easily fit over the opening.

If you can not find a one gallon jar, you should use a large glass bowl and cover it with tightly woven cloth. Although you may find that working with a large bowl is more difficult than managing a gallon jar. Especially when you are pouring the tea out into another container.

Finally you will need a pot that can comfortably hold 3 quarts of water. You will be boiling your water for 15 minutes to purify it and then you will be adding your tea and sugar to it and letting it cool.

Again it is best to use a glass pot. But since your Kombucha is not going to come in contact with the pot, you may choose to use a high quality stainless steel pot. Never use cast iron, teflon, or other materials that may contaminate your water. You want your water to remain as pure as posible throughout this process.

While brewing you will want to keep your tea in a warm place either in the dark or at least out of direct sun light. We have found that the tea brews just fine on our kitchen counter next to the refrigerator. The warmth from the back of the refrigerator keeps the tea just above room tempature. The refrigerator also shelters the tea from direct sun light.

You want to leave your tea as undisturbed as posible while brewing. If you can't find a place to put your tea that will keep it out of the sun, you can take some construction paper and make a tube out of it. you can then slip the tube over your jar to shield the tea from the light. This is much better than trying to put the tea in a closet where it is hard to check on or could get spilled. The tube should be rather loose on the jar so you can easily lift it off to check your tea without shaking up the contents. You might also find this to be an attractive way to hide your tea. Not everyone wants to look at the tea brewing on the counter so if you decorate your construction paper tube, you can add some style to the brewing process.

Basic Black Tea Recipe

Although there are several tea recipies out there, we like to use this one because it is simple and has a good flavor similar to apple cidar once brewing is complete.


  1. Make tea using 5 black tea bags, 1 cup of white sugar, and 3 quarts of boiled purified water. Let tea seep for 15 minutes before removing tea bags.
  2. Cool to room temperature.
  3. Add the Kombucha colony and 1 cup of previously prepared Kombucha tea.
  4. Cover the container with a paper towel or coffee filter or breathable cloth and secure it with a rubber band, elastic, or string to keep out insects and air borne contaminants.
  5. Place it where it will remain relatively undisturbed and away from bright lights.
  6. Let it ferment for about 7 to 10 days depending on the growing temperature and how acidic (sour) you like it with the optimum temperature being approximately 72 to 74 degrees farenheit or 21 to 22 degrees celcius.
  7. Remove the original Kombucha colony and the new baby colony that formed on the surface of the tea.
  8. Strain the Kombucha tea and store it in the refrigerator.


Freezing a Kombucha Culture

You can freeze your Kombucha culture but you must be quick. If you use a standard freezer the odds are that you will destroy the culture because the process is slow and will cause a large number of crystals to form.

Your best bet is to purchase a small amount of dry ice or at a mimimum, use a deep freezer. The average refrigerator freezer just isn't good enough.

Here is how I have done it. No guarantees, but it works well for me and it is what I do when I need to ship Kombucha cultures.

  1. Use a thick older culture, they seem to survive the freezing process the best.
  2. Place the culture in a zip-lock bag with a small amount of tea. Be sure to get all the air out of the bag. At least as much as possible.
  3. Place the culture flat in the deep freezer or in your standard freezer on a bit of dry ice. If you use dry ice, don't let it come in direct contact with the zip-lock, set the zip-lock on a glass plate and set that on the ice.
  4. The freezing process should take less than 30 minutes in most cases. It is criticle that the freezing process spends less than 20 minutes in the temprature range 32-25 degrees F. This is the range where most of the crystals could form.
  5. Once frozen, the culture should stay below 30 degrees for up to 6 months. I have heard of them lasting longer, but I have never kept one more than 4 months myself.
  6. When you are ready to use the culture, allow the culture to thaw out in the refregirator over night or on the counter. I would suggest placing it in a bowl so moisture doesn't get all over the place. No matter where you thaw, leave the culture in the zip-lock bag.
  7. If you are going to ship a culture, place the frozen culture (in the zip-lock) in a priority mail (or better yet an over night) mailer with a good deal of tightly folded news paper. This will act as a great insulator. Mail it right away. The culture should be ready for use when it arives the next day (or in 2 days if you don't use over night).
  8. Finally, prepare a basic batch of tea with a little extra sugar for good measure.
  9. Your first culture often takes a couple extra days because it has been dormant.
  10. I wouldn't recommend drinking the first batch of tea, simply use the new culture to start your second batch and discard the culture that was previously frozen.
  11. Thats it, you are back in business!

Remember, this is my process, there are other ways to do this but this one works the best for me.

What do do while on vacation

When I go on vacation I usually bring my Kombucha with me. But when that isn't an option for what ever reason, here is what I do to make sure I have my cultures when I get home.

I start a basic black tea culture and I add about 25% extra sugar. Once the tea is nice and cool I place my culture in WITHOUT adding any tea from the previous batch.

I place the tea in the refrigerator. This will slow the growth process. When combined with the fact you haven't added any tea from the previous batch, the growth process will take several days longer.

I find this process will give me a good two weeks of storage. I never drink the tea that comes from this storage. I simply use the new culture to start my next batch.


<< My first new motorcycle    |    Working out at Epic Fitness >>
All content on this site is copyright ©2004-2023 and is not to be reproduced without prior permission.