When I first heard of kombucha and began reading more about it, I kept seeing the word ‘mushroom,’ and to be honest… it GROSSED. ME. OUT.
I pictured this hot bubbling fermented fungus brew, and wondered what sort of freak hippies drank this stuff?
But then the more I read, the light bulb came on and I realized it wasn’t an actual FUNGUS mushroom; that was the silly name somebody somewhere gave to what’s actually called a SCOBY: A Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast… which… um… uh, yeah, sounds significantly less appetizing than mushroom.
So if you’re not quite sold on kombucha like I wasn’t back then, 1. read about the health benefits of kombucha, then 2. buy some kombucha from the health food store and taste it. Then once you’re addicted, join me in brewing your own!
To make a mushroom/SCOBY, first of all, buy a bottle of ready-made original kombucha from the health food store. You’ll also need some brewed tea and plain old white sugar. Yes, the bad kind of plain white sugar. Trust me.
I happened to snag some of hubby’s sweet tea from the fridge (don’t tell him) but I knew it would have more than enough sugar to do the job. *Most recipes say to use ‘black tea’ but I’ve also used green tea or Earl Gray. I don’t think it matters so use the flavor you like the best.
See, the Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast feeds on the sugar to grow… which is why you need plain white sugar.
The store-bought kombucha has just enough remnants of this culture floating around in it to feed on the sugar and grow a new mushroom.
I combined a quart of tea containing probably 1/2 cup of sugar with the contents of a bottle of kombucha.
***Use a glass jar, not plastic, not lead crystal, because the kombucha will actually leech the bad stuff from your container into your drink.
I covered the jar loosely with a dish towel and rubber-banded the top (to keep bugs out) and let it sit on my counter for two weeks, and voila…