Kombucha has become extremely popular a few years back as there are many health benefits in it and it is a naturally fizzy drink with sweetly fermented flavor. It has been around long before the hipsters found it and it became part of the today’s heath trend of functional beverages. Study of Wiley University tells that it originally comes from China where it was used for its health benefits as early as 220 BC. In 414 AD it was bought to Japan by physician Kombu to help Emperor Inkyo with digestive problems. This where the name Kombucha is also derived. Traveling on trade routes Kombucha found its way to Russia and into Eastern Europe where it has been used ever since.
Process can vary but kombucha is traditionally made from sweetened black or green tea by double fermentation. The fermentation is done with scoby, culture of bacteria and yeast. Readymade kombucha and scoby work as a starter and sugar work as fuel for the fermentation process. Sweetened tea, starter kombucha and scoby are placed in a large container for a 1-3 weeks and cover with a breathable cloth or household paper. After required taste is archived scoby is removed and liquid bottled. Second fermentation is done in bottles for about a week. Kombucha can be flavored by adding fruits, spices or berries to the kombucha mixture at stage where it is bottled. Kombucha should be served cold or room temperature, heating destroys the beneficial bacteria’s and might change the flavor.
It’s good to remember that when using coffee instead of tea there are differences in both flavor and way of working. Coffee is highly acid therefore, you don’t necessarily need starter kombucha for getting the fermentation process going. Also remember to use different scoby for tea and coffee kombucha’s as using the same one for both beverages will transform taste and odor from one another. However, luckily at least my scoby is wildly productive, making lots of new layers to take some spare parts for experimenting. In addition, coffee might stain or change the color of your scoby, which is fine.
In tea, there is no fat but coffee is a different story. Due to the fats, it is possible to rancidity to happen so try to limit the fermentation time to minimum to achieve the taste you want. Moreover, never ever drink kombucha that has unpleasant smell, taste or it looks weird!