Smoked kombucha

Smoked kombucha

By
From
Finding Fire
Makes
2 litres

While most people regard kombucha as a relatively new drink, it has been produced for 2000 years. Originating in China, kombucha is a sweetened tea that is fermented by a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY – a ‘mother’ by another name). Healthy SCOBY and the best-quality tea are the foundations to producing a well-flavoured kombucha. Once made, kombucha can be kept for a few months as long as it is refrigerated. As well as being a refreshing beverage that pairs well with food (particularly when it comes to fatty or spicy foods), it has many purported health benefits including aiding digestion.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 litre filtered water
750ml Smoked water
250g sugar
2 tablespoons green tea leaves
2 tablespoons black tea leaves
2 tablespoons scoby (see note)

Method

  1. 1. In a medium saucepan, bring the water, smoked water and sugar to a simmer, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.
  2. 2. Remove from the heat and add the green and black teas. Leave to steep for 4 minutes, before passing through a fine-mesh sieve into a large sterilised jar. Allow to cool (see Note).
  3. 3. Once cool, add the SCOBY before placing a breathable seal over the jar, such as a square of muslin (cheesecloth) fastened with an elastic band.
  4. 4. Store in a cool place out of direct sunlight for 12 days to ferment, after which time the kombucha should have developed acidity, resulting in a tangy fragrance.
  5. 5. Using a slotted spoon, remove the SCOBY. Pour the liquid into a sterilised bottle and refrigerate until needed.

NOTES

  • It is important that the liquid is cool before introducing the SCOBY. Like the Mother the SCOBY is alive and must be maintained. This is best done by continuing to make more kombucha. You can also combine the SCOBY with alcohol (wine or spirit) for 3 months if you want to produce vinegar. You can buy SCOBY online or from health-food shops.

    The kombucha can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 8 months.
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