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kombucha 101 GOOD

I love Kombucha. This fizzy fermented sweet tea is the perfect probiotic gut health boosting drink to enjoy day or night. What I really love is how the tingly bubbly drink helps ease my indigestion and stomach issues, which I have quite often, thanks to my celiac disease and the resulting gut issues I have because of it.

In short, I love Kombucha.

What is Kombucha?

Kombucha is a beverage made with a few simple ingredients: clean water, tea, sugar, and a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY) along with a warm kitchen, air and time. The SCOBY is a neat little hub of probiotic activity. It is a living breathing combination of many different organisms. These organisms help ferment the sweet tea you make, eat up all that sugar turning it to into beneficial probiotics, enzymes, anti-oxidants and acids that help encourage healthy digestion, promote detoxification, and generally is beneficial to the whole body.

kombucha scoby

Why should I drink Kombucha?

The tradition of home fermentation goes as far back into human history as we know as  a way to preserve foods and make them more digestible. Fermented tea is said to go back at least 2000 years beginning in China and traveling to places like Russia, Korea, and Asia. The word Kombucha is said to have been named after a Korean physician Kombu who is said to have healed the Japanese emperor with his fermented tea (cha means tea). In fact, kombucha is said to help the body balance its self and resolve many health issues. Although not much research has been done on the scientific basis of the health benefits of kombucha, the most common benefits (not approved by the FDA – this is not intended as medical advice etc.) reported are:

  •  Because it tastes good. Ok so the flavor may take a little time to get used to. It is nice, fizzy and sweet kind of like a natural soda only without the toxins and liver damage. In fact…
  • Kombucha improves digestion – this is a no brainer. Because of the wonderful probiotics, healthy bacteria, yeasts, acids and more kombucha supports healthy digestion. By supporting the healthy bacteria in your gut it also plays a role in starving out the bad yeasts and bacteria that can grow in the gut over time causing things like candida. I personally have found it to help ease indigestion, flatulence, and gut pain associated with eating foods that don’t agree with me like beans, potatoes, and the occasional accidental gluten exposure. Let me also mention that kombucha is great at keeping the daily eliminations… erm… regular, which is always a good thing.
  • Kombucha increases energy – remember kombucha is made with tea and sugar, although fermenting it will reduce the sugar content (how much depends on how long you let your brew ferment) the caffeine content in the tea is still there so lets not discount the benefits of good ole’ caffeine. Tea also contains a chemical called L-theanine which has been extensively studied to reduce mental and physical stress, increase cognition and improve mood. The 1-2 punch of the caffeine and the L-theanine, combined with the lack of stomach issues gives me a very happy feeling indeed.
  • Kombucha supports a healthy immune system. This may sound like a leap but stick with me here. Have you ever heard the saying “All healing begins in the gut.” Supporting gut health and good gut microflora also supports a healthy immune system.
  • Kombucha supports liver health and natural detoxification. This super fermented tea contains something called gluconic acid which is a chemical that is used commonly to chelate metals like aluminum from the body. It breaks down into something called caprylic acid which is selectively anti-microbial attacking bacteria like “Staphylococcus aureus and various species of Streptococcus.”[1]  It is also a potent anti-fungal and works against candida overgrowth.
  • This next one is just something a lot of people comment on – many people find that when they drink kombucha regularly their skin looks younger. Some have even said it helps relieve them of eczema. Now this may sound fantastical but think about it. Skin eruptions are something that commonly happens when the body needs to remove a toxin, this toxin could be anything from nasty chemicals in your body wash to a food your body thinks is attacking it (in my daughters case, gluten). I find a majority of the people I work with that have chronic skin issues have a problem with the elimination pathways of their bodies, their liver, bowels, and kidneys aren’t doing their detoxification jobs well and their friend the skin takes the brunt of the work. This is when you see chronic acne and eczema. Reducing toxic load and supporting healthy elimination pathways can in fact improve skin health and appearance. Pretty neat right?
  • You can find other health benefits of kombucha here.

“Ok, I get the idea, kombucha is awesome, it must cost a lot right?”

While purchasing kombucha at whole foods or sprouts is about $4 for a 16 oz bottle, it doesn’t have to be so financially daunting to bring these health benefits into your own home. Kombucha is like fermenting 101. It is so incredibly easy. Can you boil water? Can you handle slimy things? Perfect – you can make kombucha. The folks over at GetKombucha sent me a continuous brew kombucha system to show you exactly how to make your own fermented tea goodness.

This post may contain affiliate links which I might make a small commission off of if you purchase through them. This is how I support and maintain the blog and am able to bring you such great content. If you plant to purchase anything in this post, I would ask you please purchase through my affiliate links. It costs you no extra and helps us out greatly. Thank you
Thank you to Get Kombucha for sponsoring this post. I was selected for this opportunity as a member of the Green Moms Network, and the content and opinions expressed here are 100% my own.

Easy Kombucha Recipe

This is the most basic of basic Kombucha recipes. It is a tried and true beginner friendly place to start. Ill share this with you first, then show you how much fun it is to begin with a kit instead. This recipe makes 1 gallon of kombucha.

Ingredients:

  • Kombucha SCOBY (AKA “mushroom” -but its not a fungus)
  • Water – about a gallon. I prefer filtered water without all the nasty chlorine and other additives of tap water. If you don’t have a filter, try this easy method for removing chlorine.
  • 4-6 organic fair trade tea bags – yes you can use regular tea bags but you know how I am
  • 1 cup sugar (organic fair trade – it IS me)
  • A gallon sized jar – I used this one before Get Kombucha sent me their continuous brew set.
  • A large rubber band – like what you get when you buy a bunch of asparagus
  • A clean breathable cover – I use a clean kitchen cloth

Directions:

  • Boil 6 cups of water and steep your tea bags in it for 5-10 minutes making a dark tea.
  • Compost your tea bags and pour your tea into your glass or ceramic (not metal or plastic) brewing container of choice like this gallon sized mason jar or the continuous brewer I got from GetKombucha.
  • Fill your container up the rest of the way with water until it is about 3/4 full.
  • Add sugar and stir until it is dissolved.
  • Once your sweet tea mixture is about 80 degrees – NO HOTTER because it can kill the SCOBY – add your SCOBY. If you touch your SCOBY with your hands be sure they were very recently washed. GetKombucha includes gloves in their kits for SCOBY handling but I find clean hands work just fine.
  • Cover your brewing jar wit breathable fabric and secure it with a rubber band – this keeps the bugs out but allows your SCOBY to breathe and ferment properly.
  • Wait for it to ferment for 4-15 days tasting it occasionally until it tastes good to you
  • Bottle and enjoy! Bottling is easiest done using a funnel and strong arms. Holding up a gallon of tea and not making a mess is difficult at best but worth the effort. This is not a problem with the continuous brew system. The spigot makes this step much more simple. At this point you can also do a second ferment but we will talk about that in the next post.
  • Now that you have bottled it you have a mother and a baby SCOOBY which can be separated and used to brew TWO new batches, or you can give one to a friend, or you can compost it, or you can just let them keep breeding a super SCOOBY of DOOM. Its up to you.

You can find GetKombucha’s brewing recipe HERE. If you are very new to kombucha they also offer FREE training videos all about kombucha HERE.

The Continuous Brewing System Difference

First off, I have to say how glad I was that the system came in a nice, eco-friendly well designed box with minimal packaging, plastic, and NO packing peanuts (I hate those things). It got here very quickly and the box is now happily outside in my compost pile. Waste not and all that.

kombucha tea and scooby begining

The Kombucha Continuous Brewing System – Silver Package is what I received to review. It includes (this info straight from their website the italics are my own opinion):

  • Certified Lead Free Porcelain Brewer.  FDA approved ~ 2.5 gallons ~ 1 foot in diameter. This brewer is subtle, it comes with both a black and white spigot and cover so it can match your own kitchen decor. I placed the sticker on it my self but you can easily leave it off. 
  • Hand Crafted Wood Stand. Raises your brewer an additional foot making the total height 2 feet and enables bottling your kombucha a breeze on any counter top! From a mom point of view, this means no lost counter space! I store my bananas under the brewer which is a huge bonus in our tiny kitchen.
  • ONE Fully Grown Organic Kombucha Mushroom Culture – 6 inches in diameter!  Individually packaged in its own organic kombucha starter tea – I just poured the whole SCOOBY right into the jar – no muss, no fuss
  • Dispenser Spigots, Covers, Fastener Bands, PH Strips, Muslin Tea Filters, Brewing Gloves, and More!  We give you everything you need to make brewing a breeze.  We even include double the spigots and covers in both black and white so you can customize your brewer and always have a backup… we got you covered! Really they did provide everything you need plus some. I love the muslin tea bags that are re-usable and much less messy than a loose leaf brew. Again, black and white covers so it can match your decor. 

kombucha supplies labeled

  • Kombucha Whole Leaf Tea Blend.  60 servings so that you can enjoy Gallons of free kombucha tea at home.  This is our proprietary kombucha tea blend specifically designed for continuous kombucha tea making. It tasted fine as a regular blend and I am excited to try the final product. It isn’t labeled organic or fair trade, so I would love to see that. 

PLUS

  • Lifetime Membership to GetKombucha Community Support Forums and Trainings ($195 Value) If you are a beginner this is SO helpful! 
  • Kombucha Continuous Brew Set Up Instant Online Video Access.  Over 51 Videos and Growing!  ($35 Value) This is something I needed switching from brewing in a gallon jar to the continuous brew. 

Come back for part 2 to learn all about how the kombucha turned out and how to flavor them to add all sorts of great health benefits to boot!

Would you like to win your very own Kombucha Continuous Brewing System – Silver Package?

Enter to win HERE

kombucha collage GOOD

About Amanda

Amanda is a mother of two amazing toddlers. She is an herbalist, natural living guru, and real food, gluten free eating pro. She loves to help educate others on how to take control of their own health through natural living, real food, herbs, essential oils, and most of all - a positive mind set. Her other business Natural Herbal Living Magazine is all about helping people learn about how to use one herb a month on a deep and profound level.
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38 Responses to What does your SCOBY Do? – Health Benefits of Kombucha

  1. […] jQuery('.icons a').hover(function(){ jQuery(this).fadeTo('fast', 1); },function(){ jQuery(this).fadeTo('fast', 0.5);}); Kombucha for Life – Health Benefits of Kombucha […]

  2. Eunice says:

    Wow, I didn’t know that kombucha brewing took so long!

  3. Samantha says:

    Thank you for such a thorough intro into Kombucha, I just received my first scoby (although mine looks very thin…hope it works out) and was looking for more info on it when I came upon your blog…I’m loving your blog by the way, I’ve bookmarked so I can continue to read everything on here. As for the Kombucha, I have heard so many benefits and since my family and I have been getting healthy and healing this was our next step. I can’t wait to give it a try. Thank you again.

  4. Anne says:

    The continuous brewing system is a great idea. I made my own kombucha for a while but would forget about it while it was brewing, so I always ended up overbrewing. And then I ended up with way too many SCOBYs. This seems like a much more organized system.

  5. Victoria says:

    Loved your post!! Can’t wait to read the next one about the second ferment:) I just received my first Scoby in the mail and now I am just waiting for my jug with spigot so that I can start my first brew, I am so very excited!!

  6. […] Have you heard of Kombucha? Amanda of Natural Living Mamma tells us what it is and why it’s beneficial. […]

  7. Leslie says:

    I love kombucha! I drink mine with lunch-that’s the time of day I’m wanting a fizzy drink. I haven’t noticed any healthy side effects expect no more guilt for drinking a fizzy drink everyday!

  8. This is a great setup! I’m pondering putting my own together so it can be more of a daily routine, but how awesome to have all the info and education and tools in one package!

  9. Deana Upson says:

    As a newbie to the scoby this would be awesome to have in my kitchen.

  10. We have been brewing kombucha at home for a little over a year now. I wish I would have known about the continuous brewing system when we first started because it would make things much easier. When I got my mom hooked on kombucha a few months ago I made sure she could do a continuous brew. Now I just need to get over my cheapskate self and get the setup at our house! 🙂

  11. Pam O says:

    Awesome, helpful post. I’m presently brewing my very first batch of kombucha, but my Vermont kitchen is awfully cold and the fermentation process is slow-going. Hope it survives!

  12. Lexie says:

    When I drink Kombucha in the afternoon I feel SO GOOD! I have so much energy! Now, I NEED the CBS because we go through it so quickly. Even when we start a new brew right away, we still have to wait for new kombucha. 🙁

  13. Linda says:

    Would love to try making my own

  14. Amy says:

    Would love to try it! 🙂

  15. Amanda Laurette says:

    Man, that spigot must really simplify things! I love the taste and fizziness of kombucha. I have severe panic attacks, and cannot have caffeine or energy drinks, but I find drinking kombucha give me energy without making me feel anxious. I love it! Plus, it seems to make my tummy happy after a big meal. It just make me feel to cleansed and healthy. And even my 4 year old enjoys a sip now and then. 🙂

  16. Debbie D. says:

    I love jun (you probably already know what that is, but just in case, it’s similar to kombucha but has it’s own scoby that is fermented in green tea and honey). I have seen a huge improvement in my digestion. I drink it every day and also add it to my smoothies.

  17. Marina Foreman says:

    Thank you for educating me on the fact that the K-Tea still has caffeine in it. I have a caffeine allergy. I so need the benefits of this tea though. I wonder if the detoxing benefits could outweigh the allergy?

  18. CPperkins says:

    Perfect for a beginner! Thank-You

  19. Helen says:

    I want to try making Kombucha so much. I heard about it years ago, but am so disorganized from memory dysfunction. This system looks like it would simplify. Unfortunately, caffeine makes my afib/flutter go crazy even on meds. Can I use decaffeinated tea? or certain kinds of herbal teas? What would you recommend?

  20. Naomi Haskins says:

    I have a lot to learn! Thanks for sharing!!

  21. Darby says:

    Just getting started with Kombucha. I can’t wait to learn more. I love Ginger Kombucha!

  22. jean says:

    it is so good for you–I need to start making it!

  23. Alex p says:

    I am a huge fan of fermented foods and love how easy it is to make kombucha and add your own flair. Our family can see the difference in our health and digestion when we go without kombucha so we are very glad to have it!

  24. Candice says:

    Thanks for all the great info on this incredibly healthy beverage.

  25. Earlene N says:

    the price for a bottle at Earthfare was enough to put me off trying kombucha. a friend gave me a bottle to try and I was impressed. now to try making it myself.

  26. Georgette Helton says:

    I think I might be able to afford this soon …I really want to get healthy..I stopped smoking over a year ago .eating lots of fermented ..less meats and lots of fresh …still over weight …fresh foods are so much more expensive here..Also started walking..59 years old .high blood pressure and diabeties. asthma.copd but I’m still trying

  27. Danita says:

    I need to start drinking Kombucha daily again…it really helped my digestion since I’ve had so many intestinal surgeries. I have not had a lot of infections since started drinking! I used to get them sooo often…not any more!

  28. Tammy says:

    I love it, it’s so good for digestion with all those probiotics. Whenever I try to brew it I end up with mold, I guess I need to invest in a good system like this.

  29. Joan says:

    I have been feeling better, more energetic and less stomach issues. Kombucha appeals to me because of the taste and the health benefits.

  30. Debbie says:

    Love Kombucha and brew it all the time. I would like to try the continuous brewing system by winning!

  31. Deborah Franzen says:

    Curious to learn more about the continuous brew method. thank you for offering the contest.

  32. Kimberly Owens says:

    Thanks for the thorough introduction! I’ve brewed before, but let it go too long and it was vinegar. Hoping something like this might be more successful for me!

  33. Teresa says:

    My daughter has severe acne – nothing seems to work and my son is a health nut so I think this would be good to try in my home.

  34. jenacos says:

    Thanks for all the information you are posting was very helpful.

  35. Brenda says:

    I like the fact that it keeps your immune system healthy too!! So delicious also!!

  36. Dean says:

    Can’t wait to try this at home. Currently buying commercial made Kombucha, this would be so much more cheaper and healthier to do fresh at home.

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