Homemade Kombucha

April 30th, 2009 - filed under: The Food » Food and Health



If you hang around the ‘natural’ scene, you’re probably familiar with that funny fizzy drink they call kombucha.  It’s been gaining popularity, and the large commercial brewer, GT’s, is everywhere these days.  And it’s no wonder – the exotic bubbly tea is charming and RAW and utterly unique. But at a pricey $3 a bottle, it also costs a pretty penny for its pleasures.  

And so, I’ve done what any industrious urban homesteader would do – I did it myself!  DIY brew is pretty simple and totally economical, not to mention a boatload of fun.  And of course, I think my homemade elixir is the very best I’ve had!  

So I bet you’re thinking, ‘What is this stuff, and why would you want to drink it?’

Kombucha popped up in China over 2,000 years ago, and has been traveling the world in various incarnations ever since.  The love-child of an affair between acetic acid bacteria and yeasts, it’s as if vinegar and beer made a baby.  The yeast and bacteria co-exist in a culture called a SCOBY, which stands for ‘symbiotic colony of bacteria & yeast’.  Clever, eh?

The SCOBY – sometimes mislabeled a ‘mushroom’– devours sugar and caffeine, and ferments the fluid around it.  The resulting liquid is a complex tonic that carries all sorts of associated benefits.  The RAW, living potion is packed with active enzymes, probiotics (the ‘good’ intestinal flora), amino acids, and energizing B vitamins.  Kombucha is purported to improve digestion, increase metabolism, regulate hunger and blood sugar, detoxify the body, and strengthen the immune system.  Unfortunately, there are no scientific studies to corroborate these claims.

All I know is, I feel great when I drink it!



I've enjoyed a straight-up kombucha pint, an elegant kombucha mimosa, and a glamorous kombucha cosmopolitan!


I love my kombucha (I named it Scoby-doo!) and I want to share the love with you!  So check back soon for a complete, step-by-step guide to home brewing.  ¡Viva Kombucha! 


  • http://fillesansnom.wordpress.com lisa

    To celebrate starting my own 7-day raw experiment, I bought a bottle today and loved it! Not so sure I should’ve looked up what it *is* as I’m a little grossed out (just how yogurt and cheese grossed me out when I was a non-vegan kid!)

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com Sayward

    @ Lisa – Haha, yeah I guess it can be a bit off-putting. I’ve always been into eating weird things and also studied parasites in college, so creepy crawlies are right up my alley. I love that it looks like an alien and seems like a living, breathing thing. I think it’s awesome!

    But yeah, maybe if it freaks you out (and you’re definitely not alone), just stick to the store bought stuff and skip the home brewing process. =)

  • Onie

    Hey, I was curious about this falling under the Raw title since you brew the tea, therefore the plant its based off is no longer raw. Any insight would be great.

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com Sayward

    @ Onie – I wonder about the RAW designation of kombucha, too! Not only is it made from brewed tea, but it’s fed with refined sugar – which is definitely not raw.

    Still, the finished product (fizzy, fermented SCOBY juice) is very different than what you start out with 2 weeks earlier (sweetened tea). So I guess the raw is in reference to the finished drink, which is living biomatter and not heat-treated, pasteurized, or anything else like that.

    But I agree, it’s strange and I’m sure it’s debatable. As with anything, you have to do your homework and then make the decision that works for *you*. =)

  • Jenny B.

    recipes please:):):)

  • Jenny B.

    also, I don’t know if you know this, but I keep trying to figure out planting seasons. Do you have any lists about what to plant when? just starting my garden and wondering. thanks sweets for all you do, this is becoming one of my fav. places to hang out online, xx

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com Sayward

    @ Jenny B. – Yes! Recipe will be coming very soon, probably next week. I have plans for a new batch, which I’ll photograph as I put it together.

    Thank you so much for your kind words! It means a lot to me to hear that sort of feedback. =)

    Regarding the planting schedule, it totally depends on where you live. I could tell you all about when to plant in the Pacific Northwest, but I’m clueless for, say, San Diego CA.

    I suggest googling “ garden planting schedule”. I had good luck finding guides for each state that I tried.


  • Jenny B.

    thanks, sweetie:)

  • Jenny B.

    ps, I changed my name bc I saw that someone else was jenny too and I got confused:):)

  • Julia

    Thanks to having read about Kombucha on your blog I tried it for the first time today! Love it! Thanks for spreading the word.

  • Pepper

    making my very first batch today, following your darling instructions! thank you xo

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