Kombucha is used to prepare a deliciously healthy drink, resembling a yellow-brown jellyfish with a dense upper part and a loose base, from which thin long threads hang. Tea “jellyfish” contains yeast fungi and acetic acid bacteria, which turn ordinary tea into a carbonated infusion of sweet and sour taste, slightly reminiscent of kvass. The resulting drink, containing many organic acids, vitamins, enzymes, lipids, sugars and caffeine, has a beneficial effect on health and prolongs life – it is no coincidence that in ancient China it was called the elixir of immortality. Now we can prepare this magical potion at home and enjoy a refreshing, tasty and healing “tea kvass”.
Kombucha: step by step instructions
Prepare black, green or herbal tea in the following proportions: 1 L. water, 2 tsp. infusions and 5 tbsp. l. sugar, leave the tea for 15 minutes.
Strain the infusion and cool to room temperature.
Place the mushroom in a jar, cover with cheesecloth and place in a warm, dark place. For young mushrooms, it is recommended to add 100 ml of tea infusion from the previous jar where the mushroom was infused.
After 5-10 days, the delicious drink is ready. Rinse the mushroom and place it in a new jar of prepared tea.
If you want to get a spicy sparkling tea with gas, pour the finished infusion into a glass container, close it tightly and keep it in a cool place for 5 days.
A few secrets of kombucha cooking
Do not use metal containers (except stainless steel) for making tea kvass to avoid the chemical reaction of acids with metal.
Do not close the jar with a lid so that the mushroom can “breathe”, use gauze or a napkin as an alternative.
The jar should be kept at a temperature of 25 degrees, since temperatures below 17 degrees and direct sunlight slows down the activity of kombucha and promotes the appearance of algae.
Strong tea should not be used as a base for the drink, as it inhibits the growth of kombucha.
You should make sure that the sugar is completely dissolved in the tea, and only then place the mushroom in the liquid, since the sugar crystals cause burns on it. The same effect can be caused by grains of tea leaves or tea leaves, so the liquid should be well strained and cooled – hot tea will kill the mushroom.
It is necessary to rinse the mushroom from time to time with clean water – in summer once every 1-2 weeks, in winter – once every 3-4 weeks.
If part of the “jellyfish” begins to turn brown, you need to carefully separate the spoiled part, rinse the mushroom and use it further.
How to drink kombucha?
The most important rule for taking the drink is not to mix it with food, as it speeds up the digestion process, and very soon you will want to eat again. You can take kombucha as a non-alcoholic aperitif 30 minutes before a meal, but most often doctors recommend drinking the “elixir of youth” 2 hours after plant foods and 3 hours after meat or fish. Taking tea infusion in the morning on an empty stomach tones up and energizes, and evening tea soothes and facilitates falling asleep.
How to store kombucha?
If you want to “take a break” from tea kvass for some time and not use it, you should dry the mushroom in the right way. Place the jellyfish on a dry plate and turn it over every day to keep the fungus safe from midges. When the kombucha turns into a thin plate, store it in a cupboard, and put it in tea before use – after a week it will come to life and will be “working” again.