Homemade Lavender Kombucha
As my housewarming present, my best friend Megan gave me the perfect gift - my very own kombucha set: scoby, organic cane sugar, black tea, a big jar... literally everything I needed to get my first homemade kombucha batch started. To make the gift even better, she gave me a full tutorial on how to make it the same day! Since then, I've been consuming homemade kombucha regularly, experimenting with different flavours and teas all the while.
If you're not familiar with what kombucha is, it's fermented, fizzy tea. The benefits are endless, as it helps with digestion, boosts your immune system, builds a strong gut, and has a load of b and c vitamins. And when you brew it at home, it couldn't be cheaper. Need I say more?
Since I've been brewing at home for about 8 months now (omg, where did the time go), I thought I'd take you along for a recipe and tutorial for homemade Lavender Kombucha. Here's what you need to get started:
- Large 1-2 gallon glass jar
- Coffee filters or cheesecloth
- Wooden spoon
- Rubber band
- 4 Swing-top glass bottles
Let's begin by making a batch of original kombucha. You'll need to do this regardless of how you want to flavour it.
- 1 kombucha SCOBY (from a friend's previous batch or store bought)
- 1 gallon filtered water
- 10 organic black tea bags (make sure it's organic without additional flavours)
- 1.5 cups organic golden sugar
- Kombucha is made from bacteria and culture, so make sure you clean and sanitize everything with white vinegar to prevent any mishaps. To begin, boil approximately 1/2 a gallon of water to brew your black tea.
- Once the water is boiled, pour it into your glass jar and steep the tea bags for at least 15 minutes. Remove the tea bags, add the sugar and stir well to dissolve.
- Once the sugar has completely melted, add the remaining 1/2 gallon of cool water and let the mixture cool.
- Once the tea has cooled completely, carefully place the scoby in the jar with all of the starter liquid that came with your SCOBY. If this is your first batch and you don't have much starter liquid, buy an original flavoured kombucha, and add half a bottle of it to the tea.
- Cover the jar with a coffee filter or cheesecloth, and seal it with a rubber band. Place it in a dark, relatively warm spot, undisturbed by people or light.
- And now we let the fermentation begin! Let your kombucha to brew for 1-2 weeks, depending on your preference. The longer you leave it, the stronger it will become.
- After 1-2 weeks, your kombucha is ready. Carefully remove the scoby (I place mine in a sterilized bowl with some kombucha liquid for my next batch). If you want to leave your kombucha plain, this is the time to transfer your finished product to a pitcher, then swing-cap bottles. You can store it in the fridge for up to 1 month. If you'd like to do a second round of fermentation and flavouring, here's how to do that:
Ingredients for Lavender Kombucha
- 1.5 gallons homemade kombucha (made above)
- 1 cup dried lavender buds
- 8 organic black tea bags
- 1 cup golden sugar
- 1 gallon water
- Boil 1 gallon of water, transfer to a pitcher, and add the teabags and lavender buds.
- Let the tea steep for roughly 10 minutes, and remove the teabags (not the lavender). Add your sugar, and stir until it's dissolved.
- Once the tea has cooled to room temperature, combine your prepared kombucha with your lavender tea (you may need to do this in batches with various pitchers/vessels in your home). Once both mixtures are thoroughly combined, pour the mixture into swing-cap bottles, and let them sit in a dark, warm spot for about 3 days.
- After 3 days, strain your kombucha into a pitcher, and pour the strained kombucha back into the swing-cap bottles (unless you want to strain the lavender out every time you drink it). Your bottles are now ready for refrigeration, and can be stored up to 1 month!
It seems like quite a few steps, but trust me, it's easier than you think. You're basically just making various batches of sweet tea, except the bacteria in the kombucha eats all the sugar up, making a drink that's OH SO good for you! And the best part? Kombucha makes for an incredible cocktail mix :) Interested in more kombucha recipes? Let me know which ones you'd like me to try!