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Kombucha Tea: An Easy Guide To Make Kombucha at Home

Total time: 20 MIN + Fermenting time
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 16 people
By Cookist
Organic Green Teabags
Organic Black Teabags Bags
Granulated sugar
100 g
1 medium

How to brew your own kombucha tea at home. It’s quick, easy, and so much cheaper to make kombucha on your own. Plus, you can add your favorite flavors to make a tea that’s all your own.

What is Kombucha Tea?

Kombucha is a fermented, sweetened tea made with beneficial bacteria, also known as probiotics. The bacteria for kombucha come in a substance called a SCOBY, which stands for a “symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast.” When added to brewed tea with a bit of sweetener, these bacteria proliferate and ferment, resulting in a tangy, flavorful, and naturally effervescent drink.

Probiotics are good-for-you microorganisms that promote a healthy gut and good digestion. They occur naturally in fermented foods like kombucha, yogurt, and sauerkraut.

Ingredients for Homemade Kombucha

To make kombucha, you’ll need a few important ingredients:

  1. First, a high-quality SCOBY. It might not look all that appealing, but this mass of probiotics is the key to a vibrant and healthy batch of kombucha. It’s cloudy, pale, and almost jelly-like inconsistency. When added to brewed tea, the SCOBY forms a protective layer on the top of your tea while it ferments. This serves to keep air and other threats, like unhealthy bacteria, out of your drink.
  2. Secondly, you need a few teabags. You can use any kind of herbal tea, so choose your favorite flavor. Green and black are the most common, and you can mix several flavors to make a new mix.
  3. Finally, you need sugar to make kombucha. The live probiotics feed on sugar during fermentation, so your finished tea will actually not contain much sugar, though it will taste sweet. You can always add more after brewing if you prefer a sweeter drink. Use regular granulated sugar for feeding. You can sweeten the brewed tea with other sweeteners, like honey.

Where to Get a Scoby


If you know someone else who already makes their own kombucha, you can ask for a part of their SCOBY. With every new batch of kombucha, each SCOBY grows a new layer, so avid kombucha brewers often have plenty of probiotics to spare. You can also buy a SCOBY online or make your own with premade kombucha, tea, and sugar.

Equipment for Brewing Kombucha

To make kombucha at home, you’ll need several large, clean glass jars. You’ll also need clean dish towels (enough so that there is one for each jar), a large saucepan, a funnel, and storage bottles or jars with airtight lids.

It’s important that all of your equipment be very clean and sanitized. Otherwise, harmful bacteria may find its way into your kombucha and harm the probiotics and SCOBY.

When selecting your kombucha equipment, avoid metal, which is reactive and can hurt the probiotics in your SCOBY.

How To Make Kombucha at Home

To make the kombucha, brew 8 teabags of tea in a non-reactive stockpot sweetened with sugar, stirring to dissolve the granules. Let the tea brew until it’s very flavorful, up to several hours off of the heat.

Next, remove the tea bags and add starter tea, which is kombucha from a previous batch or store-bought kombucha. It’s best to use a neutral-flavored tea here. This helps activate the fermentation process.

Pour the tea into the large, clean jars, along with the SCOBY. Cover the jars with dish towels and secure them with a rubber band.

Store the bottles in a dark, room-temperature place, like a kitchen cabinet, for 7 to 10 days to ferment.

After 7 days, taste the kombucha by pouring a bit out into a small glass.

When the flavor is to your liking, remove the SCOBY and divide the tea between clean storage bottles.

Store these bottles in a dark place for 1 to 3 days to allow it to carbonate.

After this second fermentation, your kombucha should be fizzy, flavorful, and ready to enjoy. Store it in airtight containers in the fridge for freshness.

Use part of your fresh batch of kombucha to start the first fermentation for a new batch.


Do You Use Food Coloring?

There’s no need to add food coloring to homemade kombucha. The finished product is the same color as the tea you used for brewing. Green tea is often a nice pale tan color like ginger ale, while black tea is, well, black. You can add natural color to your tea by mixing in fresh fruit like berries, citrus, and stone fruit.

Do You Add Alcohol to Kombucha?

There is no alcohol added to homebrewed kombucha, though the tea does contain a trace amount of alcohol as the byproduct of fermentation. Your tea will contain only about 1% alcohol.

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