Asian folk medicine: recipe for homemade kombucha

Asian folk medicine
Fermented tea: recipe for homemade kombucha

Homemade kombucha tastes sweet and sour with a pleasantly fermented tone in the background – an excellent alternative to lemonade and the like.

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Kombucha conquers Hollywood and social media. Stars, starlets and influencers swear by the fermented tea drink, which has its origins in Asian folk medicine. What is behind the hype and how you can do Kombucha yourself.

Have you heard of kombucha? The tea drink with the sour taste is currently conquering social media and it is difficult to imagine trendy cafes, bars and organic supermarkets without it. But the drink with the unusual name is not so new. Some may remember a “Kombucha wave” in the 1980s and 90s, which rolled mainly through the United States. Even then, it was very popular to make your own fermented drink. It is slowly establishing itself in this country as well. But what is behind the hype?

From hippie tea to trendy drinks

Kombucha is widely celebrated on social media. It is said to have health-promoting effects. Regular consumption is said to make you feel more alert and the drink is said to support digestion and the immune system, relieve the liver and thus contribute to inner balance.

It is also often consumed as a natural alternative to coffee. Because the drink is based on green or black tea, it contains the active ingredient tea. Unlike the caffeine in coffee, this is absorbed quite slowly and evenly. It does not work as fast, but the invigorating effect is gentler and lasts longer.

Last but not least, Kombucha scores its taste. The soft drink tastes sweet and sour, tingles lightly on the tongue and is a bit reminiscent of cider. The color and taste of the drink may vary depending on the type of tea used for fermentation.

What is kombucha?

Kombucha is a fermented tea drink. Different types of tea are fermented using a tea sponge. The tea fungus is a community of different microorganisms, bacteria and yeast – a kind of gelatinous mass – which is why the Kombucha culture is also known as SCOBY (“symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast”). During fermentation, tea and sugar are metabolized into a refreshing beverage. This should not only make the drink tasty, but also provide many health benefits. According to this, various vitamins, organic acids and important nutrients are produced during fermentation. During fermentation, the added sugar produces alcohol and acetic acid, lactic acid and gluconic acid. This makes kombucha taste sour.

Kombucha is mainly used as a carbonated alternative to lemonade or other soft drinks with a sweet and sour taste. The drink was originally part of Asian folk medicine and is sold mainly in health food stores and health food stores in this country. It is also available in the food and beverage trade as a ready-to-drink beverage.

Where does the fermented tea come from?

There are many myths and legends about the origins of kombucha. However, the drink has its origins in Asia – probably in East Asia, Japan or China.

The first legend, which comes from China, refers to the year 247 BC. as the year of origin of the fermented tea. Its enjoyment is said to have promised eternal life at that time. Another legend says that kombucha was introduced by the Japanese samurai in the 900s. Probably they were doing this force for the next battle and are said to have carried the “miracle drink” on their hips. How much truth there is in the legends will probably never be definitively clarified.

But the fact is that kombucha has been an integral part of the diet of many people in Russia, Japan, China and India for a very long time. At the beginning of the 20th century, the drink is said to have reached Europe via Russia and the Balkans. Here it enjoyed a rather small community of prisoners. Today, kombucha is considered an absolute trend drink and praised on social media.

Healing effect

Kombucha is said to have healing properties. This should have a positive effect on the immune system, metabolism and blood count. Even in the case of impure skin or cardiovascular problems, the fermented beverage is said to be able to bring about a significant improvement – but none of these theses have been scientifically confirmed. Only a positive effect on digestion and intestines has been proven so far.

Like other fermented beverages, the microorganisms in kombucha can have a positive effect on the intestinal flora. The drink has a slightly laxative, antibacterial effect, which depends on the acetic and lactic acid content. Unlike homemade kombucha, industrially produced kombucha is pasteurized to preserve it. This kills the microorganisms in the fermented beverage and thus destroys the positive effect.

Recipe for homemade kombucha

Ingredients

  • 1 kombucha mushroom (available online or in health food stores)
  • 100 milliliters of finished kombucha
  • 90 grams of whole cane sugar
  • 1 liter of filtered water
  • 8 grams of green tea
  • 1 large glass jar (1 liter)
  • 1 fabric that breathes
  • 1 rubber


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preparation

  1. Boil a liter of water in a large saucepan and add green tea.
  2. Simmer gently for 12 to 15 minutes.
  3. Pour off the tea. Add the sugar and stir until it has completely dissolved in the tea.
  4. Let the tea mixed with sugar in a glass jar to cool to at least 25 degrees room temperature.
  5. Add 100 milliliters of finished kombucha.
  6. Wash the kombucha sponge and carefully place it in the jar. It is important here to first add the kombucha mushroom to the cooled liquid. Hot water would destroy the living bacteria, yeast and proteins.
  7. Cover the opening of the jar with an air-permeable cloth and secure with a rubber band.
  8. Let the kombucha ferment for seven days.
  9. Carefully remove the kombucha sponge from the kombucha liquid and remove any residue with lukewarm water.
  10. The kombucha sponge can be stored in bottled kombucha liquid (this acts as a new starter) until the next fermentation.
  11. Optional: Filter the liquid through a very fine sieve to remove individual small kombucha pieces.
  12. Pour the liquid into a sealable glass jar and leave to ferment again at room temperature for about two days. Natural carbon dioxide can also be formed here.

Note: The finished Kombucha drink can be stored for up to six months and should be stored in a cool, dark place. Bottling the kombucha does not automatically stop the fermentation process. Over time, the kombucha becomes a little more acidic and gets more natural carbonation.

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