Kombucha 101: Classic Recipe for Beginners

What the heck is Kombucha? Why am I reading and hearing about it in all forums teaching health restoration and maintenance?  Well, after doing some digging and reading, it turns out Kombucha is just fermented tea!  So why all the buzz and re-emergence of the popularity in home brewing?  It just so happens that this fizzy tea is not only delicious, but it is packed chock-full of vitamins and nutrients of which our bodies are coming up short. Due to stress, repeated doses of antibiotics, and nutrient depleted food consumption, Kombucha tea is finding its way into mainstream stores and kitchens around the world to heal our bodies one sip at a time! 

Medical-science geek-out facts: Kombucha is a liver detoxifier (get clean), a B vitamin mega carrier (get happy), an amino acid rush (get protein built), and a pro-biotic battle squadron (get your gut healed and throw a lifeline to your immune system). Peoples' health improvement stories include: an increase in energy, overall well-being, halting/slowing/preventing cataract growth and improving eyesight, helping with headaches/migraines, IBS, Crohn's, ulcers, joint pain, and the list goes on. You can buy this bubbly concoction at health food stores and, of course, Whole Foods. But why not brew this science and health project on your own kitchen counter and save yourself some bucks?!  

Want more recipes like this? Check out our other "Cultured Foods 101" posts:

Let's do this! What you will need:


  • A gallon glass jar or crock. Wash and dry. If you buy one with a spigot, it must be food grade, not plastic. Online shop-it here or here.
  • A tea towel or cloth napkin. Clean.
  • A large rubber band to go around the neck of your jar or crock
  • A Scoby (a symbiotic culture of yeast and bacteria). Order here, or hereOr tear a piece off of a friend's. Place in your jar or crock.
  • 1 cup starter tea (already fermented Kombucha). It usually comes with the Scoby your order. Or get a cup from that friend when you get your starter Scoby! Place in your jar or crock.

Here we go!

Step 1: 3 qts. filtered water. Boil.

Step 2: 1 c. sugar, sucanat, or coconut sugar. Add to boiling water.

Step 3: 4-5 tea bags, organic green or black. Steep in your water 10-15 min.

Step 4: After your tea has cooled, remove the tea bags and gently pour into your jar or crock and cover with a tea towel or napkin. Then, secure with the rubber band.

Taaaa-Daaa!   Your Kombucha is brewed and will now ferment and grow all of it's magical healing properties for you and your family and friends to enjoy!

Step 5: Set it aside in a dark well-ventilated space. (Mine stays on my kitchen counter, so I remember to taste it and use it.) It usually takes 6-15 days to ferment. Around day 4, you can begin sampling daily. It should taste like sparkling apple cider.  (If it tastes like vinegar, it probably fermented too long.)

When the tea is to your taste, you can bottle and cap it, and place it in the fridge. Now you're ready to brew your next batch!



Want to learn how to flavor your Kombucha and use it in delicious recipes? Want to learn how to second ferment with fruit? Check back here, as we share some of our favorite treats! Check here for more information, and a brewing video. For more tips, check here.

How many days did it take your tea to ferment? Did touching the Scoby gross you out? Share with us here at Camp how your Kombucha 101 went!

Photography by Shannon Kaye Photography
Shop the Shoot: Pottery Barn provided  plates, tea towels, cutlery // Cornerstone Interiors provided Pomeroy Nirvana Whiskey Glass

What postiive health improvements have you noticed since you started drinking Komboucha? Share your thoughts with us on our Facebook page, and be sure to follow us on Pinterest to see what other health crazes we are into!