Kombucha 101: An easy guide to a home brew!

A lot of people take sugar with their tea, but what about sugar and bacteria? You’ve likely had this ancient and popular drink by the name of Kombucha.

This immortal health elixir dates back to 221 BC with artisanal recipes passing from family to family, eventually being consumed by the legendary emperor Qin Shi Quang of China.

Kombucha was transported for sale and trade by merchants and travelers along the Silk Road, an ancient trade route that linked the Western world with the Middle East and Asia. This beverage became a household staple for Japan and Korea, naming this beverage respectively: Kocha Kinoko, the tea mushroom, and Chungjin-cha, the golden tea. Eventually the tea was brought to Europe as a result of trade route expansions in the early 20th century, most notably appearing in Russia (as "Kambucha") and Germany (as "Kombuchaschwamm").

Not only can kombucha treat various ailments, it can also be enjoyed by all ages, yielding good energy, immunity and digestion. Kombucha is a living fermented tea, usually utilizing black or green tea leaves, plus sugar and something called a SCOBY, symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast. SCOBY’s aren’t the most appetizing looking, but you can sort of envision a chunky, round piece of cellulose with trapped gasses inside; an enlarged culture.

You see a lot of popular kombucha brands on the shelves at your local grocery stores, but you would be surprised at how many people make their own kombucha at home! We learned from a local friend “how to” and want to share with you!

Items you will need for a one gallon brew:

  • A one gallon vessel for your finished product
  • One gallon of water
  • 6-8 Two Leaves Organic Darjeeling Sachets
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • SCOBY  (*It takes kombucha to make kombucha. You can purchase kombucha cultures online, or, if you know a friend, you can ask them to split off a portion of their SCOBY for your brew.)  

Recipe Instructions: Part 1

Two Leaves tea boiled for kombucha

sugar being added to two leaves kombucha

  • Boil one gallon of water in a pan on the stove top.
  • Carefully tear off the string and tag on our Two Leaves sachets and place the pyramid sachet that holds the tea inside the pan to boil.
  • After 5 minutes, with a kitchen tool, remove the sachets from the boiling water.
  • Add one cup of sugar into the pot and stir.
  • Place a lid on the gallon of tea and let is cool for 2-3 hours on your kitchen counter   *Do not place in fridge.

Recipe Instructions: Part 2

pouring brewed tea into kombucha vessel

SCOBY for Two Leaves Kombucha

  • Wash your hands and your vessel thoroughly *You don’t want to introduce biological contaminants that could interfere with the fermentation process.
  • Pour the tea into your one gallon vessel.
  • Remove SCOBY from the prior kombucha, or use a purchased SCOBY and place it inside the vessel.
  • NOTE: If you are splitting a SCOBY, be sure that the remainder of the SCOBY is always kept in extra kombucha “juice,” as this will act as a starter for the next brew.
  • Place two coffee filters or a cheese cloth on top of your vessel.  Secure with a rubber band   *This allows oxygen in and also allows the brew to breathe.
    gallon of two leaves kombucha ready for fermentation
  • Leave the brew on your kitchen counter, or somewhere that doesn’t have direct sunlight, for 2.5-3 weeks.  
Two Leaves Kombucha final step, pouring into containers
  • After the fermentation process has taken place, you can remove the lid of the  brew, and pour into your containers.    You should see bubbles on the  top of your glass, indicating carbonation and successful fermentation.
  • You can now store this in the fridge.
  • *Keep the SCOBY in your brew until you are ready to make another batch of kombucha

We’ve shared the basic steps and ingredients to make the base brew, though, you can add in any flavors at the end of fermentation, such as pomegranate juice, fresh apple juice, coconut water, etc.

Kombucha is an awesome, all year-round beverage to have stored in your fridge at home. If you make a batch with Two Leaves tea, we would love to hear how your experience went!

 Email us and send us photos for a chance to win tea for your next brew! 

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