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Making Kombucha at Home (The Fermented Tea Everyone Is Sipping On)

at-home-kombucha-585Kombucha, aka fermented tea brewed from a solid mass of yeast and bacteria? Yes, it sounds a little gross. Okay, a lot gross. But it’s not. No, really. I made it—at home. And you can, too, ’cause we’re giving a homemade kombucha kit! But I get ahead of myself…

While there isn’t much research on it, anecdotally kombucha is said to do a number of amazing things, including detoxifying the body, boosting metabolism, improving digestion, increasing energy and lowering glucose levels. It’s also said to be high in probiotics, antioxidants and polyphenols. I’ve been drinking a local brand of kombucha for almost a year now (appropriately named LocalBucha) and while I wasn’t a fan of the original flavor the first time I had it, I have since grown to love this weird little alive drink. I’ve had flavors like pineapple-cilantro, strawberry-mint, Thai basil and ginger—and they’re all awesome. A little sour, a little sweet and a lot bubbly, it’s like carbonated tea with a little bit of a bite to it.

And while I can’t say it’s been the magic elixir of health for me, I do feel good after I drink it and it’s better than a strong cup of coffee for getting things moving in the digestive department. (TMI? No such thing.) The one downside of buying kombucha though is the cost. Man, it’s expensive. I usually buy a bottle for about $3 to $4, which adds up pretty quickly. I’d looked into brewing my own kombucha at home, but honestly I didn’t know where or how to start, let alone where to get the aforementioned yeast/bacteria culture. And then earlier this year, the kombucha gods heard my plea and Kombucha Kamp sent FBG its very own homemade kombucha Brew Now starter kit!

My kit came with pretty much everything I needed to get started (minus my glass brewing “vessel,” which I bought a big ol’ fishbowl for), including the tea, the sugar, starter liquid, the scooby (the culture), reusable tea bags, cloth cover and rubberband, and a guide for making kombucha at home. And, really, it wasn’t overly hard or complicated.

But instead of telling you how my whole process went, I thought it would be more fun to show you…

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  1. milky says:

    Ginger sounds awesome but I’d love to experiment with whatever fruits and spices I happen to have laying around.

  2. Allison says:

    The Green Goddess and Hibiscus flavors sound delicious… and that cranberry infused one that you made looks fantastic!

  3. I live in Boulder, CO and buy local kombucha almost every day! I agree, the cost really adds up but the benefits are amazing! I’d love to try to make mine at home! I’d love to try pineapple/mint or strawberry/basil. I wonder what a some kind of pepper would taste like in it? I like a little spice… hm…

  4. Andrea M. says:

    Hhmm, I gotta try this and I think I’d go for mango and pineapple.

  5. Missy says:

    I’ve been dying to try Kombucha, but afraid I couldn’t do it. I think pineapple or mango would be really good – maybe even some jasmine or fig. Sounds super-cool. 🙂

  6. I’ve heard so much about kombucha but have never tried it. I would love to try out something sweet and tart! Maybe pomegranate! Crossing my fingers

  7. Amy says:

    Unlike many other commenters on this article, I can’t say I’ve EVER heard of Kombucha before!

    From the description you give in the first paragraph, it really does sound gross too…but I’ll have to give it a whirl since some of the supposed benefits sound pretty gosh-darned awesome!

  8. Mary says:

    Hmmm, I wonder if I could make kombucha flavored with local, Alaskan ingredients. Cloudberry? Rose hips? Fireweed?

  9. Arien says:

    I’d love to try some variations with mint and mate . . . or thyme and strawberry!

  10. Janet says:

    Wow…I’ve always wondered how it was made and you make it look so simple! Would like to make strawberry kombucha 🙂

  11. Ericka H. says:

    How come I haven’t heard of this? I love stuff like this. I would try cherry, ginger, vanilla, pomegranite.
    I can’t wait to win this! 🙂

  12. barbara says:

    Mmmmmm! Great timing! I was just telling my sister yesterday about kombucha and the health benefits. Just sent her the link to your article, thanks! The cranberry does look quite yummy! Would love to try lemon with blueberry, raspberry with huckle or blackberries. Perhaps a melon-watermelon blend, or licorice tea with kimi-strawberry, or orange-chamomile?!

  13. I LOVE Kombucha! But my small non-profit salary makes it a super-rare treat. Mostly for after a month of sticking to all my workouts. I would love to try with different fruit, that cranberry sure looks good!

  14. Ali says:

    I would love to try to make a coconut flavored one. This seems kind of intimidating to make, but I am excited to try!!

  15. I would LOVE a kombucha kit. I love it, but agree that the price keeps me from enjoying too often. I think I’d be curious to try a raspberry flavored bucha, and pineapple also sounds delish!

  16. Frances says:

    I think the ginger flavor is a winner! Cranberry looks beautiful too!

  17. Rachelle Palmer says:

    I would love to try to recreate my favorite $4 bottle flavor, raspberry lemon ginger. Or maybe experiment with a cucumber mint?

  18. Brianne says:

    Hey Kombucha lovers! We are trying to bring kombucha on draught to the mainstream. Please check out our page by searching kickstarter for kombucha kulture and spread the word!

  19. Tara says:

    I’ve been wanting to try kombucha and you made it look pretty easy to make at home. I think I’d like to start with fruit flavors, mango or raspberry, with lemon.

  20. Mercedes Brian says:

    I’ve been making ginger kombucha but I’d love the starter set for my best friend.

  21. Vivian says:

    I would love to try mango or pomegranite

  22. blynne says:

    Always want to make Mango/ginger and cranberry/peppermint/ginger. I guess you tell I like ginger!

  23. Katherine says:

    Oooh, I would make cherry almond and a strong ginger!

  24. Jane says:

    Celery and hot pepper…..juiced of course.

  25. Slater says:

    I’d love to learn to make kombucha. Blood Orange and mint sounds like a good one to start with!

  26. Carolyn says:

    I constantly buy the mango flavor from my co-op so I’d love to be able to make my own at home!

  27. nancy reid says:

    I live in Florida where mangoes and strawberries are very plentiful. I would love to make mango or strawberry komucha! I think my family would have fun doing it!!

  28. Britt Pearson says:

    Gainesville, FL has some great local Kombucha brewers ~ Micanopy Maiden, Revival Kombucha ~ but as you mentioned, at $4 a bottle, brewing your own kombucha at home is ideal for penny-pinching, daily kombucha consumers (like me!). I would love to start brewing at home. A few of the flavors I’d like to experiment with are: pineapple-mint; papaya-star fruit; blackberry-mint; citrus-thai basil; lavender-mint; blackberry-chili pepper; ginger-chili pepper.

  29. Mmm all these flavors sound so yummy! Can’t wait to try some at home =) My latest favorite is called “Wild @ Heart” – rose, ginger, lemon!

  30. Nicole says:

    Sounds interesting! I would like to try the cranberry & maybe kiwi…lots of experimenting would be done!

  31. Michelle says:

    I would love to brew some wild berry ‘bucha and use the wild blackberries that grow at my house. 🙂

  32. Jordan D says:

    I’ve never tried kombucha before, but I know I’d enjoy it. I’d want to try ginger.

  33. Meghan says:

    Oh my goodness!!! So many flavorsI want to try …. Pineapple/pear, pineapple/mint, berries/mint (yup I love mint), raspberry/lemon/ginger, raspberry/lime, cranberry, cranberry/lime, berries/ginger, mango!!, grapefruit/orange?, blueberry, maybe chia seed mixed with fruits too?…. The possibilities are endless!!! oh my gosh the experimenting i will do

  34. Cari says:

    I drink Kombucha everyday! I would love to make asian pear and try playing with carrot/ginger. I would also try to make pineapple/mango.

  35. KIM JEFFRIES says:

    I currently buy a bottle every week at the store and it is expensive… I would like to try to make ginger or pomegranate.

  36. Fitgirl4life says:

    The kit sounds really interesting. I’ve only bought the premake version & would like to be a mad scientist in the kitchen & compare. I think there is something to be sayed for cultured food. Our society has become controlled by big food manufactures who are dictating what & how much we eat. I love the concept of working with natural ingredients to help live a healthy & happy life.

  37. Kelly says:

    I think I’d try hibiscus first and then ginger! But I love so many flavors I could go on and on!!!

  38. JLynn says:

    I am so excite you guys posted about this, I have been drinking it for a while (bottled from the store) and now I’m completely inspired to try my own. Im thinking passionfruit!

  39. Patty says:

    This looks and sounds like a mad scientist’s experiment! I’m kind of a blueberry freak, so blueberry would be at the top of my list. I’m definitely into the fruity flavors, but I think ginger/mango would be also be great as well as cinnamon/pear. Could you do nutty flavors? Like add extract of almond or hazelnut? Might be interesting.

    I tried rasberry kombucha with chia seeds the other day. It was so good and had this weird jelly-like texture that my friend absolutely hated but I loved.

    I guess I’m a kombucha kook. Oh well!

  40. Becky says:

    I’ve been wanting to make kombucha for a long time!

  41. Jenn says:

    A big congrats to commenter #17 — Rachelle Palmer! You win! Emailing you now to get your address. 🙂

    –FBG Jenn

  42. Heather l says:

    Strawberry! With chia seeds

  43. Mary says:

    Actually Ive been reading about how to make it for a couple weeks- I like black tea and I think any of the others would be yummy too- why not experiment it all sounds healthy and good!

  44. Carol says:

    Anything with ginger! Thanks for the opportunity to win this…love booch!

  45. Claire says:

    I have been toying with the idea of making my own. I would make ginger honey flavor.

  46. April says:

    My husband and I love kombucha. I especially like it with raspberry juice and chia seeds.

  47. Jessica says:

    I recently stumbled across kombucha at a local brunch spot, and I’m hooked! The slightly sour taste is fantastic! And I can’t help but feeling like this drinks makes me healthy in 5 minutes 🙂 Definitely could go for a berry one with spring and summer right around the corner, I’m itching for the hot weather. Raspberry ginger or mint for me please!

  48. Dana says:

    I think I will try with the autumn olive berries I have frozen to benefit from their high lycopene content 17 times more than a tomatoes.

  49. Lynn says:

    Trying to decide what flavors to make seems like it could be tough there are so many good flavor combinations out there. I would probably start with a strawberry lemon or a raspberry lemon flavor. Maybe a strawberry pineapple or even a pineapple orange. Once in season I would even try watermelon. The possibilities are endless and this is definitely something I would love to try.

  50. Heather Lynn Darby says:

    I am ready to start making kombucha right away. I am looking forward to infusing it with herbs from my garden as well as foraged berries 😀

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