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What do you think of Kambucha? I brew it and double brew it like champagne and flavor it with concentrated juices and love it. I just wonder what the raw community thinks of it. Is it really healthy or not?


  • susan121susan121 Raw Newbie

    I LOVE kombucha, and I've been drinking it for a little over two years now. I def think it's great for helping digestion (when you drink it on an empty stomach). And if I fast on kombucha and water for a few days I get a really healthy glow. I vote yes!

  • joannabananajoannabanana Raw Newbie

    i really have no idea what it is haha i see people talk about it on here all the time but i've never been interested enough to look it up.

  • RawKidChefRawKidChef Raw Newbie

    it's a fermented tea made with like a kombucha mushroom or something like that, and it is tart-sweet, and very fizzy. like healthy soda in a way. I get kombucha from a local farm and boy is it good. I think it is very healthy, one, because of it's probiotics and enzymes, two, because it has amino acids and other stuff.

  • joannabananajoannabanana Raw Newbie

    thanks, rawkidchef! where would i find this? does whole foods have it (the mushroom)? i'm going there this weekend and might as well look for it. i don't know the steps to making it either.

  • Just find someone who makes it and ask them for a piece of their mushroom---. You can make it easily yourself for much less cost.

  • joannabananajoannabanana Raw Newbie

    i was looking online and the recipes i found involved white sugar. what kind do you guys use?

  • What if you want to sweeten it with fruit juice, like GT's?

  • You do that after it has brewed, when you are bottling it. If you brew it with juice it would be more like wine, and the culture gets out of balance. Also it seems like eventually brews made with alternative sweeteners get mold or don't grow properly. There is a culture called Jun or something that will work with honey, however.

  • Ah! One more question. After you culture your own mushroom with a bottle of GT's, as you explained above, is the resulting leftover liquid suitable to use as the "two cups already brewed kombucha" for starting your first batch?

  • Organic white sugar JoannaBanana. The culture, sometimes CALLED a "mushroom" (which is really a zoogleal mat), converts it, and eats most of it, so it's still perfectly healthy. Start a scoby/mushroom/zoogleal mat by adding 1/4 cup of sugar and 2 cups of cooled tea (made with 3-6 teaspooons or teabags of organic tea) into a quart jar (or any size washed and vinegar-rinsed glass jar), and one bottle of Gt's original Kombucha. Cover the top with a coffee filter or napkin and a rubber band around the rim to hold it in place, and wait a week or three. You should have a film on it within 3-5 days, and when it gets 1/4" thick you use it with the standard Kombucha recipe (find it online and adjust according to taste using no less than 1/4 c. sugar per quart). The final product is a raw probiotic, however white sugar and tea-leaves are not raw. It's very beneficial so it's raw status is of no importance to me. I'd offer my scobies, but it's cheaper to just buy GT's from the store and start there, rather than ship it. :) If you have any further questions, I will do my best to answer, as I'm a Kombucha-freak.

  • Yes, definitely! The liquid is more acidic than regular Kombucha, and really helps to prevent bad bacteria and mold growth. Just remember to pour it on top of the new tea and scoby as any risk would enter there. I've not had a batch go bad yet (not due to bacteria, but some really tannic/nasty tasting cheap tea-leaves did make a batch bad :( haha). Good luck, and don't be afraid to ask anything at all. I love talking about Kombucha.

    I do recommend using quality tea leaves. It doesn't take very much, so it isn't that expensive in the long run, but it does taste much much better. The most expensive I have ever brewed was 42 (somewhere around there) cents a cup. Less than a dollar for a g.t.'s sized bottle, and that was with expensive leaves. Usually it costs 16-22 cents a cup/32-44 cents a g.t.'s bottle, maybe a dime or so more with fruit juice.

    A 2-part black tea and 3-parts green tea ratio tastes and brews especially well, but plain green tea makes the scoby thicker and "happy"/carbonate more. It may take a batch or two for carbonation to really get going though. There was something else I was going to say and forgot. Hmm. Well, anyway, happy brewing!!!

  • hey have_mersey! thanks for all the info on making kombucha! ive always wanted to make my own kombucha and finally i just started my own mushroom last night... but i also wanted to ask if you can drink the left over liquid in addition to using it to start the first batch of kombucha. thanks so much!

  • You could test it, it depends upon a number of things, but it's just generally, a little too acidic.

  • I just whipped up a batch after a long time. I used regular black tea and various types of herbal.

    I also just read somewhere that you can also use mate and black tea.

    It great making your own KT and good karma to spread your extra scobys around to the people to use and enjoy.

  • The only tea I have ever heard not to use is anything with bergamout (sp) in it. Apparently it is an anti-bacterial and will kill the scoby.

    I had to laugh about buying the GT for a $1 per bottle. I got a STEAL the other day at $1.99 per bottle! It runs around $2.99 the cheapest up to $3.69 at Whole Foods.

    Has anyone ever tried to make the "green" one? I think it has algae and spirulina in it. I really like that one and it's costing me a fortune at a bottle a day. I've got my own brewing (have been brewing for many years) but I just can't seem to get the fizz right nor the flavor of the green drink from GT.

    Thanks for all the great information here.


  • i brew mine too and actually JUST finished bottling a new brew. This one is apricot black tea flavored with a splash of pomegranate juice. I love mostly all kombuchas, but homemade is the best!

    plus, i was able to turn all of my friends on to it too!

  • I'm not sure if you meant what I said about a GT's SIZED bottled for 1$, but I meant when you brew your own you can fill a gt's bottle for that or less. Just to clarify. :) Here, it is 3.75 at the cheapest, 3.99 -4.25 on average per bottle of his. You certainly did get a steal!!

    I used just mate. I bet it tastes good with black though. Hmm.. The next time I buy Mate I'm going to try them together.

    Really anything with oils or flavoring has a chance of going "off" eventually, so you should always use your back up for it if you decide to brew with flavors. That said, Jasmine tea makes a good kombucha. Kind of an appley taste along with an undertone of the original Jasmine flavor. :)

    If you're not getting fizz, you can use the bottom liquid from your jar as the starter liquid for the next batch and it should help (the yeast tends to stay at the bottom, and the bacteria closer to the top. Also, adding a little bit of sugar when bottling (the yeast eats it to make the fizz) gets it more carbonated (I think that is what Gt's dave MUST do). I add about a teaspoon to a bottle. Do watch them, and tip them softly a bit every day to see how many bubbles it has near the oxygen. Once you notice a few or more, it's usually ready. It can be hard to tell sometimes, so be careful. I have not had any explode on shleves, but I have heard stories, and have had one crack.

    As for the green one, I KNOW! I've tried and failed. I think it has E3Live in it, so maybe that is part of the taste (i only used Chlorella and Spirulina). I have not had, nor will have the fresh e3Live, but I am getting some E3Live flakes, and will be testing a few bottles with it. Green is probably the best one, and it would be nice to recreate that flavor. If I even get close, I'll post the recipe and maybe someone else can work on it.

  • My fav GT- KT is their #3, the one with elderberry and lavender, wonderful flavour and very very very fizzy.

    I opened one during class once and had to hide under the table while trying to save half the bottle from fizzing out the sides.


  • I'm just saving this thread. I have nothing to add that hasn't been said.

    I've been thinking about making Kombucha for a while now, and there are some great tips here. Thanks!

  • Another question!

    I followed your (have_mersey's) instructions above about making your own kombucha culture.

    After over a week, there's only a tiny section of film on the top, but there's a bunch of stuff on the bottom. Can the culture grow on the bottom? Or is that just a cloud of sediment? Do I keep waiting for the piece on the top to spread out?

    I tried GT's Greens today. They were on sale... for $2.50. $$

    But it was delicious. It reminded me of coconut water.

  • Nevermind, the cloudiness at the bottom was just the container I was using. Nothing much on the top, after two weeks.

    I don't think the spot I have it in is warm enough.

  • A good thing to regulate the temperature of your komboocha batch is to slightly elevate it on two pieces of wood leaving some room between them for airflow. Some people also use a jar for fermentation, I find that a glass bowl works a little better because of the surface area on top.

  • Sorry, I was away. It probably is a little too cool in the spot you had it. But even a little film is a good thing.

    Sediment is usually yeast.

  • Anyone interested in making kombucha needs to visit happyherbalist.com They have a whole book online and free! on the correct and SAFE way to brew. I ordered my scoby from them and it has brewed perfectly each time. I love my kombucha!

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