Visit our Colorado State Extension office for more news, tools and resources.

Close Icon
The Pueblo County Extension office provides assistance and programs for citizens in five main areas: Agriculture, Horticulture, Family and Consumer Science, Natural Resources and 4-H Youth Programs.

Kamboucha   arrow

jar of kambucha What is kombucha?  Kombucha is a fermented tea that can be flavored with many different natural ingredients.  It is full of probiotics and antioxidants and is excellent for gut health.  Studies have also shown that drinking kombucha may be associated with lower risks of heart disease and other chronic illnesses.
kamboucha scobyHow do you get started? The first thing you need is a SCOBY, which stands for Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast.  This is a living organism that ferments the tea into a fizzy and tangy kombucha.  They aren’t the prettiest thing to look at, but they are necessary for the process.  Similar to sourdough, you need a starter, which you  can get from a friend with an active SCOBY, or you can order one on Amazon.  
tea teacup wooden spoonWhat do you need?  Aside from the SCOBY, you will need a large (approx. gallon sized) glass jar and a cotton fabric or towel to cover it, as well as some smaller jars with well sealing lids.    You will also need distilled water, black tea bags, sugar, and whatever you’d like to use to flavor your kombucha. 
boiling tea in pot on stoveStep 1: Make your sweet tea.  Bring 7 cups of water to a boil.  Remove from heat and stir in ½ cup sugar until it is completely dissolved.  Add 4-5 black tea bags and allow it to steep until the tea is completely cooled.  Remove and discard the tea bags
scoby and brewed tea Step 2: Combine tea and SCOBY.  In your large glass jar, combine the tea, the SCOBY and 1 cup of starter liquid.  This liquid can come from a previous batch of kombucha or you can purchase an unflavored store bought kombucha and use that. Cover and secure with a rubber band.  Leave your kombucha to ferment for 1-4 weeks in a dark, still place in your  home.  The length of fermentation will depend on the conditions in your home and your personal preference for flavor.  The longer it sits, the stronger the flavor will be.  The kombucha is done when you see lots of bubbles at the top of the jar and it smells pleasantly acidic, like vinegar.  This is known as the completion of the “first fermentation”.  It can be consumed in this form or you can go on to a second fermentation and add flavors.  Make sure to save your SCOBY and 1 cup of liquid for the next batch!
jars of kambouchaThe Second Fermentation: This is where you can get creative.  You can add flavors such as fruit juice, whole or crushed fruit, ginger, honey, or any combination.  Add your kombucha from the first fermentation with desired flavors to a jar with an airtight seal.  Make sure you leave some room in the jar.  Let the jars ferment in a dark space for 3 to 10 days and place in the fridge once you are ready to drink them.  They will be good for about 2 weeks.  Use caution when opening the second fermented kombucha jars as the carbonation can cause them to erupt when opened.