This fermented tea is notoriously good for your gut
If you’ve given up the home brew for January but are missing the ‘process’, why not try the extremely healthy and non-alcoholic alternative that is Kombucha? This fermented tea has become hugely popular in the last year, feted for its distinctive tangy taste and myriad health benefits. The latter are said to include better digestion, a stronger immune system, better digestion and even joint care. Sounds worth a try to us!
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Kombucha is available in bottled form at the supermarkets, which is probably the best way to give it a try. But if you become a fan, Lakeland has just launched a Kilner Kombucha kit, so you can make small batches for a more affordable daily hit of the good stuff.
What is Kombucha?
Essentially, Kombucha is a sweet green or black tea that’s fermented over a few weeks using something called a ‘scoby’ – or ‘symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeasts’. Over the course of a few week, the scoby takes the sugar and converts it into acetic acid. This gives the drink its signature tanginess, and benefits the body by lowering blood pressure and staving off blood-sugar spikes.
Your Kombucha potion will also contain probiotics (for a healthy gut), B vitamins and antioxidants, so it’s great for your general health.
Lakeland’s Kombucha kit
A bit like a sourdough bread, which requires a ‘starter’, you’ll need to track down a scoby to make your own Kombucha. However, everything else you need is in the box. There’s a 3ltr lidded dispenser, where you’ll also brew your tea, two drinking glasses, and some muslin sheets and twine, which you’ll use to cover the jar during the fermentation process.
How to make Kombucha
Making this culture-rich drink at home yourself is relatively simple – the trickiest bit will be getting hold of your scoby. You can either order one online, or cultivate the tiny scoby in a bottle of shop-bought Kombucha.
Scoby obtained, you can now get on with the process of making your Kombucha:
1. Take your Kilner dispenser. Add six six black or green tea bags and some white sugar, and fill with boiling water.
2. Leave for 15 minutes, then remove the tea bags.
3. Make sure the liquid is at room temperature, then add the scoby and three tablespoons of cider vinegar.
4. Cover the top of the the dispenser with muslin, then leave your mixture to ferment for between seven and 14 days. Feel free to taste the tea until you’re happy with the results.
5. When it’s ready, take out the scoby and put the dispenser in the fridge. It will become increasingly fizzy as it chills.
Lakeland’s kit also comes with an extra recipe, so you can build on the basic method to create Orange & Ginger Kombucha. It’s possible to infuse your drink with all sorts of flavours, from apple and cinnamon to summery strawberry and basil.
Will you be giving Kombucha a try?