Kombucha by Olivia Henriksson
Making kombucha in the autumn season can be a delightful and cozy activity. As the weather cools and the leaves begin to change, it's the perfect time to brew your own batch so we joined up with our good friend and chef Olivia Henriksson in her Stockholm apartment to ask her about some tips and tricks she finds useful when making her own kombucha at home.
- 1 liter of water
- 75 grams of white sugar
- 8 grams of black tea (Jungle Black)
- 1 dl of finished kombucha 1 SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast)
- Glass jar without a lid
- Kitchen towel
- Rubber band
- Plastic bottle
- Optional flavoring
Boil sugar, tea, and 5 dl of water in a saucepan. Let it boil quickly and then let it steep with the stove turned off for five minutes. Then strain the mixture into the glass jar and let it cool slightly.
Pour the remaining 5 dl of cold water into the glass jar. When the tea mixture has cooled down to room temperature, add 1 dl of finished, unpasteurized kombucha and the SCOBY. Cover the opening of the glass jar with a kitchen towel and secure it with a rubber band.
Let it ferment for about 7 days at room temperature. Depending on the room's temperature and the quantity of kombucha you are brewing, this step can take varying amounts of time. Taste the kombucha to determine when it's ready; when it has a slightly sour but pleasant taste, it's ready for the next stage of fermentation.
Save 1 dl of kombucha for the next batch. Transfer the rest of the liquid to a plastic bottle (if there's high pressure in the bottle, it could burst, so it's smart to avoid glass bottles). Flavor it with 0.5 dl of your choice of flavoring that contains sugar, such as berries, fruit juice, fruit, or juice.
You can also flavor it with spices and herbs, but if you want the kombucha to become carbonated, add about a teaspoon of white sugar to the bottle. Seal the bottle and let it sit at room temperature until it starts to become bubbly; this process takes about seven days. Burp the bottle daily to check for this. Then, serve it with ice and enjoy!
Here are some additional tips:
- Dare to ferment in the bottle for a longer time to make the drink bubbly, but don't forget to check and burp it daily.
- If you need to go somewhere and can't take your kombucha with you, put it in the fridge. This will pause the fermentation process, and it will resume when you take it out again.
- You can brew with other types of tea besides black tea, but try to use black tea for at least every other batch, as it's best for the kombucha culture.
- Place your kombucha in a slightly warmer location in your home during the winter months. Maybe you have a shelf in a closet, a spot near a heater, or something similar where fermentation occurs a bit faster.
- Feel free to experiment with flavors! Some of my favorites over the years are hibiscus, crushed watermelon, mint, and satsumas.
For this batch of kombucha Olivia used our tea Jungle Black. This is a pure black tea made from completely wild tea leaves on a remote mountain, and works really well to brew a great batch of sustainable kombucha.