I love kombucha, a fermented tea beverage, and began buying it from Dad’s and Herbs N Health in Saskatoon several years ago. Eventually I ended up drinking it so much (daily in fact) that I decided to make it myself, to avoid taking out loans to pay for my addiction.
Here in Chiang Mai at Tip Top I met another Canadian who came to Chiang Mai to write a novel. To improve his health after a bout of food poisoning, he decided to try fermenting tea to make kombucha. He inspired me to do the same since I am here for 8 weeks.
I am excited to try my first batch of kombucha. When it’s ready, I will decant it into different bottles and flavour it after it’s first fermentation with different fruits such as passion fruit, mango, and kaffir lime leaves. For those who don’t know about the great taste and health benefits of kombucha it is well worth buying some at a health food store to see if you like it. It is hard to describe the taste, but a movie I watched once had an hilarious, if not appropriate description of it, as a slightly sweet, sparkling vinaigrette.
Kombucha is made by brewing a batch of sweet tea, adding either a touch of cider vinegar, or an amount of kombucha from a paste batch, and placing the “mother” or “SCOBY” (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) to float atop the tea in a glass vessel. A week or so later the SCOBY has transformed the sweet tea into a slightly sweet, vinegary, effervescent drink full of B-vitamins, antioxidants, glucaric acids, and beneficial bacteria.
Kombucha has been shown to boost the immune system, support body detoxification, improve joint health, and aid in digestion and gut health. You can read up more on it’s effects here http://www.foodrenegade.com/kombucha-health-benefits/
For a clear and simple instructions on how to make Kombucha yourself I recommend this site: http://www.culturesforhealth.com/how-to-make-kombucha
A compelling and fascinating read on how to ferment just about anything and the benefits on our minds, body and spirit, I recommend Sandor Ellix Katz’s book “The Art of Fermentation.” This fermenting bible (thanks for that gift Shaun!) is why my partner Shaun and I have several ongoing ferments in the house such as kefir, yoghurt, sauerkraut, kombucha, and kimchi.
In Chiang Mai, I went to Baan Suan Pak health food store just north of the old city to get my SCOBY. For anyone that comes to the store wanting to make kombucha for their first time in Chiang Mai, they receive a free SCOBY. Then you can buy your vessel and anything else you need for fermenting from them.
If you are interested in making kombucha yourself, you may be able to find a SCOBY in a health food store where you live, from a fellow fermenter in your neighbourhood who will always have SCOBY to share (it just keeps growing and growing – remember this is a living organism and way more fun to keep alive than a Tamagotchi), or go onto Facebook and search for a fermentation group in your area. In Saskatoon that would be at https://m.facebook.com/groups/523009037840303
Here’s to your health!