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Kombucha Cocktail

The Mystery Blob

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kombucha tea
© tracyshaun, Flickr Creative Commons
I first heard about the Kombucha mushroom or scoby when I turned on my television and viewed it being introduced on a talk show. If my recollection is correct, it was on the Maury Povich Show, but I couldn't say for certain (my memory of this is a bit foggy). Anyway, there was a woman sitting in the guest seat with a dinner plate placed atop a small table in front of her. On the plate was this mystery blob they were calling a mushroom. It looked like a pale colored pancake. The show's attendants were passing out paper cups filled with tea that was made using this strange mushroom for the audience members to sample. They claimed the elixir tasted similar to apple cider. I would agree with this... but my taste buds say it tastes more like an apple/pear blend. The main beneficial ingredient of Kombucha tea is said to be the glucuronic acid which is used by the liver to detoxify certain compounds. Other components found in the brewed tea are lactic acid, acetic acid and various vitamins.

I remember the guest saying that drinking this miraculous tea had made her thighs firm and eliminated cellulite. What more does a female need to know? I wanted to get one of these mushrooms and try this tea for myself. I quickly asked my daughter, who was a teenager at the time, to write down any contact phone number or address that would be announced during the show. I would have done this myself except that I had to leave midway through the show to chauffeur my son to his after school job at McDonalds. While I was away from the televised show Amber received a phone call from a classmate and spaced off my request. Auckkkk!!!! I always meant to contact the Maury Povich Show, but never got around to it.

It wasn't until I was introduced to the Internet in 1996 that I finally got my hands on one of these vitamin packed mushrooms. I clicked on "Free Kombucha Mushroom" subject post on an herbal listgroup I was visiting. A net user was offering to mail a "baby mushroom" to anyone who would pay for the postage and shipping. Five dollars got me one of her baby cultures (my mama culture) and several pages of instructions on how to care for my mushroom and various recipes for brewing the tea itself.

Ever since my Kombucha culture arrived I have been brewing this wondrous tea on a regular basis. I really enjoy drinking it. What I like best is that I benefit from a B vitamin source in a pleasing-to-the-taste liquid form. This is wonderful, because I've never been disciplined enough to take vitamin capsules or pills on a regular routine. In fact, I tend not to eat food routinely as I get caught up in activities and forget to eat. However, my intake of liquids into my body is constant through-out the day. IMHO - having the option of choosing Kombucha in addition to consuming sodas, milk (yechhhh!), V-8, water, fruit juices, wines, and herbal teas has improved my overall health. Kombucha tea has become a welcome option. Guests and clients in our home are often treated to a Kombucha cocktail (an iced refreshment of three fourths kombucha tea and one fourth Sprite soda drink). Yum!

The many recipes I've read appear rather complicated at the get go, but once you understand all the clinical warnings about using specific kitchen utensils and preparing the tea in a sterile environment it is relatively easy.

If you can boil water, you can make Kombucha tea

Bring 3 quarts of water to boil, add 1 cup white sugar and boil for an additional 5 minutes. Remove the boiling pot from the burner and toss in 2 black tea bags and 2 green tea bags. ou can exchange one of the black tea bags with a flavored tea such as raspberry or lemon for variety if you like. After 15 minutes remove the tea bags from the pot and let the tea cool. Pour the cooled tea in a ceramic or glass container. Add a cup of your last batch of Kombucha tea (or a cup of vinegar if this is your first time), and the Kombucha culture to the brewed tea. Cover with a cheese cloth or cotton cloth (I use a clean red bandana). The cloth cover allows the tea to breathe and also keeps dust out. Place in a dark place for 4-14 days. A baby culture will magically appear and you will have a culture to share with a friend. Place the tea in the fridge and enjoy your tea. It's that simple. Be cautious about how much of this tea to introduce to your system each day... this is also explained in the recipes.

Kombucha Tea Taste Test

Choose your personal preference from the list below. Expect variations according to environment (temperature, darkness, season, etc.).
  • 4 to 6 days - Too sweet, not all sugar converted
  • 7 to 9 days - Tastes like sparkling apple cider
  • 10 + plus days - Vinegar taste becoming prominent
Article Dateline: Mar 6 1998
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