I am definitely part “kitchen” witch. I love making herbal tea blends and tinctures, and I love making kombucha.
My sister, who has an awesome website called fortycakes.com, just wrote recently about her addiction to kombucha.She is not alone, many of us love the way kombucha tastes and the way it makes us feel. I love it too. I really do! But I make my own. And sister, I have a scoby baby for you. Make your own too. It is really easy to do.
I have been making my own komucha, for several years now, but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy the occasional bottle from the store! ….mmmm I do!!! Divine Grape from Synergy is good. And High Country’s Wild Root Kombucha is delicious too. But, when you make your own, you add your personal magic to it. You can experiment and come up with your own unique blends and tastes. You get amazing health benefits, and save alot of money. Kombucha is healthy and fun to make.
Best way to get a scoby and get started: BECOME FRIENDS WITH SOMEONE WHO BREWS KOMBUCHA! :)
Second Best Way: Purchase one online or through someone in your community. And read.
Kombucha is a culture (called a scoby) that reproduces, so unless you want to have jars of fermenting komucha everywhere, share! Some people call it a mushroom, but it isn’t.Every scoby I have ever had was given to me, and I have given many too. Heal and grow. Pass it on.
I currently am brewing a big batch of kombucha with ginger, that is a favorite of mine. After kombucha is ready to drink, you can add juice to it, or drink it straight. I like it straight. Or I like to add grape juice. I don’t recommend orange juice and kombucha. Eww. But seriously, experiment.
There are several sites that provide instructions on brewing Kombucha, but here are my not so detailed instructions:
1. Obtain a Kombucha Culture (make sure it is floating in at least one or two cups of kombucha tea, you will need it!)
2. Boil a big pot of strong black tea (green tea also works), and then add 2 cups of sugar. I prefer loose tea, but if you use tea bags 6 to 8 bags is probably a good amount. Use about 1 gallon of water
3. Allow black tea to cool to room temperature (important!), and then pour into big glass jar.
4. Add the Kombucha culture
5. Cover with cheesecloth, or coffee filters, or light cloth, secure with a rubber band or string (keep bugs out, but allow air in!)
6. Allow to ferment, undisturbed for about 2 weeks.
7. After two weeks, you will have Kombucha tea, a mother culture and a baby. Simply seperate the two by gently peeling them apart, get another jar, and start the process again! Now you are on your way to having a kitchen full of kombucha! HA!
Special note! Because I don’t really measure anything anymore, my measurements are guesses and may be off slightly.. experiment, or find a detailed website!
As for herbs, obviously if you can grow them, you should, but buying them is an option too. I have a small herb garden in my backyard. But most of my herbs, I buy. I buy many of my herbs online through Mountain Rose Herbal Company. I have been getting herbs through Mountain Rose for years, they sell high quality herbs and really strive to be a good company. There is also a little health food store in Palm Beach Gardens called NutritionWorld that has a fairly good selection of bulk herbs, I go there too.
There is a great book called “The New Age Herbalist” that I have grown to love and rely on. It has information on cultivating herbs, identification and wild harvesting, instructions on different herbal preparations, information on the human body, and much more. I love it!
Herbal teas are medicinal and can be very strong, so I suggest that you do your research, and always use herbs that compliment eachother. My favorite herbs that I always try to have around are, oatstraw, stinging nettle (also called nettles), horsetail, passionflower, skullcap ( scullcap), valerian, licorice root, danedlion leaf and root, ginger, and lavender.
Over the holidays, I made my friends and family an herbal tea blend. I call it Lovely Tea, and it really does make you feel amazing. Lavender, oatstraw, passionflower, and skullcap. Seriously. These herbs are known to help anxiety melt away. Relax and feel Lovely tea. It was such a hit in fact, that I recently had someone place an order! Whoa.
I also really enjoy making herbal tinctures. Tinctures are strong herbal extracts that usually don’t taste delicious. But they are very potent! I bought mine for years and still do buy some, but making tinctures, is relatively easy to do and cheap! Herbs, grain alcohol, dark bottles, and time.
I have so much fun making teas, tinctures and potions. Start slow. Read and learn. Listen to your body. Become a kitchen witch too, or at least be friends with one.