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Lemon Verbena Kombucha

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Ingredients

Adjust Servings:
20 g Lemon verbena dried
240 g Sugar white
1750 ml Water
1 pcs Kombucha (tea mushroom)
200 ml Kombucha (drink)

Lemon Verbena Kombucha

  • 7 - 14 дней
  • Serves 4
  • Medium

Ingredients

Directions

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Kombucha, or tea mushroom, has been around for thousands of years. But it’s has become a popular drink only now when healthy eating is a trend. Kombucha is served in fancy restaurants, sold in supermarkets, promoted by food bloggers and used in traditional medicine. 

What is kombucha anyway? I remember my mom’s friend had this jar with kombucha that has something looking like a jellyfish inside. The drink was delicious, so sparkling and sour-sweet, but that jellyfish was freaking me out. 

Now when I’m a grownup, I learned more about the health benefits of fermented foods and the appearance of tea mushroom doesn’t freak me out anymore. So, this jellyfish is actually a mushroom, or more like a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast, that makes sparkling tea. That symbolic culture produces different kinds of bacteria that make the drink healthy, effervescent, and great-tasting.

You can find a lot of info on kombucha online, so I’d rather focus on how to make and use it. 

So, tea mushroom is a living being, so you should feed it. It eats sugar and later transforms it into bacteria and alcohol. Kombucha contains around 0.5% of alcohol. 

To make kombucha, you should have a piece of tea mushroom that would cover at least 25% of the surface and 200 ml of kombucha. This mushroom is your first colony of bacteria, and kombucha will create an acid environment for such bacteria. If you don’t have any kombucha, use some apple cider vinegar instead. 

You can always ask your friends for mushroom or buy it yourself – it’s not a problem at all! When you have everything you need to start, you should arrange the ingredients in a jar (see the instructions below). If you can’t do it immediately, store kombucha in a fridge for some time. 

To make kombucha, you need sugar and tea. Black tea is used as a rule but I recommend making lemon verbena tea. It makes the most delicious kombucha! Lemon verbena adds citrus flavor and subtle taste to the drink.

What you will need:

2.5 L mason jar 

Plastic spoon

Rubber band 

Natural fabric or cheesecloth

Cheesecloth for straining

 

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Steps

1
Done

Brew some sweet lemon verbena tea. We are going to use cold tea as boiling water can ruin tea mushroom. To speed the process up, bring to a boil 500 ml of water, dissolve some sugar in it, cover and let stand for 20 min. Strain using cheesecloth. Then add 1250 ml of cold water and let the tea cool down.

2
Done

Pour the tea to a jar, add kombucha, stir with a plastic (not metal!) spoon. Place a piece of tea mushroom on top. Cover the jar with a cloth and secure it with a rubber band. Place in a warm and well-ventilated place.

3
Done

Wait for 7 days or more.

4
Done

The mushroom can sink down or remain floating on top. Either is fine. After a few days, a thin film will begin to form. It’s a new mushroom. The film will get thicker, the drink will get sourer and get a sour-sweet smell. This means everything is going fine. If this new mushroom swells up, you should pierce it through and wet the surface to prevent it from drying out and mold. If you see black, red, yellow, or any other kind of mold on the surface, it means that something went wrong.
In this case, you’ll have to discard the mushroom and the drink and start all over. You can drink moldy kombucha.
If everything is going well, the mushroom will remain pale and the taste will remain sour-sweet.

5
Done

The time of fermentation depends on many factors. For example, in warmer conditions, it grows faster than in colder conditions, etc.
To check if it’s done, try it.

6
Done

Once kombucha is done, remove the new mushroom, pour off 200 ml, discard the old mushroom, and strain the remaining drink. Place in the fridge.
Use the new mushroom to make a new drink in the same way.

7
Done

Drink chilled kombucha as it is or mixed with berry or fruit juices.

8
Done

KOMBUCHA SYRUP

Use kombucha to make a delicious syrup that you can use as a topping for crepes and pancakes, and even make salad dressings with it.
For this syrup, you should let kombucha get sourer. Just let it ferment longer. Sour kombucha will make sour-sweet syrup.
Strain the ready kombucha, pour in a large pan, and bring to a boil and keep boiling it down until you get a dark syrup.
1.5 l of kombucha makes approximately 200 ml of syrup.
Pour the syrup into a jar, close with a lid, and store it at room temperature like any other syrup.

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