I must admit, I wasn’t 100% comfortable when I became the recipient of a jar containing a free-floating blob of goo. Officially, of course, it’s known as a SCOBY but … a SCOBY by any other name is still a blob of goo.
Squirminess aside, I forged ahead with the experiment to make my own fermented tea. If countless people in Asia have been able to make and enjoy it for centuries, surely little ol’ me could manage a litre or two with some measure of success. The first few batches, sadly, tasted an awful lot like sparkly vinegar. While that may do an awesome job cleaning the windows or conditioning your hair, it wasn’t what you’d call palatable. I then joined a handy kombucha group on Facebook – there’s a group for everything, don’t you know.
A few months later, I’m happy to say I’m in the groove. I understand the process and I’m having fun experimenting with seasonal flavours. I went through the strawberry kombucha phase in June, which was followed by raspberry mint in July, then on to peaches and basil in August. October arrived and so did my most recent flavour combination: apple cider kombucha. To the second ferment I add a finely grated apple (which means it’s more the texture of applesauce), cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon. It’s autumn in a glass, my friends.
And if you have a happy and healthy SCOBY that seems to grow faster than you can use it, find a friend who raises and chickens and deliver it to her. It’s probiotic goodness for their little chicken bellies.
photo credit to my dear friend Alyssa from Wild Wood photograhy who so beautifully captured these wonderful creatures
*my apologies for the photo anomaly at the top of the post. I know the backdrop should be a bushel of colourful hand-picked apples, but ours are staying cool in the garage so I made do with what was on my counter at the time. And no, it does NOT mean my next kombucha flavour will have anything to do with leeks squash or summer sausage!