Kombucha Recipe

Kombucha recipe | DeliciouslyOrganic.net

I never thought I’d write a post about kombucha. In fact, I’ve had a running list of things “I’ll never try”.
Five years ago, my “never do” list looked like this:

1. I’ll never grind my own grain. (Bought a small mill 3 years ago, totally converted now)
2. I’ll never drink raw milk. (One taste and I was hooked.)
3. I’ll never make my own sauerkraut. (I do now, on a monthly basis)
4. I’ll never make homemade kombucha. (Well, you see the evidence of this)
5. I’ll never make my own sourdough bread – on a regular basis. (Still haven’t done this one)
6. I’ll never have my own chickens. (I’m seriously considering it)

Apparently, my definition of “never” can be fuzzy.

If you’ve never tried kombucha, you must. It’s a naturally effervescent, sweet fizzy tea (very sweet, in fact, I add a little water). It’s so sweet you feel like you shouldn’t be drinking it, like it’s not allowed. But it’s full of probiotics, live active enzymes, polyphenols (fights free radicals), glucuronic acid (a powerful detoxifier), and many other powerful nutrients.

A few months ago when the FDA pulled kombucha off of the shelves temporarily, I had to choose between going without or putting aside my pride and making my own. I ordered the culture and gave it a whirl.

Two weeks ago when my culture arrived in the mail I still wasn’t so sure I wanted to go through with this. I had a feeling that once I started I might not ever stop. I boiled the water, added the sugar, brewed the tea, added the culture, and then safely tucked the jar away in the pantry to ferment. Seven days later, my kids were giddy to find out what it looked like. To my amazement, the culture had grown into a huge mushroom-like substance perched above sweet, fizzy tea!

Kombucha recipe | DeliciouslyOrganic.net

I’ve tried two different recipes for kombucha, each with their own attributes. If it’s your first time drinking kombucha then I’d try this recipe. If you’ve had it before and prefer a drink that’s not quite as sweet, use the recipe below.

How to get started:
1. You can purchase a kombucha mushroom (aka culture or scoby) here.
2. Or, you can purchase an entire kit here.
3. This is the jar I like to use for brewing.

If kombucha resides on your “I’ll never make that” list, I recommend looking for Synergy Kombucha at your local health food store. They mix their teas with raw fruit juice for a fizzy, fruity flavor.

Here’s an informative video that shows how easy it is to make kombucha at home. 

YouTube Preview Image

Kombucha Recipe

Serving Size: Makes about 2 quarts

Kombucha Recipe

While I don't use white sugar in my cooking or baking, the experts say it is essential for this recipe. The white sugar reacts with the tea and kombucha culture to produce acetic, lactic and glucuronic acid.

Recipe from Sally Fallon's, Nourishing Traditions (used with permission)


  • 3 quarts filtered water

  • 1 cup organic white sugar

  • 4 organic black tea bags (I used Newman's Own black tea bags)*

  • 1/2 cup kombucha from a previous culture (go to your natural foods store for this)

  • 1 kombucha scoby or starter culture


Boil water in a large pot. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Remove from heat and add the tea bags. Steep tea bags until water has completely cooled. Remove tea bags and pour cooled liquid into a 4 quart or larger glass bowl (not plastic). (Here's a link to the glass container I use.) Stir in 1/2 cup kombucha and place the scoby on top. Cover loosely with a clean cloth or towel and transfer to a warm, dark place. Let mixture sit for 7-10 days. When the mixture is ready the scoby will have grown a spongy pancake and the tea should be slightly sour and fizzy. Remove the scoby and store in a glass jar in the refrigerator until you are ready to use again. (After your first time making kombucha the scoby will have grown a second spongy pancake. This can be used to make other batches or you can give one away to a friend.) Pour kombucha into a glass jar or pitcher with a tight fitting lid. Store in your refrigerator. Don't forget to cross kombucha off your "I'll never do that" list!

* Updated 8/7/12 - Recently I've been using 3 black tea bags and 2 green tea bags or fruit tea bags. Currently, my favorite fruit tea is summer peach and apricot tea. A friend of mine has been making her kombucha with mango tea bags and says it's her favorite yet.

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  1. I've been thinking about making kombucha for a while. I love to drink it and I love to make things myself (I need to start grinding my own grain one of these days, too). This would be a great way to get started, thanks!

      • James Fraser

        Check out “Elana’s Pantry”- great recipes for grainless bread using almond and coconut flours…they are paleo friendly and very tasty, easy to boot.
        And fyi, I also use continuous brew system in a 3.5 gallon crock. Recent batches had been low on fizz, but I found an easy fix…just added a teaspoon of yeast, got my fizz back!!!

  2. I used to make Kombucha in big bowls but stopped a number of years ago. Just this summer I started getting major cravings for it – just a week before the FDA pulled it from shelves! So, in June I invested in a big crock with a spigot and am back in business. I'm using the continuous brew method that requires much less work.PS I can attest that homemade sourdough bread is amazing…

  3. I've been scared to make my own kombucha too! I'm sure I'll try it when we get settled into our new house. I'm flirting with getting chickens too, but am not sure about the work commitment involved…would love to read up on it *wink*

  4. Heidi

    I can't wait to move into our own house next month and start our kombucha up again – I had to give it up while living with my Dad for 3 months – I didn't want an unsuspecting person stumbling on my jar and "mushroom". Try sour dough, it's a lot easier than it sounds and get the chickens too, if they're allowed on base. They are so fun and each have their own personality. Ours used to stand around our patio table and beg with our dog.

  5. Ihave never heard of this! And I dont like tea at all so I am not sure if I would like it, but it would be neat to try something new. :)My hubby is seriously considering getting chickens as well. I would love the splendors but not sure if I would love the work! :)Blessings-Amanda

  6. What a great great idea! I didn't even know this existed … but I have ordered myself a kefir culture to start making cultured milk … and have even recently tried sourdough! (the latter tasted yum, but must redo the culture because it didn't rise happily.). Thanks for introducing me to kombucha!A xx

  7. [email protected]

    I will have to try this! :) Thanks for the inspiration.

  8. Lezlee Franke

    This sounds exactly like me! I’ve been thinking about making Kombucha but afraid I might not ever stop, either! I love Synergy but can’t find it anywhere- why was Kombucha pulled from shelves? That explains why my grocery stores had signs up about it being unavailable.

  9. nicole

    I AM OBSESSIVELY HOOKED ON KOMBUCHA!!! When the FDA pulled it from the shelves… I was only wishing there was some way I could get a culture (and of course secretly hating on Lindsey for spoiling it for us all). Thank you for the link!… and of course for the recipe:)

  10. Tenaga

    Hi, thanks for the article. I would love to move out to the country and really get my hands busy doing all these exciting things and making wonders happen with my body as well!Excited, but that will be a while… Anyway, when Kombucha got pulled I was pretty depressed and I wanted to start one, but I was hesitant to order those cultures through the mail, opting to make my own instead, but finding out that to make your own you needed premade kombucha. Therein lies the problem, so finally when it came back on the shelves, I finally did and I found out it was the easiest thing is the world, at times I even thought to myself, “Ok, did I forget any steps?” Becasue it takes literally less than 5 minutes if you use the continuous method. I also found a way to make it caffiene free. steep the teabags in hot water for 30 seconds and pull them out and drop them in the pot. It was comforting becasue my second batch had me up for days (I use 8 black tea bags). I really recommend it. It tastes delicious and I have found my skin problems clearing up and my hair growing as fast as when I was in grade school. Good health! (also that was pretty funny about Lindsay Lohan, becasue I blamed her as well. haha!)

  11. Susie

    I just finished my first batch of kombucha and it seems a little bitter; like tea that has steeped too long. Is there something I can do to make it less bitter?

    Also the new scoby is not nearly as thick and pretty as my first one; can I save the original one? Can the scoby be cut down. Mine is the size of a dessert plate,

    • Deliciously Organic

      Kombucha making is a bit of a science experiment and many things can come into play such as temperature, humidity, etc. If your kombucha isn’t sweet enough, I’d add a bit more sugar for the next batch. One of my friends, purees and strains berries and then adds the juice to the kombucha to add more flavor. I haven’t tried that, but it’s a great idea. The new scoby will be much thinner than the first. I usually use the larger one for a few weeks and then switch to a small one after about a month. If it gets too thick, the kombucha starts to taste a bit yeasty. The scoby can be cut down, but it isn’t necessary. Mine gets just as big and I continue to reuse it. Lately I’ve been using some flavored tea along with the regular tea (pear and ginger tea from Trader Joe’s) and it’s delicious!

    • Rick

      My best Kombucha experience has always been making it with 6 tea bags (4 green, 2 black), along with regular white sugar. This ratio seems to work best. Using all black tea didn’t taste right, nor was using organic sugar…

  12. Esma

    Its great to see this blog going strong after 2 years. Congratulations :-)
    I have been given a scoby today after asking for sometime for one. I even have an amazing beautiful ceramic
    croc that was made specifically for kombucha waiting for it. (I found it in a recycle centre) So here I go after many years to make my first batch. Im going to use mango tea. Thanks for your work.

    • Deliciously Organic

      The “giveaway” was in the url address, but I removed the info about the giveaway since it’s over. But, a future kombucha giveaway is a great idea! I’ll put that on the list!

  13. Colin Hills

    Just been reading some of the comments and would love to send some of my “Scooby” culture or mushroom to those that are interested in making Kombocha but am im Germany! It is so easy to make, well it makes itself and you don’t have to exactly correct with the ingredient measurements. Go for it and try!

  14. Amy Plaag

    Just crossed kombucha off my list. I even did a second fermentation with ginger, grapefruit, & orange. Second batch is underway! Thanks so much for the recipe and the very informative video link.

  15. Karen

    I clicked on your link for the fruit tea bags, Oh my, I LOVE Urth Cafe! We went there last March for my nieces birthday (twice), then we drove up there again for NO reason, we enjoyed it that much. Then we went again when we went to a taping of American Idol. I only wish we had an Urth Cafe in San Diego, I’d be there every day!

    I’ve just began buying Kombucha, I’m the only one that will drink it, thanks for the tip on the Synergy brand, I usually stand in front of the case and I’m boggled as to which one to get. I’ve tried others but not synergy, so I will take your advice and get one today.

  16. Sue Brandt

    I made kombucha for the first time. After about 2 weeks, the top of the scoby which is floating on the top of the tea is beginning to get white around the edges. It doesn’t rub off like mold would (I think). Just wondering if I should be drinking this or if something has gone bad with it. Certainly can’t tell my how it tastes!!

    • Colin

      You get ‘raw’ milk as opposed to pasteurised milk direct from a COW! We used to drink it straight while milking by hand, squirted straight into one’s mouth if aiming was good but all over one’s face and clothes if not! Health is an issue with ‘raw’ milk because it has to be handled in the most hygienic conditions particularly between production and the selling point.

      • Deliciously Organic

        Yes, we’ve been drinking raw milk (the milk direct from the cow) and consuming other raw dairy products for over 7 years. My youngest daughter had severe asthma and as soon as we switched all of the dairy to raw, her asthma disappeared. It’s always important to know exactly where the milk is coming from and how it’s handled. We’ve been buying our milk from Organic Pastures for many years and have been very please.

        Conventional milk is a highly processed food, so this is why we don’t drink it. Pasteurization is a process of heating milk to kill bacteria. Unfortunately, this process also typically destroys friendly bacteria (probiotics) and vitamins Ð including vitamin A and more than thirty percent of the vitamin B complex. When probiotic bacteria are destroyed, the milk becomes more vulnerable to contamination. After pasteurization, vitamins that were destroyed are often replaced with synthetic vitamins. One-and two-percent milk sold in stores may contain non-fat dried milk added to it. Non-fat dried milk is oxidized and therefore may contain oxidized cholesterol, which studies suggest may promote heart disease.

        Homogenization is a process that takes place after pasteurization. In one method, for example, milk is pushed through small tapered tubes under high pressure to break apart the fat molecules. This is why homogenized milk doesn’ t have to be shakenÐ the cream does not rise to the top. Unfortunately, the structure of the fat molecules actually changes during this process. Not only are the new fat molecules difficult to digest, but they have also been linked to heart disease.

        On the other hand, unpasteurized milk from grass-fed cows is full of nutrients and probiotics like lactobacillus acidolphilus, B6, B12, vitamins A and D, calcium, and it is rich in CLAs (con- jugated linoleic acid). In other words, unpasteurized milk promotes good bacteria, sound digestion, healthy fats, and a healthy cardiovascular system.

        I understand it’s not for everyone, but it has been a great choice for our family. For further reading: http://chriskresser.com/raw-milk-reality-benefits-of-raw-milk

  17. Angel

    I am enjoying Kombucha. I found a starter mushroom very tiny. It did grow, but it was not flat. Looked like a jelly fish that just sort of hung around in the middle. I left it sit in a dark for about 3-4 weeks before I got brave to try it. It was really sweet; nothing like the store stuff. Synergy with the Chia seeds is one of my favorites. Some of the other brands taste some what club soda with a vinegar taste. OK but not chia seed quality.

    I am hoping for a few hints how to use the Chia seeds. Hate to waste the expensive seeds. So HELP I need.

    Can I use the mushroom in the store drinks as a starter? I one brand I found a round Layer disk but it was at the bottom. Can I use this?

    • Deliciously Organic

      I’m not sure how to use the chia seeds in the kombucha. You might want to contact the ladies at Cultures For Health and ask them – they are experts! :) For the scoby, maybe it had “died”? If it fermented for 3-4 weeks, it should have tasted more like a sour vinegar. I would try a different scoby. Don’t give up! It can take a bit of trial and error, but it’s totally worth it! :)

    • David


      Try bottling your brewed Kombucha in a sealable flip top jar. If you enjoy fruit flavored tea, a few ounces of fresh fruit juice flavering can be added to the jar first. This will also also give the Kombucha some fresh sugar to digest during the carbination process. The flip top jars can be purchased on Amazon or you may purchase Grolsch beer in the original bottles, enjoy the beer, then repurpose the washed glass bottle for your Kombucha brews. Let the Kombucha sit in the bottles for 2-3 days, sealed; and the tea should be carbonated & fizzy.
      Hope this helps, Good luck, David

    • Deliciously Organic

      No, a decaf tea won’t work for this drink. And after fermenting only a small amount of caffeine is left. It’s similar to the sugar – after fermenting there is only about 2 grams of sugar per cup.

  18. Lacy

    Hey. I just saw organic, raw kombucha at my grocery store and was pleasantly surprised to find it so I picked some up. On the way home I opened it up and drank some of it while I was driving. When I got home I noticed a warning to pregnant and nursing mothers and I happen to be breastfeeding a 10 week old. Should I be concerned? I’m wondering if I should use my frozen milk to feed her for the next day but I only have a 24 hour stash. I don’t want to do anything to make my baby sick. Help?

    • Deliciously Organic

      Kombucha has a very small amount of alcohol in it because of the natural fermentation process. So, by law they have to disclose this. I don’t think drinking it while nursing is problematic, but I would check with the ladies over at http://www.CulturesforHealth.com and ask them. They are the experts when it comes to fermentation and food!

  19. Jeff

    I’ve read — and have had experience — that if you refrigerate the SCOBY between batches, it will “hibernate.” It’ll become temporarily useless and will need to be used once or twice to brew (which will not yield quality kombucha) to wake them back up. I simply store mine in a mason jar and keep them in the cupboard. Works well. Just a thought…

  20. KC

    I starting making kombucha back in January, but could never get the taste right. It was vinegary and highly acidic. It gave me heartburn. I made my last batch in February and it has been sitting on my counter for the past three months. The Scoby looks healthy with lots of layers on it. Do you think the Scoby is ok to still use? I want to try again. Thanks

    • Deliciously Organic

      If it tasted like vinegar and was highly acidic, then it fermented for too long. I would try cutting down the fermenting time by a day or two. And yes, the scoby should be just fine to use again.

    • Deliciously Organic

      I’m not a practitioner, so I can’t say if it’s 100% safe for diabetics, but I do know that after the fermentation process, there is on average 2 grams of sugar per cup of kombucha. I hope that helps!

  21. Laura

    I like Kombucha, but the ones I drink don’t have tea in them. Can I make it the same way, and just leave the tea bags out of the recipe? Also, could I add fresh squeezed lemon juice, or ginger for flavor? Or pure fruit juices? Just to give it a little something extra?


  1. […] few other ideas that some GSG followers have incorporated into their routines  are drinking Kombucha, which you can make at home or purchase at any health food store. And, adding sauerkraut to every […]

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