Make your own kombucha at home using fresh, seasonal peaches.
Once or twice a year I make a big batch of kombucha. Don’t get me wrong, I drink kombucha all year – but usually I purchase a commercial brand at the grocery store. When summer peaches are at their peak though, it’s time to make one of my favorite flavors – oolong peach. If this is the first time you have made kombucha beware – the process takes 2-4 weeks so get started now!
What is Kombucha?
The short answer is that kombucha is fermented sweet tea. Flavored kombucha may be fermented a second time with a specific flavoring. Kombucha is available with varying degrees of acidity. Some is very mild, while other brands are almost like vinegar. Kombucha is fermented with a SCOBY, which is similar to a mother-of-vinegar. Some people call the SCOBY a mushroom, since it has a similar shape. But to me the SCOBY has more of a jellyfish look and shape.
Fermented foods are all popular right now, in part because they are so helpful soothing gut issues. See this previous post to learn all about the health benefits attributed to kombucha.
Where Do I Get a SCOBY?
In the past I purchased a dehydrated SCOBY from Cultures for Health, but this time I used the SCOBY found in the bottom of a purchased bottle of kombucha. Start with a bottle of plain kombucha. Pour it into a clean, wide mouth jar (like a Mason jar), cover with cheesecloth, a coffee filter, or paper towel, and let sit on the counter. A SCOBY will form within a week.
What Kind of Tea to Use
Any kind of tea works as long as it is real tea, i.e. white, black, green, oolong, and not just an herbal blend. Use unflavored tea only, no Earl Grey or Green Mint or other blend. You can use either loose tea or tea bags. For this batch I used oolong.
Flavor with Peaches
The delicate peach flavor marries well with oolong tea. This is especially true if you have exquisite peaches like the ones I received from the Washington State Fruit Commission as part of the Canbassador program.
What is a Canbassador?
As a Canbassador my job is to make all kinds of wonderful preserved Washington fruit items and then write about them. I must say, it’s one of the best “jobs” I have ever held. Earlier this summer I received cherries from Northwest Cherry Growers, and this month peaches arrived courtesy of Washington State Fruit Commission .
How to Make Kombucha
Start with a mature SCOBY, either by purchasing your own, or making one from a bottle of kombucha, or a leftover one from a previous batch of kombucha. You will need about 2 cups of starter tea also – you can use purchased kombucha if you like, just make sure it is unflavored.
- Dissolve 1 cup of sugar in 14 cups of hot water in a large glass jar.
- Add 2 Tbsp of loose tea or about 8 tea bags.
- Let the tea steep until the water has cooled to room temperature.
- Remove the tea bags or strain out the loose tea leaves.
- Add the SCOBY and about 2 cups of starter tea (left from your last batch) to the jar.
- Cover the jar with cheesecloth or a coffee filter and place in a warm spot, out of direct sunlight for at least 7 days. How long you let the tea ferment depends on how sweet you want your kombucha. The longer the fermentation period (14 – 25 days for example) the less sweet it will be.
- When the kombucha is fermented to your liking, remove the SCOBY and 2 cups of tea. Store in a glass jar in the refrigerator for your next batch.
- Slice one or two clean, large peaches. Add peach slices to the kombucha. Cover with paper towel or coffee filter and let sit on the counter for another 4-6 days, then remove the fruit.
- The kombucha is now ready to drink.
- If you want a more carbonated kombucha, bottle the tea in air-tight bottles and let sit and additional 4-6 days at room temperature. Refrigerate and enjoy!
Full disclosure: This recipe was made with peaches I received from the Washington State Fruit Commission.