Tea Kvass AKA Kombucha

Fizzy Basic Kombucha

Fizzy Basic Kombucha

Mother Scoby X 3

Mother Scoby X 3

Fermented Foods

Traditionally, most cultures (pun intended) used to ferment all kinds of foods in order to preserve and enhance nutrients, that resulted in our bodies having access to large quantities of beneficial bacteria. We have dramatically reduced consumption of fermented foods since the transition to a "modern" diet, processed foods, fridges and freezers. 

Kombucha is a one of many fermented foods used in Russia (known as Tea Kvass) and China. It is a sour fermented drink that people use as a tonic beverage. It is basically sweetened black tea that brews overtime with a SCOBY, also known as Symbiotic Community of Bacteria and Yeast. This organism generates a rubbery skin that promotes micro organisms to grow. Alcohol production by the yeast(s) contributes to the production of Acetic Acid by the bacteria. Each time you make a new batch of Kombucha, the mother culture reproduces and gives birth to a new mother. Drinking Kombucha regularly has been linked to:

  • Aid Digestion

  • Enhance Immunity

  • Improve Gut Flora

Kombucha brewing in a living colony of Bacteria and Yeast

Kombucha brewing in a living colony of Bacteria and Yeast

Homemade Basic Kombucha Recipe

  • 1 Liter Water
  • 1/4 Cup Unrefined Organic Sugar (Panela or Cane Sugar)
  • 2 Tbsp loose Organic Black Tea
  • 1/2 Cup mature acidic Kombucha (from previous batch)

Process

  • Infuse the Black Tea and Sugar and let it cool down completely
  • Strain the sweetened Tea into a glass container
  • Add the mature acidic Kombucha and the Mother culture
  • Cover with a cloth or breathable lid and store for 7-10 days in a warm spot (70° to 85°F or 21° to 29°F). Some people may point out that most Kombucha drinks sold commercially are "unripe" and too sweet and may still contain too much caffeine. You may want to let let it ferment for longer in order for the SCOBY to completely convert the sugar and caffeine into acids. If you do it progressively, your taste buds will adjust accordinly. 
Feed for my *SCOBY - Sugar & Black Tea (Camellia Sinensis)

Feed for my *SCOBY - Sugar & Black Tea (Camellia Sinensis)

Want to grow your own fabric?

Designer Suzanne Lee was researching her book, Fashioning the Future, and found the most interesting answers when she looked beyond using traditional fabric. With Biologists, engineers and material scientists, she realised she could grow her own fabric and create a new strain of fashion.

Kombucha-based fabric clothes designed by Suzanne Lee

Kombucha-based fabric clothes designed by Suzanne Lee

A dehydrated bowl made from my "Kombucha Leather"

A dehydrated bowl made from my "Kombucha Leather"


SOURCES:

Photos by: The Mindful Sprout 

Books:

Biomaterials and Biomanufacturing: http://biocouture.co.uk

TED: "Grow your own clothes"

http://www.ted.com/talks/suzanne_lee_grow_your_own_clothes#

Other: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SCOBY

Yeast and bacteria commonly found in SCOBY include:[3]

Acetobacter: This is a collection of aerobic (requiring oxygen) bacterial species which produce acetic acid and gluconic acid. It is always found in kombucha. Acetobacter strains also build the scoby mushroom. Acetobacter xylinoides and Acetobacter ketogenum are two strains found in kombucha.

Saccharomyces: This includes a number of yeast strains which produce alcohol, and are the most common types of yeast found in kombucha. They can be aerobic or anaerobic(requires an oxygen-free environment). They include Saccharomycodes ludwigiiSaccharomycodes apiculatusZygosaccharomyes species, and Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

Schizosaccharomyces pombe: A yeast species commonly called "fission yeast".

Brettanomyces: Another collection of yeast species, either aerobic or anaerobic, commonly found in kombucha and capable of producing alcohol or acetic acid.

Lactobacillus: A type of aerobic bacteria that is sometimes, but not always, found in kombucha. It produces lactic acid and slime.

Pediococcus: These anaerobic bacteria produce lactic acid and slime. They are sometimes, but not always, found in kombucha.

Gluconacetobacter kombuchae is an anaerobic bacteria unique to kombucha. It feeds on nitrogen that is found in tea, and produces acetic acid and gluconic acid as well as building the SCOBY mushroom.

Zygosaccharomyces kombuchaensis is a yeast strain that is unique to kombucha. It produces alcohol and carbonation as well as contributing to the SCOBY mushroom body.