How to Make Kombucha Tea: 15 Steps (with Pictures)

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How to Make Kombucha Tea: 15 Steps (with Pictures)
How to Make Kombucha Tea: 15 Steps (with Pictures)

Kombucha tea is a medicinal drink that is sweetened and produced by fermentation. When pure, it has an acidic and vinegar-like taste in addition to the sweet taste of original tea. The strength of this flavor can be adjusted with the amount of sachets used per volume of water. Kombucha is available in many health food stores and in the organic section of some supermarkets. The steps below describe how to make this tea at home.


  • A "mushroom" of kombucha, also called a zooglea, biofilm or culture. You can buy one of these on many websites on the internet. Or, if you're lucky, a friend might have a spare! Once you have a crop, you don't need to buy or get another one, as long as you preserve it.
  • A sample of the ready-made tea as a starting point, or fermented vinegar if you don't have one.
  • Tea. Bags or loose leaves will do. Sometimes common and cheaper teas can taste better than more expensive ones. Oiled teas, like the bergamot in Earl Gray, can harm your mushroom, which means spending more time fermenting it for good results. Many teas can be used:
    • Green.
    • Black.
    • Echinacea.
    • Lemongrass.
  • Sugar sources. Refined or organic sugar will do well. You can also try other fermented ones, such as juice reconstituted with tea. Many preparers prefer organic ones, if available. Some color mushroom and tea.


Part 1 of 3: Boiling tea

Make Kombucha Tea Step 1

Step 1. Wash your hands thoroughly with hot water

Do not use antibacterial soap as it can contaminate the kombucha and destroy the beneficial bacteria provided by the culture. Using regular or apple cider vinegar to wash your hands and materials can be a good alternative to these soaps. It is also recommended to wear non-latex gloves, especially if you are going to touch the culture directly.

Make Kombucha Tea Step 2

Step 2. Fill the pot with 3 L of water and place it on high heat

Make Kombucha Tea Step 3

Step 3. Boil water for at least five minutes to purify it

Make Kombucha Tea Step 4

Step 4. Place about five tea bags in hot water

Depending on your taste, you can remove the bags immediately after boiling or leave them for the next two steps.

Make Kombucha Tea Step 5

Step 5. Turn off the heat and add a cup of sugar

The crop will feed on sugar, which makes it a necessary part of the process. It will start to caramelize if the water continues to boil, which is why you should turn off the heat.

Make Kombucha Tea Step 6

Step 6. Cover and let it rest until it is at room temperature (about 24°C)

It may take a long time to cool, but adding the culture to too hot water will kill it.

Part 2 of 3: Adding the culture

Make Kombucha Tea Step 7

Step 1. Thoroughly wash a pitcher in the sink using hot water and rinsing thoroughly

If you don't have a lot of water left for this, put two drops of iodine in the jar, add water and stir the substance all over the container to sanitize it. Rinse everything off and wait. If the jar is made of glass or ceramic, you can also place it in the oven at 140 °C for about ten minutes.

Make Kombucha Tea Step 8

Step 2. When the tea has cooled, pour it into the pitcher and add the sample tea, which should make up about 10% of the liquid

Using about 1/4 cup of vinegar for every 4.5 L of tea will also work. This keeps the pH low to prevent mold or external yeasts from developing while the tea is brewing.

To see if it's acidic enough, measure the pH (optional). It should be below 4, 6. If not, continue adding sample tea, vinegar or citric acid (not vitamin C as it is too weak) until you reach the correct level

Make Kombucha Tea Step 9

Step 3. Gently place the culture in the tea, cover the top of the jar with a cloth and secure it tightly using a rubber band

Make Kombucha Tea Step 10

Step 4. Place the jar in a warm, dark place where it will not be disturbed

The temperature should be at least 21 °C, but the ideal is 30 °C. Lower temperatures will make the crop grow slowly, but those below 21°C will make it more likely that unwanted organisms will also start to grow.

Make Kombucha Tea Step 11

Step 5. Wait about a week

When the tea smells like vinegar, you can start tasting it and testing the pH levels.

  • The culture can sink, float or stay in the middle. It is better to float to block Aspergillus contamination.
  • The best way to get a sample is using a straw. Do not drink directly from it as backwashing can contaminate the tea. Also, do not insert the test strip into the container. Instead, dip the straw halfway into the tea, cover the tip of it with your finger, remove it and drink whatever liquid is inside, or place it on the test strip.
  • If the tea is too sweet, it probably still needs more time for the culture to consume the sugar.
  • A pH of 3 will tell you the fermentation cycle is complete and the tea is ready to drink. Of course, this can vary a little, depending on your taste and needs. If the final pH is too high, either the tea will need a few more days to complete the cycle, or it must be discarded.

Part 3 of 3: Finishing

Make Kombucha Tea Step 12

Step 1. Carefully remove the mother culture and daughters with clean hands (and non-latex gloves if you have them) and place them in a clean bowl

Note that they may be stuck together. Pour some tea into them and cover the bowl to protect them.

Make Kombucha Tea Step 13

Step 2. Using a funnel, pour most of the finished tea into storage containers

Filling to the brim is optional. If you don't, it will take longer to carbonate. If you don't have enough tea, you can use smaller containers or, if you have a small space, fill with juice or more tea. Use only a small amount, or you may end up watering the drink. Leave about 10% of the old tea in the pitcher as a starting point for making a new one. Start the cycle again: pour in the freshly boiled tea, replace the culture, cover etc.

  • You can use each layer of culture to make a new batch of tea; some people recommend using the new layer and discarding the old one. It is not necessary to put both layers of culture back in one batch; one will suffice.
  • Each fermentation cycle creates a daughter culture. Soon, after you have fermented your first batch, you will now have two mother cultures: one from the original, and one from the new daughter. This multiplication will take place with each fermentation.
Make Kombucha Tea Step 14

Step 3. Close the finished kombucha bottles

Close them tightly for safety or leave the lids looser to carbonate the drink and allow it to sit for two to five days at room temperature.

Make Kombucha Tea Step 15

Step 4. Cool

Kombucha tastes better cold.

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