Kombucha is a natural fermented tea that is full of probiotics similar to yoghurt, sauerkraut or kimchi (fermented cabbage). In the South Pacific they consume fermented coconut. Like these foods, kombucha is full of natural probiotics produced by a natural culture and is considered to be good for gut health — some say it reduces weight because it eats sugars in the gut. Kombucha making is simple, inexpensive and fun to do.

Pam from 10000 Toes demonstrates kombucha making in this short video. Read also the article on Kombucha making in Signs magazine.

What you’ll need:

Large pot
Large Mason jar
Piece of cloth
Rubber band or string
Glass bottles


3 litres of water
¾ cup sugar (I use organic raw sugar)
6 black tea bags OR 6 organic green tea bags
Kombucha “scoby”
OPTIONAL: 2 cups cut fruit (strawberries, raspberries, apples etc.)

Step 1:
Boil 3 litres of water.
Add ¾ cup of sugar and stir to dissolve.

Step 2:
Steep the tea bags in the hot sugary water (black tea is traditional but you can also try green tea or caffeine-free alternative, Rooibos tea).
Let the mixture cool for a few hours, or overnight, to room temperature.

Step 3:
Remove the tea bags from the liquid.
Transfer mixture to a large mason jar or similar glass container, adding about 100 ml “starter kombucha” left over from a previous batch along with the active kombucha “scoby”—a live bacterial blob that looks like an undercooked pancake. Search online for kombucha starter kits. OR you can buy some from Pam for a $10 donation for the 10000 Toes Campaign. Email Pam at [email protected].

Step 4:
Cover the top of the jar with a piece of cloth, securing it with a rubber band or string—the mixture needs to breathe, but you don’t want dust in it. Leave in a dark place at room temperature for a week.
During the week the scoby consumes the sugar and tea and leaves its probiotics.

Step 5:
At the end of the week, chill the drink in glass bottles and drink as desired. It self-carbonates so is very refreshing.
OPTIONAL: Before chilling the kombucha you can add pieces of different fruits or herbs (up to 2 cups to the 3 litres) so the kombucha has an infused flavour.

My favourite flavours include ginger and lemon, blueberries and mint, pear, mint and ginger. You can use strawberries, raspberries, apple, rosemary — experiment to suit your taste buds! If you add flavouring, let the glass bottles sit for another 24 hours before you chill them.

NOTE: The Scoby consumes the majority of the sugar and caffeine.