Last summer I decided to learn how to make kombucha and cold press. Both are beverages that I absolutely love, and have spent a good chunk of money on. I knew I could DIY both, but I admit that I was intimidated by kombucha, and a little worried about making it safely. Now that I’ve been making both for over a year I can confidently say that they are both very easy to make and are affordable, delicious, and healthier options to other beverages.
I essentially follow this recipe from the Kitchn. It’s very simple, and I love the visual step-by-step. I got my S.C.O.B.Y (symbiotic culture of bacterial yeast) from my church friend Brandi who has been making kombucha for a long time and has become my first step in trouble shooting. The SCOBY is probably the most intimidating part of kombucha making, but it’s the part that makes kombucha, kombucha! Here’s how I make mine:
I don’t have filtered water so I’ve previously purchased distilled water, but recently bought a Britta filter system because I make new kombucha batches weekly and don’t want to have to always run out to the store.
3 1/2 quarts of distilled/filtered water
1 cup regular, granulated sugar
1 gallon glass jar
8 bags of tea (I used English Breakfast or Earl Grey, you must use black tea of some sort)
I pour my water in a large, clean stock pot and bring it to a boil. Then turn it off and remove from heat.
Drop in tea bags (I tie all of mine together so they are easier to fish out later)
Stir in sugar until it’s dissolved.
You’ll want to cool to room temp. I do this by placing my pot in an ice bath in my sink or placing it next to my A/C unit.
Once the tea is cool, remove the tea bags and pour it into your jar and carefully add the SCOBY and any existing tea*
Cover with a paper towel or clean dish cloth and secure with a rubber band.
Leave your tea to ferment for about a week, out of direct sun. I leave mine on a shelf above my sink.
The warmer your kitchen, the faster your tea will ferment. I like to taste mine and see what it’s like before I bottle it. Usually this takes about 7-10 days in my kitchen.
You might notice that a new SCOBY has started to form at the top, totally normal. Obviously, check for mold– if your SCOBY looks fine you can proceed. Use common sense. If something doesn’t look or smell right discard everything. I have never had an issue with making kombucha, but obviously be mindful.
When it tastes right, it’s time to bottle your kombucha. I use swig top bottles and always clean between batches. I leave about 3-4 inches of space as kombucha does carbonate. Some people flavor at this point, but I have found that I prefer mine plain.
Leave out for about a week again, this time to achieve the level of carbonation you desire, then store in the fridge (which will stop carbonation).
*You’ll want to save 1-2 cups of kombucha to store your SCOBY in (I use a mason jar) in your fridge. This is helpful if you aren’t planning on making another batch immediately. I’ve kept a SCOBY for months and it has worked just fine. I do tend to discard my old SCOBYs as my tea creates new ones. If you have chickens, they love to eat older SCOBYs FYI
If you love coffee (who doesn’t?) cold press is a necessary, especially in the summer. It’s relatively easy and affordable to make and having it on hand is so nice on busy, weekday mornings.
I prefer to make my cold press with French roasted coffee. It’s just a personal preference, as I’m sure other flavors would be delicious.
This is also one of those recipes where you can experiment a bit until you get just the right ratio you prefer.
Fine, mesh strainer
3/4 cup ground coffee
Enough water to cover
It’s so easy: I place my coffee at the bottom of my pitcher and fill all the way to the top with water. I usually give it a good stir or two, then cover with plastic wrap and let sit in my fridge overnight.
The next morning (or night, whatever) I strain through the mesh strainer and then refill the pitcher. I keep covered in my fridge and enjoy, this lasts me about a week.
I drink out of a mason jar and serve over ice, yum
If you love flavored creamer I also make my own, too, and it’s delicious with cold press.
2 cups heavy cream or half and half
4-6 vanilla beans, cut length wise (I purchase my beans via Amazon)
Combine all ingredients in a mason jar and cover, leave in your fridge and enjoy with coffee!