When I was a kid, I remember my dad making what he called “Hippy Mushroom Tea”. He kept jars of his pet “Scoby” on the counter. He praised it for its cleansing effect on the body organs. He thought that this drink was the fountain of youth.
I thought that this gelatinous creature that he tended to-about once a week was just gross! I was a young teenager with hobbies of my own, so I could not care less about the golden drink that he was so excited about. Now I wish that he had kept it up, and that I had learned from him.
It was not long after dad passed on; that I ran across a friend who was herself “in love” with this pet. She taught me how to keep a pet scoby of my own, and I have been brewing “Kombucha” ever since.
The name “Scoby” is a nonscientific term for “symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast”. This colony comes together in the form of something that looks like a jelly fish. Mushrooms are fungi, so I have a hard time referring to it as a “mushroom” as many people do.
When a scoby is fed a mixture of sweetened tea, it will consume the mixture and excrete probiotics that are healing to our gut, and cleansing to our organs (so I am told). It becomes a sweet/tart fizzy beverage that replaces soda in my house. It also produces a new scoby called a “baby”. Now you have a mother and a baby, and you can use both to make more jars of kombucha, or use one to teach a friend; to get her started with her own brewing project.
Here is how my friend taught me how to make kombucha.