If you are into health and wellness, it is really hard not to hear the word kombucha. Within the last five years or so, I would say the fermented tea drink has really gained mainstream attention with various brands now sold at most retailers and coffee shops. For some, the taste may take a minute to get used to as you tell yourself how good it is for you. After all, with each sip, you’re consuming a rich dose of probiotics and antioxidants. Other benefits noted but not medically proven include the
From what history tells us, kombucha has been consumed for thousands of years and thought to originate in either China or Japan. Today, there are more than 10 brands on the shelves with more waiting to introduce themselves in the future. I have personally tried at least five of them with Revive Kombucha being one of my favorites for the smoothness and flavor. I am especially hooked on the Hibiscus Refresher.
An Evening of Kombucha
I had a chance to learn more about the brand and expand my Revive Kombucha experience during a fun evening hosted by founders Rebekah and Sean Lovett. With music being a big part of their brewing process, myself along with the other guests got into the groove while tasting three kombucha cocktails. It would be a first for me. Hibiscus Fritz, Mandarin Mule and Kombucha Libre were generously crafted by Christy of The Shared Sip. They would also be the pairing stars for our small bites that included housemade naan with cilantro-mint chutney, aloo tikki with green chutney and curried socco lamb pizzas with sweet and spicy beet spread. The pairings with the Indian dishes proved to be quite tasty.
During the evening, rumors start to spread that we would have an opportunity to make our own kombucha, a testament to how easy it actually is to brew at home. I froze because it just sounded so scary. But actually, it wasn’t so keep reading to see how I actually did.
Sean explained the process that they go through when making Revive that is based in Petaluma Calif. Several chimed in to comment that they actually brew it at home on a regular basis. The evening indeed ended with a complete homebrewing kit in hand and I was off to create my own kombucha magic in the comfort of my own home.
From Humble Beginnings to Expansion
Started in 2010 as an idea to help people kick their soda habit, Revive Kombucha has always made it a mission to produce the best-tasting kombucha using the highest quality ingredients. From humble beginnings to recently having a majority stake acquired by Peet’s Coffee, the brand continues to be on the right track for expansion into new and convenient locations. Current retailers include Whole Foods, Safeway and Trader Joe’s as well as Peet’s Coffee and regional grocers.
Just this week, the company announced its latest brand addition, sparkling kombucha. Available in 12-ounce cans, Revive Sparking Kombucha comes in four unique flavors: Mango Orange, Cherry Hibiscus, Strawberry Lemon, and Citrus Ginger with only five grams of sugar, 20 calories per can and five billion live probiotics to support digestive and immune health.
When at Home… Brew.
Remember when I said brewing kombucha at home is not as hard as it seems? It really isn’t. So trust me, if I can do it, anyone can. A few things to remember are:
- Please follow directions so that the kombucha is prepared correctly. This includes creating the right environment for the SCOBY to thrive and not over fermenting. When it is not made correctly, it can cause an upset stomach or even more serious health issues.
- Kombucha may contain up to 3% alcohol. Commercial brands such as Revive are regulated to have less than .5%.
Now, on to the process. Here is what you will need as provided by Revive:
Ingredients and Equipment
- 1 SCOBY(Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast. It feeds on sugar to produce natural probiotics, carbonation and trace amounts of alcohol. You can purchase it on Amazon.
- 1 gallon filtered water
- 1 cup starter liquid (liquid in which the SCOBY is stored in). You can purchase with your SCOBY.
- 1/8 cup loose tea (black, yerba mate, or
genmaicha) and tea ball infuser
- 1 cup organic cane sugar
- 1 gallon glass vessel
- Muslin cloth (to cover for fermentation)
- Adhesive thermometer (to apply on the vessel)
- Heat belt (if needed otherwise room temperature is fine)
- pH strips
- Bring water to a boil in a stainless steel pot (about 25 minutes).
- Remove the pot from heat and add sugar stirring lightly for about 10 minutes.
- Add tea in tea ball infuser and steep for 5 – 10 minutes or to taste.
- Allow tea to cool under 78 degrees (about 20 – 30 minutes).
- Transfer to the glass vessel.
- Add SCOBY without the starter liquid.
- Cover with
muslincloth (keep warm between 68 – 75 degrees. (Use a heater belt if you have one).
- Ferment for 7- 14 days.
- Taste and test starting on the 7th day with pH strips for a reading between 3.1-3.7.
- When ready, transfer into bottles and refrigerate.
- Place SCOBY back in starter liquid or add to next batch.
Total process will take about 1 ½ to 1 ¾ hours.
Here is what I currently have brewing. Stay tuned for an update after day seven!
Now if this is a little too much, remember you can always grab a couple of bottles of Revive Kombucha at a retailer near you.