240g sugar
1760g (1760ml) filtered water
2g Earl Grey tea
6g therapeutic herb tea
200g (200ml) previously made kombucha or a shop-bought one that has not been heat treated or pasteurised and is a natural flavour
1 scoby

Use this base method to experiment with tea infusions. This recipe requires a scoby. If you don’t already have one, you’ll need to obtain a portion from someone who already makes kombucha. Alternatively, scobies can be bought online. Once you have one, you’re good to go as it will reproduce another scoby to the size of your vessel each time you make a batch. This can then be used to increase your kombucha range. Remember, the scoby will take on the flavour of the kombucha and will impart this to the following batch, so if you make a strong kombucha like a cascara and vanilla or a deeply coloured one like a hibiscus flower, keep the scoby for that use only.

Here, I’ve used an organic therapeutic herbal tea containing passion flower, lemon balm, chamomile, lavender, liquorice and St John’s wort, which makes an amazing light, floral kombucha that is good for relaxation, stress and calming tension. If you wish to make classic kombucha, use 8g of either Earl Grey or black tea.

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1.Make a syrup by boiling the sugar in 240ml of the water.
2.Remove from the heat and add both teas to the syrup, stirring to combine. Allow to infuse for 10 minutes.
3.Add remaining water to bring down the temperature and leave for a further 10 minutes.
4.Strain the tea through a fine sieve lined with butter muslin into a sterilised 3L glass container with a large opening as the scoby needs oxygen to do its thing.
5.Do not use a metal container as it can react with the ingredients.
6.Add the previously made or bought kombucha and stir to combine.
7.Add the scoby and cover the container with a clean piece of butter muslin held in place with string or a rubber band, not a sealed lid.
8.Leave at room temperature in a dark place such as a cupboard for 8-10 days until the kombucha is acidic and slightly vinegary (I personally go for 8 days as this is the flavour profile I prefer).
9.When the kombucha is to your taste, remove the scoby with gloved hands and reserve 200ml of the mixture for the next batch.
10.Decant into swing-top bottles, seal and store in a refrigerator.
11.Use immediately or keep for up to a week.
12.Note: When the kombucha is ready, it will be noticeably sour and have some vinegar aroma, with a bit of residual sweetness. If it is very sweet, it is not finished yet, and if the vinegariness is very irritating or pungent, it has over-fermented.
13.If you are not going to use the scoby immediately, store it in a muslin-covered container, covered in a syrup made from 800ml water and 200g sugar brought to a boil and cooled to room temperature before being added to the scoby. scoby. It will keep for 2-3 weeks.
14.To keep it longer, make up a fresh sugar syrup and transfer the scoby to this new solution.

Recipes & food styling Russell Holder / Photography Manja Wachsmuth

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