By Charlotte Pike | November 24, 2015
Kombucha is a delicious fermented sweet tea. It is made using a scoby (Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria and Yeast), which can either be bought or passed on from a friend. The scoby looks unusual, but it produces the most delicious drink that is lightly effervescent and tastes of apples. You will need a small amount of kombucha to start a batch, so this is a great recipe to do with your friends and share among one another. Scobies can be peeled in half, or cut into quarters and pieces passed on to make another batch.


  • 2 heaped tablespoons black loose-leaf tea (I use English Breakfast)
  • 1 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1 quart boiling water
  • 1 quart filtered water
  • 1 scoby or scoby piece (available online)
  • 1 cup Kombucha (available online, or from a friend)
  • you will need a 3-quart glass Le-Parfait-style jar with a rubber seal, sterilized


Put the tea, sugar, and boiling water in a pitcher and stir well to dissolve the sugar. Set aside to infuse and cool to room temperature.

Strain the tea into a 3-quart glass jar and add the remaining ingredients. Stir well with a wooden spoon and then fasten the lid. 

Set aside to ferment on the kitchen countertop for 5 days, after which time the kombucha will smell appley and lightly vinegary, and look clearer and more orange in color.

I prefer to drink the kombucha at the younger stage, after 5 days, however you can leave it to ferment for up to 2 weeks if you wish. You will find that the flavor will become progressively more vinegary and effervescent the longer the kombucha ferments. I recommend starting by drinking 1/2 cup (no more) of kombucha. Reserve 1 cup of the kombucha to make a second batch.

Excerpted from Fermented: A Beginner's Guide to Making Your Own Sourdough, Yogurt, Sauerkraut, Kefir, Kimchi and More by Charlotte Pike. Photography by Tara Fisher. Kyle Books, 2015.

  • kombucha recipe by Charlotte Pike