Kombucha is fermented tea, usually carbonated and flavored with different juices, fruits, and herbs. Kombucha is known for its probiotic properties, which are good for the tummy’s digestion. Though the drink is available in most grocery stores, purchasing it can be hard on the wallet if you’re totally kombucha-crazy, like me. In this article, I’ll teach you my way of making one of my favorite fermented drinks!

Kombucha Tea

  • Prep Time:14 days
  • Cook Time:30 mins
  • Total Time:14 days 30 mins
  • Servings:7
  • Medium


  • SCOBY symbiotic culture bacteria and yeast — I’ll talk more about this later.
  • 7 organic tea bags. Black and green teas work best in my experience. Stay away from herbal teas!
  • 1 cup pure raw cane sugar
  • 1 Sixteen-ounce bottle “starter tea." Just buy a bottle unflavored kombucha.
  • Ingredients to flavor your kombucha. Some my favorite flavor combos are lemon/ginger strawberry/blackberry lime/agave/sea salt pineapple/mango and lavender.
  • A one-cup measuring cup
  • A liquid measuring cup like a Pyrex.
  • A large pot
  • A mixing spoon
  • Paper towels
  • Rubber bands
  • Strainer
  • Funnel
  • Either 1 wide mouth one-gallon glass jar or 2 sixty-ounce jars. Look for these in thrift stores or use a big empty pickle jar like I do!
  • 7 sixteen-ounce glass bottles with lids. I use my empty store-bought kombucha bottles.
  • A dark place to store your kombucha as it ferments. I use an empty cabinet in my kitchen but under your bed or in a closet can work too.
Lauren Hughes
  • Step 1

    Using your wet ingredient measuring cup, pour 14 cups of water into a large pot and boil it. Once it reaches a boil, pour 1 cup of sugar in and stir until it dissolves. Turn the heat off and put the 7 tea bags in for 5–6 minutes, depending on how strong you want your tea. Set aside.

    kettle, tea, beer, coffee, pizza
    Lauren Hughes
  • Step 2

    Once your sweet tea has cooled, pour your unflavored kombucha “starter tea” into the pot and stir it. You’ll need to work a little fast here, as kombucha doesn’t do very well when it comes into contact with metal. Try to pour your tea solution into your glass jar quickly.

  • Step 3

    Wash your hands with gentle soap. You want to make sure your SCOBY doesn’t get contaminated with any weird germs. Gently take the SCOBY and lay it in the jar full of tea. It will eventually float to the top and form a pretty circle.

    flour, dairy product, dough, pastry, sweet
    Lauren Hughes
  • Step 4

    Take 2–3 sheets of paper towel and fit them around the jar’s opening. Secure with a rubber band. The paper towel makes sure the carbon dioxide can be released, and makes sure bugs can’t get into it. Don’t seal your jar with the metal lid it came with! Store the jar in a dark place where it won’t be disturbed.

    apple, honey, tea
    Lauren Hughes
  • Step 5

    Now, as with brewing any beverage, you have to wait a little. I typically check the strength of my kombucha after 5–7 days. Pour a little into a cup and see what you think. If it still tastes like sweet tea, that means there’s still some sugar that the SCOBY has yet to eat and it might not have as many probiotics. Really strong tea gets vinegar-y and kind of nasty tasting, so make sure you don’t brew it for too long. I like my kombucha brewed between 7–10 days.

  • Step 6

    After you’ve tasted your kombucha and are pleased with it, you get to have some fun experimenting. Take your jar and the 7 sixteen-ounce bottles and pour two cups of kombucha into each bottle using your funnel.

    There should be another 2 cups of your kombucha left over afterwards. Set this aside to continue brewing a new batch (see step 1 above).

    alcohol, beer, wine
    Lauren Hughes
  • Step 7

    Now’s the fun part — flavor your kombucha to your heart’s content. Making sure you leave an inch or two of space in the bottle, you can puree berries, juice some lemon into it, grate some ginger, or add a few sprigs of your favorite herb. Take it easy on the flavors, as they seem to get more powerful after the second fermentation. In my experience, a slice of citrus, a small handful of berries, and a teaspoon of ginger give my kombucha sufficient flavor.

    Lauren Hughes
  • Step 8

    Making sure you have left a few inches of space in your bottle, screw the lid back on tightly and store the bottles and now-full jar back in its dark area. This second fermentation will infuse your kombucha with flavor, as well as give it a light, bubbly taste. This part only needs 1–3 days.

  • Step 9

    You’ll want to make sure you do this process a few days after the second fermentation, because if you let the bottle sit for too long there’s a risk of the glass bottles exploding. Not to worry folks — just be careful.

  • Step 10

    Take your bottles and very carefully unscrew the lids. You might want to do this over a sink in case it leaks out. Take your strainer and place it over your liquid measuring cup. Pour the kombucha through the strainer to catch any fruit pulp, herbs, or SCOBY pulp. This will ensure your kombucha is nice and smooth. Use a funnel to pour the kombucha back into its respective bottle. Rinse out your tools and repeat until all bottles have been strained and re-bottled.

    cream, sweet, juice, milk
    Lauren Hughes
  • Step 11

    Make sure each lid is on tightly and refrigerate. Drink when cool. Enjoy your homemade kombucha!

    Lauren Hughes