Basic Kombucha

Hand holding tea kombucha SCOBY with kombucha tea.
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Prep Time:
15 minutes prep time + up to 5 weeks ferment time
makes about 1 quart
Recipe Source:


  • 1 qt filtered water or spring water
  • 4 green tea bags or 1 Tbsp plus 2 tsp loose-leaf green tea
  • 14 cup raw or white sugar
  • 14 cup kombucha starter culture liquid
  • 1 kombucha Mother, a little smaller than size of your palm


Primary Fermentation

  1. Bring 2 cups of filtered water to a simmer. Pour into a teapot or heatproof bowl, add tea bags or tea leaves, and leave to steep for 3 to 5 minutes.
  2. Strain tea into a heatproof 6-cup wide-mouth glass jar and discard tea bags or tea leaves. Add sugar to jar and stir to dissolve. Pour in remaining filtered water.
  3. When liquid has cooled to room temperature, add kombucha starter culture liquid and kombucha Mother.
  4. Cover jar with a piece of cheesecloth and secure with a rubber band.
  5. Place jar out of direct sunlight in a cool spot where it won’t be disturbed. Leave liquid to ferment for around 4 days in hot weather and 14 to 20 days in cooler weather.


  1. Gently remove kombucha Mother and reuse it immediately or discard.
  2. Retain 14 cup of kombucha liquid as starter culture liquid for your next brew. Mix in any sediment that has settled at bottom of jar, or leave as is.
  3. Put a funnel in opening of a 1-quart glass bottle with a tight-fitting lid and put a strainer on top of funnel. Pour kombucha into bottle through strainer and discard any solids.
  4. Continue with recipe step 2 for Green Tea Kombucha with Apple.


In kombucha brewing, the sugars convert into acids, leaving a low-sugar drink. If you want to make a vinegar or a totally sugar-free product, allow it to ferment for several weeks and use the kombucha vinegar in salad dressings.