Introduction to Homebrewed Kombucha

“Things have a life of their own,” the gypsy proclaimed with a harsh accent. “It’s simply a matter of waking up their souls.” – Gabriel Garcia Marquez –

1. To sit longer on the floor and listen to my heartbeat.

2. To quiet my mind listen to my friends’ voices, all of them, beautiful and strong, everyday.

3. To love with my whole body.

I find myself writing a lot of lists these days – groceries, priorities at work, cleaning duties, bills to pay, and phone calls that are overdue. I wrote the above list down yesterday afternoon while riding on the bus. I needed a list that spoke to practices of which I am dedicating myself.

The garden is birthing life right before our eyes. I caught a glimpse of a bee this morning gathering nectar from a squash flower. It amazes me that I am cultivating this vegetable garden in the city, where there are no mountains or dense forests or groves for miles. The neighbors sometimes watch me as a I drag the hose out front and tenderly check the progress of the sunflower and morning glories. They probably know I move to slow to be made of city. That my bones are crafted from tangled oak wood and sweet peas from my childhood.

I think the sun makes everything feel like a dream. Yesterday, my friends and I played soccer & had a picnic in the park. There was a long line of trees with an altar-like area at the end. I suggested to my friends that we should have a ceremony there – that we need to continue to imagine & dream of the communities in which we want to participate. I am trying to keep my imagination alive. To remind myself that somewhere in my skin is a little child dreaming of magic, climbing trees and covering myself in earth.

Last night we drove up to the lake & willfully ignored the signs for “No Swimming” – in New England there are more rules than my body is able to follow without feeling like a container of the state. We floated in the water & watched the sun go down. We talked about how in water – our bodies, as well as our thoughts, feel so much lighter and how it helps us forget the heaviness of living.

I am fixated on birth these days. Maybe it is from being a new uncle, or maybe it is how I am mesmerized with the process of birth as both a beginning, middle, and end. I think my life is full of this feeling – of always being in the three places at once, or none of them all at the same time.

As the sun went down the water was jet black & touched the tail end of the sky and stretched on for what seemed like forever. For a second, I sat in between the space where there is no beginning, middle, and end. There just is, without any question, what has always been there.

My soulwaking up to the life of its own.

— Homebrewed Kombucha: 5 Different Ways –


– 1 mother SCOBY (instructions on how to make one yourself below)
-1 gallon water
-1 cup sugar
– 6-8 tea bags (black, oolong, green, herbal)

– 1 gallon glass jar OR holding vessel
– 1 large pot to boil water
– cheesecloth
– strainer
– juicer (optional)

The first thing you are going to need is a SCOBY. A couple of years ago I was a neglectful SCOBY parent and mine molded and I was forced to get rid of it. I read somewhere online that you can buy a bottle of kombucha, drink it about halfway, cover the top with cheese cloth, and leave it out for a bit of time and a SCOBY will develop. After about 2-3 weeks of waiting this worked for me! I started out with G.T.’s Kombucha and worked my way from there.


Once you have your SCOBY you are all set to get brewing! In a large pot, boil 1 gallon of water. Some people prefer using distilled water, but I just use regular old tap water and nothing has happened to me yet…Once the water has boiled place 6-8 tea bags and let steep for 5-7 minutes. While the tea is steeping, mix in 1 cup of sugar until dissolved.


Pour the tea and sugar into a one gallon container. Let cool to room temperature. If you place the SCOBY in while the water is hot it will kill your SCOBY, and then you may be sad/frustrated/confused. I suggest doing laundry, going for a run, reading, working on an art project – anything except frequently checking the temperature.

Once the mixture has cooled, add SCOBY and leftover Kombucha. You will want to always keep your SCOBY and about 1 1/2 cups of Kombucha to use as a starter liquid for every batch. Cover with cheesecloth and let stand for 2-3 weeks, until you have carbonation and a deep amber color. Bottle in sterilized glass jars and enjoy 🙂

If you prefer flavored Kombucha, such as lemon, ginger, apple, or kale…you may want to partake in a second fermentation process. Once you have poured the Kombucha into jars add the juice of a lemon, a thumb-size of ginger, an apple, or handful of kale. Seal & let sit on the counter for 2-3 days. Refrigerate once done & enjoy!!!