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Using essential oils in food is actually VERY common. Chances are even though you don't think you've ever experienced let alone ingested essential oils, well... you probably have.
Majority of the packaged foods in the supermarkets are flavoured with essential oils. It's the most efficient way to get massive flavour using very little of the product (just 1 drop of peppermint oil is the equivalent of 25-28 cups of peppermint tea 🍃).
To make kombucha you simply need:
1 SCOBY (just get it from a friend - or message me as I usually have spares along with starter liquid)
1/3 cup starter liquid (this is simply some of a previous batch)
2L glass jar (sterilised with boiling water - not detergent)
4 organic black tea bags
1/2 cup organic sugar
Bring your water to boil with the sugar in a large saucepan/pot. Make sure sugar is dissolved and once boiling turn off the heat and place your 4 organic black tea bags in the pot.
Set a timer for 20 minutes to let the tea steep.
Remove the tea bags after 20 minutes.
Let the tea come down to room temperature - this may take a while. You can transfer into your 2L glass jug now if you like WITHOUT the scoby in there but I just leave my saucepan on the stovetop while it cools down.
Once it's at room temperature, pour your liquid into your 2L glass jug and place your SCOBY in there too.
Place a muslin/cotton cloth over the top of the jug and secure with an elastic band. We don't want to put a lid on yet as gases will be created in the fermentation process.
Place it in a cool place out of direct sunlight and wait 7-14 days for it to ferment! If the weather is warm it may ferment faster, and vice versa.
Once it has fermented enough to your liking, divide the mix into bottles and place lids on them and leave them out overnight for the 'second ferment'. This step captures the gases in the bottles and makes it fizzy!
And then you just repeat the process, making sure you keep 1/3 cup of the liquid in order to make your next batch. A new SCOBY will form after each batch.
The SCOBY will 'eat' the majority of the sugar in the recipe, but there will be a little bit left at the end - enough for it to taste delicious!
I love Ginger & Lemon kombucha, but you could also flavour this with Lime, Grapefruit or Wild Orange as well (which kind of ends up tasting like fruit cup cordial..!). Safe to say summer drinks are going to be lit this year.
FYI: SCOBY stands for symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast.