RECIPE: Kombucha


With thanks to Alice MacKinnon

At Cookery School we teach to empower so that everyone has the confidence to replicate recipes again and again at home. We also teach by principle – if you can understand how  the fermentation process works, you can make a whole range of different ferments using the same principle.

During our time at home, in isolation, these principles have never been more pertinent, when we all need to cook a lot more. We will be sharing simple, home-cooked weekly recipes with you, so that your experience of cooking during Covid-19 is a positive one, with new recipes learnt and delicious dishes enjoyed.

Kombucha: basic principles

• You can’t make kombucha without scoby: the Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast — hence the name SCOBY is key to the fermentation process

• Kombucha contains a very small amount of alcohol — the level will vary according to the brewing time and other variables.

• If you want to keep a scoby, place it in a glass jar with enough kombucha to cover and store in the fridge. You can keep it in this way for up to two weeks.


2 tbsp best-quality black tea
500ml boiled, filtered water
200g unbleached cane sugar (not coconut sugar or other sugar replacements)
230ml previously brewed kombucha (you can use store-bought if it’s your first time making kombucha)
1 x scoby
Fruit or vegetable juice, to flavour (optional)


1. Put the tea in 1 x 1-gallon glass jar and pour in the boiling water, then leave to steep for at least 30 mins. Strain out the tea leaves, add the cane sugar and stir well to dissolve. Add the previously brewed batch of kombucha and top up with cold water until there’s a small (maximum 2-inch) gap left between the liquid and the rim of the jar.

2. Check the temperature of the liquid; it should be cool and not too warm. Wash your hands and carefully add the scoby, then cover with a muslin and secure around the neck of the jar. Keep the kombucha at room temperature for at least 10 days. If you want it sweeter, stop the process at that point; if you prefer it to be sourer, leave for 15-20 days.

3. When the kombucha is to your liking, move the scoby and 2 cups of the batch to a clean glass jar. Store the rest in the fridge.

4. Remember to always remove the scoby before flavouring your kombucha. If you’d like to flavour it, combine your chosen fruit or vegetable juice with the fermented kombucha. The ratio of juice-to-kombucha should be around 1:8. Once flavoured, seal the container and leave for around 3 days at room temperature.


Cooking during Covid-19
We have a wealth of experience to share in these unprecedented times if you need help cooking during Coronavirus. We’ll be giving you tips and recipes on using store cupboard ingredients, preserving, pickling & above all making the most of your valuable ingredients & not wasting food. PLEASE let us have YOUR questions and SHARE on Facebook or Instagram what you’ve been cooking & our founder Rosalind will be able to get back to you with answers so we can all learn from each other.

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