Kombucha Crazy

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So, I’ve become a bit of an addict.  A kombucha addict.  Who knew some fermented tea would make a girl so happy?  But it does.  And I’m too cheap to buy it.  A friend told me someone at the market in Shediac was selling it for $20 a bottle.  Ummm…yeah, I’ll make my own, thanks.  My friend Stacy gifted me a scoby and some starter tea back in February and I’ve been brewing ever since.  I’ve experimented with a few things and now I’ve got it down to what I like.

IMG_20160619_113522Generally, I like to start with a plain black tea, so I’ve been using a strongly brewed English Breakfast for the most part, and I let mine ferment for about 10 or so days.  Once it hits the 14 day mark, I find it’s getting a bit too vinegar-y for my taste.  So I strain, bottle and drink like crazy.  I don’t always do a second ferment, because it’s pretty good all by it’s lonesome, but add in some strawberries or flavoured tea and let sit for a few days and bam!  Fruity deliciousness.  And fizzy, fruity deliciousness at that.  If kombucha brewing is up your alley and you want to find out more, check out http://www.kombuchakamp.com or http://www.culturesforhealth.com.  Those are great resources.  I’ve also joined a couple of kombucha brewing groups on Facebook, and they’ve been a great source of inspiration.

Since I’ve started my kombucha addiction, I’ve had a lot of friends ask how to get started.  One thing that happens when you brew your own is that you may eventually be over run by extra scobys.  I’m going to be adopting mine out this weekend.  On Sunday, I’ve got some friends coming over to learn how to make their own.  And they all get their own scoby and starter tea to take home.  Awe!  Scoby babies are heading to new kombucha families!

20160530_141318This was the first little scoby I put in here.  The jar is now almost packed solid with them.  My husband says he will be glad to see the “jelly fish” disappear from the pantry cupboard.  But I’m sure it won’t take long for more to take their place.  I may have to do a kombucha how to party every couple of months if my brew keeps going this well.  Today, I’ve got three gallon jars on top of my fridge brewing.  One is English Breakfast black tea, one is Classic Sencha green tea (and the scobys are so white!!!) and the third one is a mix of the two teas.  It will be fun to see what everyone prefers.

Do you brew your own?  I’d love to hear about your experiences!

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Strawberry kombucha

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I’m back!

It’s been awhile!  So much has gone on in the last little while, I’ve had a hard time keeping up.  Some of the biggies:  my two oldest children have graduated high school and are now starting their adult lives.  Exciting, scary, and so many other emotions over that.  So now I’ve just got my little man at home, and wow, is it ever weird only having one child to look after.  I haven’t lived that since I was 23, so it’s taking some serious getting used to.  But it is also giving me more opportunities to work on other things, like my business, my canning hobby, and then adding new things.  So here is what I’m up to.

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Gingerbread Pu’erh tea.

I have started my new career as a tea match maker.  I’m a Group Director with Steeped Tea, so I help match people with the perfect tea for them.  It’s been over a year and a half now, and it’s phenomenal.  I love my job, I love the people I get to connect with, and I can’t live without the tea.  It’s been such a great year with the company that I actually earned a trip to Hawaii (!!!!!)  So this has been an amazing decision for me and my family.  I am so very grateful for it.

 

I am also so very grateful for the opportunity to go to Orange County California to become a Master Food Preserver.  Since nothing like this exists in Canada that I can find, it was an unbelievable chance of a lifetime.  I can’t say enough about how incredible the team at the Master Food Preservers/Master Gardeners program at the University of California, Irvine campus, are.  Truly above and beyond.  Cinda, who not only spent a week teaching us but welcomed us into her home with her family, is likely one of the loveliest people I’ve ever been blessed to meet.  I’ll do a whole post just on this experience because it was AMAZING.   I have now gone down the rabbit hole of fermenting and dehydrating as well.

Yep.  My husband thinks our fridge now looks like a science experiment and that I’ve turned our house into a lab.  But it’s all pretty tasty.  I’ve got kombucha, ginger beer, and sauerkraut fermenting and I’ve got the dehydrater going pretty much every day.  Everything from chanterelles, fruit leather, and dog treats.  Love, love, love it.  I have so many jars in my pantry right now full of tiny dehydrated things.  Like, did you know you can fit 20 stalks of rhubarb into a pint jar when dehydrated?  It’s true!

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I’ve also been going pretty hard core with a lot of projects for a long time, so I’m learning to step back and look after myself.  That’s a hard one!  You’d think it would be easy to care for yourself.  But for me, not so much.  So this is a real learning experience.  And one I struggle with every day.  I’m getting back into a daily yoga practice and walking every day, just to have a few moments alone with myself and my thoughts.  I’d love to hear what works for you to feel relaxed, centred and healthy.