Sugar Cane Juice Kombucha

Kombucha, a naturally fizzy and tangy fermented tea, has been enjoyed for centuries in various parts of the world. In this recipe, we’ll combine ancient recipes from Ukraine together with a staple summertime drink from Cambodia and create a delightful green tea and sugar cane juice kombucha, which combines the health benefits of green tea with the natural sweetness of cane sugar. It’s a refreshing and probiotic-rich beverage that’s easy to make at home.

Ingredients (for 1 gallon):

  • 4-5 green tea bags or 2 tablespoons loose leaf green tea
  • 2 cups of sugar cane juice
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast)
  • 2 cups of starter liquid (previously brewed kombucha or store-bought unpasteurized kombucha)
  • 1-gallon glass jar
  • Clean cloth or paper towel
  • Rubber band

Step-by-Step Guide:

  1. Gather Your Ingredients: Ensure you have all the ingredients ready, including green tea, cane sugar juice, a SCOBY, starter liquid, and a clean glass jar.
  2. Boil Water: Heat 3 cups of water to just below boiling (around 190°F or 88°C). Remove it from the heat source and let it cool for a minute or two.
  3. Steep Green Tea: Add the green tea bags or loose leaf tea to a heatproof container. Pour the hot water over the tea and let it steep for about 5-7 minutes. Remove the tea bags or strain the loose leaf tea.
  4. Mix Sugar Cane Juice: While the tea is still hot, add the sugar cane juice and stir until completely dissolved. This will be the food for the SCOBY during fermentation.
  5. Cool the Sweet Tea: Allow the sweetened tea to cool to room temperature. This may take a few hours. Do not rush this step, as hot tea can harm the SCOBY.
  6. Prepare the Fermentation Jar: Cleanse a 1-gallon glass jar with hot water to ensure it’s free from contaminants. Let it cool down.
  7. Add Sweet Tea: Pour the completely cooled sweet tea juice into the glass jar.
  8. Add Starter Liquid: Pour in the 2 cups of starter liquid (previously brewed kombucha or store-bought unpasteurized kombucha). The starter liquid helps lower the pH, creating an environment suitable for the SCOBY to thrive.
  9. Add SCOBY: Carefully place the SCOBY on top of the liquid. It may float or sink; either way is fine.
  10. Cover with Cloth: Cover the mouth of the jar with a clean cloth or paper towel, securing it with a rubber band. This allows air circulation while keeping out debris and insects.
  11. Fermentation Time: Place the jar in a warm, dark location (ideally around 75-85°F or 24-29°C) for 5-12 days. The longer you ferment, the less sweet and more tart the kombucha will become. Taste it after 5 days to check for your preferred level of tartness.
  12. Bottle Kombucha: Once the kombucha has reached your desired level of fermentation, carefully remove the SCOBY using clean hands. Reserve some of the liquid for your next batch as starter liquid.
  13. Flavor (Optional): If desired, you can flavor your kombucha by adding fruit juice, herbs, or spices at this stage. Transfer the kombucha to airtight bottles, leaving some space at the top.
  14. Second Fermentation (Optional): Seal the bottles and leave them at room temperature for 2-5 days for a second fermentation. This will carbonate the kombucha. Be cautious as pressure will build up, so burp the bottles daily to release gas.
  15. Chill and Serve: After the second fermentation (or straight from the first fermentation), refrigerate your kombucha. This slows down the fermentation process and chills the beverage. Serve it cold, garnished with a slice of lime if desired.
  16. Enjoy: Sip on your homemade Sugar Cane Juice Kombucha and relish the fizzy, tangy, and slightly sweet flavors. It’s a nutritious and refreshing drink that you can enjoy anytime.


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