Kombucha tea is made by putting something called a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) or a kombucha mushroom in brewed tea with sugar. This SCOBY looks like a gelatinous mat, anywhere from white to beige to peach to brown, and anywhere from a few milimeters to an inch or more in thickness. The beneficial bacteria and yeast in the culture convert the sugar, tannins, and caffeine in the tea to beneficial substances for your body, after a period of fermentation at room temperature- anywhere from 2 to 7 days, depending on the temperature/season.
I'd read about something similar to kombucha- what people call coffeebucha, which is making kombucha with coffee instead of with tea. Coffee has the tannins and caffeine that the kombucha mushroom needs to survive, so the kombucha mushroom thrives in coffee. I've read, though, that once you switch your kombucha mushroom from tea to coffee you can't switch it back, but I'm not sure about that. Either way, don't use your only SCOBY to make cofeebucha- use a spare.
All the recipes I've read for making coffeebucha called for brewed coffee, but what can I say? I'm a cheapskate, and instant coffee is much cheaper locally than brewed coffee (not to mention easier) so that is what I buy. And I made my coffeebucha with instant coffee instead of brewed coffee and it works just fine.
The taste is like a slightly sour coffee. Slightly less bitter than the average coffee. I don't like unsweetened coffee- I think its nasty- but am able to drink and enjoy coffeebucha, even once the sugar is converted to acid and it no longer is sweet.
If you want a sweeter version, just add more sugar to your recipe and don't brew for so long. If you want to use brewed coffee, just use that in place of the water, and leave out the instant coffee. This will not work with decaf coffee, as the mushroom needs caffeine.
I have drank my coffeebucha with almond milk in it, and it was really yummy- I assume it would also work with cow's milk, though I can't promise it won't curdle the milk.
Homemade Coffeebucha- Coffee Kombucha Recipe- Fermented Probiotic DrinkIngredients:
7-8 cups water
2-4 tablespoons instant coffee granules
1/2 cup sugar
1 kombucha mushroom
1. Mix cold water with the instant coffee and sugar in a half gallon glass jar.
2. Add the kombucha mushroom. Note- when you make kombucha tea you're supposed to leave some kombucha from a previous batch in as a starter, or add some vinegar, to inoculate it so it doesn't spoil before the kombucha probiotics have a chance to proliferate. However, coffee is acidic enough on its own that you don't need some liquid as a starter.
3. To be honest, I just dump in my water and instant coffee and sugar only my mushroom, and don't even mix it. I'm lazy and it works just as well.
4. Cover loosely with a cloth secured with a rubber band. Or if you're using a mason jar like I am with a cover, open the cover at least once a day, ideally twice a day, to "burp it" otherwise it can explode. (Mine doesn't explode because the rubber on the seal of mine is so old that it doesn't seal well, but I still burp it once or twice a day, just in case.)
5. After 2 or 3 days, taste it. If it is still sweet, let it keep fermenting longer (unless you want it sweet). When it reaches a flavor that is slightly acidic but not too sour, you can start drinking.
6. You can pour off your coffeebucha now and refrigerate it, and then add more coffee, sugar, and water to the jar to start your next batch fermenting. Or you can do it the lazy way like I do it- just drink from the jar until it is all finished, and only then start your next batch...
7. If your kombucha mushroom starts growing new "babies", you can use these babies, which are, in essence, new kombucha mushrooms, to start additional jars of coffeebucha.
Are you a fan of coffee in general? Ever hear of kombucha before? How about coffeebucha? Ever taste it or make it? Do you like it? Does coffeebucha sound like something you'd want to try?
Don't know where to get your hands on a kombucha mushroom? Here's a tutorial how you can grow your own kombucha mother.
Linking up to Real Food Wednesday and Allergy Free Wednesday.