TOKENS - MYSTERY. ALCHEMY. MAGIC. KOMBUCHA

Kombucha has perpetuated from a single, mysterious {SCOBY} mother. She changes in each hand, becoming an expression of each alewive's way, but is always packed with probiotics & healthy yeasts to create a rocking immune system. I learned this from my mother, & Molly, my very first blogging friend that became a sister I could run to for dialogue & nurturing. Again. More of the lineage I am so grateful for. (Are you tracking your own?)

First, let's look at cross-pollination & alchemy-as-medicine. This is Standing in Our Power, a network created by my co-facilitant & business partner Taij Kumarie Moteelal, a lifetime achievement-award-winning activist, fundraiser, performing artist & founder of Black Out Arts Collective and Media Sutra. Be sure to watch the whole thing through, because it shows how your healthy movement will lead to the fulfillment of other movements & the kind of deep healing that moves in waves, not trickles. 

So I the kombucha mother comes from the same source, the same Eternal essence that brings us the capacity to gather, cross-pollinate, co-create & grow life. I invite you into the ancient tradition of the alewife, she who brews medicine as a vocation, as a symbolic practice. It's a learning curve, even though it is simple. There's as many tips as there are women who brew. And yet my recipe is naked, but it also works. It's easy to let your kombucha go, turn sour, or even dry up. Even if you already brew, your kombucha is a parallel for your work, & the patient attentiveness needed to create an elixir that feeds others. 

I like to think that my daily Sun Bowl feeds me, and is a co-creation between my past iterations & the elements, as well as a gift from the plants themselves. My daily kombucha is a chance for me to see & remember how a healthy business works: I gather the pieces. I feed the mother (source idea) what it needs (the caffeine + sugar = what ever initial investments are needed, like education, software, materials), & carefully attend to it's environment & be patient, I taste it at the right times (check-in with my business measures), & re-bottle it (package/promote), along with a little sugar for fizz (up level, make it better, more inspiring for me, bring in some fun), & then more waiting + tasting. Finally, there's a constant supply of medicine + returns. 

These are my analogies, how the kombucha lives for me. It informs how I'm creating, what's alchemizing, & also keeps me well. You'll feel into your own analogies. For instance, sometimes D feels like we've turned into a factory, & if our family bandwidth is stretched, I see it sends him into the panic zone to see so many bottles everywhere. So I stop production, throw the mother into the fridge & drink store-bought kombucha. For me, that cycle symbolizes my own creative chaos + a rest period. I move thru feelings of feeling victim, resentment & then gratitude. The key thing for me is to get mine. It's my daily treat, my medicine, & symbolic of my ability to generate & receive in*flow.

 

SUPER SIMPLE KOMBUCHA

gather:

hum your prayers:

  1.  Boil 1 gallon of filtered water  and allow to cool slightly.
  2.  Steep your tea in the hot water for 3-5 minutes.   
  3.  Remove the tea bags, squeezing them over the pot before discarding them.  
  4. Add sugar, stirring until dissolved.  Pour the tea into your glass container.
  5. Allow tea to cool to room temperature.  Note, this can take awhile but it's worth the wait, be patient! 
  6. Pour your SCOBY and it's liquid into your cooled sweet tea.  
  7. Cover your container with a clean lint free towel, attached with a rubber band or kitchen twine.  Place on your kitchen counter where it will get good air but not get sloshed around a bunch. 
  8. Wait between 3 and 10 days depending on the weather.  Your kombucha will be ready when a new SCOBY has formed on the top and a few bubbles appear near the surface.  You can test your kombucha to make sure it's ready, it should taste much less sweet and slightly tangy but not like vinegar (that has gone too long and you might want to use your SCOBY to brew a fresh batch).  
  9. You can drink your kombucha now or bottle it to add flavor and bubbles!
  10. Once it's in bottles, I just add a few super-clean slices of ginger, oranges, or a tablespoon of pomegranates. Those are my favorite. The more juice sugar, the more carbonation. 

 

Helpful Kombucha Brewing Tips:

 

  • Avoid mold:  the one thing that can totally ruin your kombucha is mold.  If your home is fairly hot and humid, add a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to your brew to help fight it off.  Also, never store your brew near a fruit bowl where that off orange at the bottom could contaminate it (maybe that's just me).  Furthermore, sometimes as a SCOBY is developing it has white patches that might seem like mold, don't worry if you have mold you will know, it will get all hairy!
  • Weather:  I have successfully brewed kombucha in a cool winter home and a hot summer kitchen with no problems.  Generally speaking it just takes a lot longer in the cold.
  • Dividing and storing SCOBY: once your brew is finished and you're ready to move on to bottling you will have SCOBY for another batch or two.  Be sure to reserve at least 1 cup of liquid with each SCOBY (you can even cut a SCOBY in half) and either brew more tea right away, store it on the counter covered with a cloth, or for longer term storage, place it in the refrigerator. 

Happy Alewifing.

Maya