With summer now in full swing, I’ve been experimenting with making one of my favourite drinks to enjoy on the backyard patio—kombucha. Not only is kombucha relatively easy to make, there are also several reported health benefits including improved digestion and immune system support. Interested in learning more? Read on…

Before you get started on your kombucha-making journey, you’ll need to track down a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast). In my experience, there’s usually a friend of a friend who has an extra SCOBY they’re willing to part with! Pro tip: if getting a SCOBY from a friend, ask for 2 cups of starter tea to use in your first batch!

To make your first batch of kombucha you will need:

  • 1 SCOBY
  • Water
  • Black tea (I use tea bags but you can use loose tea)
  • White sugar
  • Starter tea (either from a friend or a store-bought bottle of Kombucha)
  • A glass jar (I use a 4L pickle jar)
  • Cheesecloth or other tight-weaved cloth
  • Rubber-band
  • Flip-top glass bottles 

 For approximately a 1 Gallon batch you will need:

  • 8 tea bags (or 2 tbsp loose tea)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 13-14 cups water
  • 2 cups starter tea


**You will want to avoid using metal jars, utensils etc. when making your kombucha as it might be harmful to your SCOBY. Make sure your hands are clean i.e. no oils etc. on them before handling your SCOBY.

  1. Combine hot water and sugar and stir until sugar dissolves
  2. Add tea to sugar water to steep
  3. Cool mixture and remove tea bags 
  4. Add starter tea and SCOBY
  5. Cover jar with cheese-cloth or other cloth and secure with rubber-band
  6. Place tea away from direct sunlight (I store my jar in my pantry) for 7-10 days
  7. After 7-10 days transfer tea to flip-top bottles, leaving a few inches of space from the top and ensure that approximately 2 cups of the tea and the SCOBY are set aside for the next batch (to be kept in a sealed container in your fridge)

Once transferred to the flip-top bottles you can get creative and experiment with different types of flavouring. My personal favourite is lemon-ginger with strawberry-basil coming in a close second! If you’re looking to achieve that perfect level of fizz, make sure to take some time to read up on second fermentation techniques including ‘burping’ your kombucha—that is, opening up the lid to release the gas buildup. Finally, don’t be discouraged if your first batch doesn’t turn out quite as you had expected (my first batch had little to no carbonation and my second batch yielded quite the opposite result!) With a little practice and creativity you’ll have that perfect summer drink mastered in no time!

This blog post was written by Shay Boechler, Power To Be‘s Advancement Coordinator. A native of B.C., Shay is passionate about supporting communities through increased access to inclusive outdoor programming.