So, January has come and gone....and 2017 has entered with a little more turmoil and uncertainty that I would have liked. BUT! We are keeping strong, and we are brewing kombucha. And by "we" I mean the brewing population at large in the world. I like to think I am part of a larger community of folks that find brewing kombucha satisfying, relaxing, rewarding, gratifying, fulfilling...
And I think a big part of being a member of this collective, widespread community is sharing. I have shared several of my SCOBYs, and have taught 4 people how to brew kombucha. And that thought makes me smile! Also, knowing two of my SCOBYs are in Brazil, being nurtured and meticulously cared for by being fed lots of sugar, green tea and yerba mate makes me so, so happy. Spreading the love of cultured tea as it has been for hundreds of years! So, so cool...right?
Besides sharing the love, I have been brewing a lot as well. My SCOBYs have been a bit sluggish, likely due to the fact that my apartment was cooler, buuut I am moving (again!) to a warmer, brighter new place that I hope my SCOBYs will like. And I promised them we would stay for a while there, since I am sure moving is stressful for them, too. (yes, I do talk to my SCOBYs).What else? I purchased another gallon brew jar, and have recently taken up the habit of brewing one black/oolong batch, and one green batch. By doing this, I have noticed that my SCOBYs LOVE the shit out of green tea! A new layer of growth is noticeable within a day, and it is thick, resiliant and bright white after 7ish days of brewing, even despite the cooler temperatures.
In efforts to shake things up a bit, I decided to infuse my last two batches with various flowers and barks. The results were quite tasty...with my favorite being the green tea (brewed with Jade Cloud from Rishi) infused with jasmine flowers (picture is above). Light, floral and refreshing. Runner-up, and from the same batch of Jade Cloud kombucha: rose, juniper berry, cardamom. I love NessAlla's version, so I though, why not try it myself? It was pine-y, floral and totally sip-able. I would wager it would make a great mixer with some gin and perhaps some lime or lemon. And the experiment of the bunch: sassafras! I love a good rootbeer, and sassafras bark (a deciduous north american tree) is a big component of traditionally brewed root beers. I combined it with ginger, cardamom and just a hint of ground clove. This infusion was based on a kombucha brewed from a combination of (unkonw sources of) darjeeling tea and yerba mate from Brazil, and it was spicy, earthy and complex! It needs some tweaking, but is on the right track for a true root beer-ish kombucha.Wishing you all happy brewing! In the meantime, I'll be helping my SCOBYs adjust to a new city, a new apartment, and a new enviroment! Wish us luck.