Currently showing posts tagged Rose

  • Fun with Flowers + Tree Barks

    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.

  • Rose, Cardamom, Hibiscus + Ginger Infusion

    2017. Time to move beyond 2016 (maybe 2015, too). It is my goal to keep this space updated with my adventures in kombucha, simple or complex. Because cultured food is our culture!

    So, I'll keep it short and sweet for this post: rose! cardamom! hibiscus! ginger! This infusion, made from a kombucha brewed with some unknown origins black tea (prettttty sure it was some "Black Tea" I picked up at Bushel & Pecks, to which according to the helpful people who work htere, is from Ancora Coffee & Tea in Madison). My proportions were the "usual suspects": 4 TB tea, 3/4 cup sugar, and enough water to bring the sweet tea up to about 4" below the top of my gallon brew jar. I allowed the tea to steep in water just off the boil for 5ish minutes (yep, going to track these things more diligently in 2017, promise!). The first ferment took foooorrreeeevvvveeerrrr because it was cold in my apartment. And I was basically living at my mom and dad's house for the holidays (because that is what you do when you decided to resign from your job a few days before Christmas...you know? Yep, that happened).

    Finally, after 12 days (think my SCOBY was playing a "12 days of Christmas" joke on me), my brew was ready to bottle and infuse. My stand-out infusion was a floral, herbal and spicy combination of dried organic rose petals, several smashed cardamom pods, a few large slices of organic ginger root, and two small pinches hibiscus flowers.After allowing the flavors to infuse for 4 days in my cold, cold apartment, I attempted to open the bottle to burp the beast and WOW. Kombucha....errrrrrywhere! To tame the fizzy fizzy frenzy, I placed the liter flip top in the fridge to simmah-down! After which I filtered through my Zimtal Nutmilk Bag (2 years strong this one is! Loving it for straining kombucha, nut and seed milks, and many other finely-strained items). I allowed the carbonation to build again for 1 day at room temperature, and...wow. This infusion will certainly appear again, but thinking with a green tea instead. I have a batch of Rishi Jade Oolong brewing right now, and hope to try this rose-forward infusion with this brew next. A great way to start the new year! I am 30-ish SCOBYs strong, have purchased another gallon brew jar, and am super excited to march into 2017, fermented tea in hand. Cheers (and seriously, if you are in the Madison/Beloit area, and want to brew kombucha, please reach out for a thriving SCOBY and tutorial).