Drink the Book: Orange Kombucha

Caroline Russock
  • 1/2 Cup  kombucha tea starter (see first step below)
  • kombucha tea starter culture (called "mother")
  •   Distilled white vinegar for rinsing equipment
  • 1 quart  spring water or filtered water
  • 1/4 Cup  sugar
  • black tea bags
  • 1/2 Cup  distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 Cup  orange juice
  • 1/2 cup kombucha tea starter (see first step below)
  • 1 kombucha tea starter culture (called "mother")
  • Distilled white vinegar for rinsing equipment
  • 1 quart spring water or filtered water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 5 black tea bags
  • 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
I have to admit I was a bit taken aback when I came across kombucha recipes in Andrew Schloss's Homemade Soda since I'd always thought of this fermented tea as more of a health tonic than an easy drinking soda. But when you think about it, kombucha does fall into the flavored carbonated beverage category, regardless of how good for you if might be. Since kombucha has been on my try-it-out-at-home list for quite a while, giving one of Schloss's fermented tea recipes a whirl seemed like the perfect excuse to delve into the world of kombucha mothers and babies. The first step is getting your hands on a mother, that bizarre, space blob-looking starter culture from which your tea will ferment. It's not the kind of thing that's sold in stores, so kombucha brewing buddies and internet ordering are your best bet. You'll also need a kombucha starter tea. This can be store bought kombucha, a friend's homemade stuff, or white vinegar, if you can't find anything else. Once you've got your hands on a mother the next step is to invest in a gallon jug of distilled white vinegar. Since you're going to be fermenting, sterilization is key, and white vinegar is going to make sure that your equipment is clean and bad bacteria-free. You'll also need a clean glass jar, 1 1/2 quarts or larger, and coffee filters or cheesecloth. Now that you're all set up, it's time to brew. Kombucha grows in sweetened tea, in this case black tea mixed with sugar and vinegar. Once the brewed tea-vinegar mixture has cooled, the mother and starter are added and the whole weird looking liquid is poured into a vinegar-sanitized jar, covered with something that will allow air to flow, and left in a warm spot to do all of its ferment-y magic. At this point your best bet is to mark your calender and forget about it for the next 8 to 12 days. If you're lucky when you uncover your jar 8 to 12 days later, you'll see all sorts of weird jellyfish-looking action. The mother should have made a baby, i.e. smaller blob, that's going to be attached with a series of wispy looking strings. At this point you should sterilize a straw with vinegar and taste your tea. You're looking for a tart flavor, along the lines of apple cider vinegar. Kombucha mothers can be used again and again—just scoop it out and store it in the fridge for future use. The final step on your epic kombucha brewing journey is to strain your tea through a coffee filter, add the orange juice, and leave it for another 2 to 4 days to ensure optimal effervescence. As always with our Drink the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Homemade Sodas to give away this month. Adapted from Homemade Soda by Andrew Schloss. Copyright © 2011. Published by Storey Publishing. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved.

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Recipe Details

Preparation Time: 
45 minutes
Cooking Time: 
239 hours 15 minutes
Total Time: 
240 hours


Calories per serving:

91 calories

Dietary restrictions:

Low Fat, Low Sodium Fat Free, Low Fat Abs, Low Potassium, Kidney Friendly, Vegan, Vegetarian, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Wheat Free, Egg Free, Milk Free, Peanut Free, Tree Nut Free, Soy Free, Fish Free, Shellfish Free, Alcohol Free, No Oil Added

Daily value:



  • Fat 0g 1%
  • Carbs 127g 42%
  • Saturated 0g 0%
  • Fiber 0g 2%
  • Sugars 121g
  • Monounsaturated 0g
  • Polyunsaturated 0g
  • Protein 2g 3%
  • Sodium 92mg 4%
  • Calcium 99mg 10%
  • Magnesium 57mg 14%
  • Potassium 602mg 17%
  • Iron 1mg 4%
  • Zinc 0mg 3%
  • Phosphorus 54mg 8%
  • Vitamin A 25µg 3%
  • Vitamin C 124mg 207%
  • Thiamin (B1) 0mg 15%
  • Riboflavin (B2) 0mg 8%
  • Niacin (B3) 1mg 5%
  • Vitamin B6 0mg 5%
  • Folic Acid (B9) 88µg 22%
  • Vitamin E 0mg 0%
  • Vitamin K 0µg 0%
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