We are so excited to officially share with you the office-made kombucha tea that we have been brewing at The Moderns these past few months.
Although The Moderns has collectively been drinking kombucha for years and keeping the fridge stocked with it for employees to drink, we have only set out on our office-made kombucha tea journey recently this past Spring.
Kombucha is an effervescent, fermented tea, drunk for medicinal purposes all over the world. It’s truly a miracle drink and to make your own, you need to start with what’s known as a scoby (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast). The scoby is usually passed down from someone, much like the starter for bread. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find one to adopt from someone, but this led to us to discovering one of our new favorite companies –Kombucha Brooklyn, and their kombucha starter kit. Their kit comes with everything that you need to brew your first batch, including the large glass container, scoby, organic black tea and organic sugar.
It took about half an hour to get everything set-up, sterilized and properly prepared. We used our Mountain Valley Spring Water to brew the tea with, which is the water in our office ‘water cooler.’ It comes from a natural protected spring source in Arkansas and is constantly monitored and tested to ensure its purity. The water never touches plastic and is shipped and contained in glass jugs. We love it at our office.
During the beginning of the process, we received an important tip from one of our friends, who’s a leading expert in kombucha and probiotics – Ben Goodwin of Zoda. He recommended that we keep the kombucha on a heating pad at 80 degrees and to keep it in the dark and also stationary on the heating pad. This way, not only does the best bacteria grow, but the best flavor also comes out.
About 5 days into the fermentation process, we pulled out a straw and sampled our first batch. It was already delicious and hard to put back into the dark to wait another 7-10 days before bottling. When the tea was ready to bottle is when we added in fruit puree for added flavor. The bottles then sat at room temperature for 3-7 days to carbonate. In total, the brewing process took about 14-28 days, but the longer you let it ferment, the more sugar gets eaten by the yeast and the more healthful and fizzy the drink is.
We’ve brewed several batches since our first one and have experimented with different flavors along the way: strawberry, mixed berry, raspberry, blueberry (to name a few). We bottle the kombucha ourselves in the office and made our own labels. If you’re near the Flatiron District, please stop by for a MMM-Moderns and Manhattan Made Kombucha tea to stay cool this Summer.