Recipe adopted from Nourishing Traditions written by Sally Fallon with Mary G. Enig, PhD

Makes about 2 quarts

3 quarts filtered water
1 cup organic sugar
4 tea bags of organic black tea
1/2 cup kombucha from a previous culture
1 kombucha mushroom (ask your local health food store for where to buy)

Note from the author: the kombucha mushroom acts on the sugar and tea to produce acetic and lactic acid (therefore no sugar is left present) along with small amounts of a potent detoxifying substance, glucuronic acid. White sugar, rather than honey or Rapadura, and black tea rather than flavored teas, give the highest amounts of glucuronic acid.

Bring 3 quarts filtered water to boil. Add sugar and simmer until dissoved. Remove from heat until water has completely cooled. Remove tea bags. Pour cooled liquid into a 4-quart pyrex bowl and add 1/2 cup kombucha from previous batch. Place the mushroom on top of the liquid. Make a crisscross over the bowl with masking tape, cover loosely with a cloth or towel and transfer to a warm dark place, away from contaminants and insects.
In about 7-10 days, the kombucha will be ready, depending on the temperature. It should be rather sour and possibly fizzy, with no taste of tea remaining. Transfer to covered glass containers and store in the refrigerator. Note: Do not wash kombucha bowls in the dishwasher.

When the kombucha is ready, your mushroom will have grown a second spongy pancake. This can be used to make other batches or given away to friends. A kombucha mushroom can be used dozens of times. If it begins to turn black, or if the resulting kombucha doesn’t sour properly, it is a sign that the culture has become contaminated. When this happens, it is best to throw away all your mushrooms and order a new clean one.

Note: Some individuals may have an allergic reaction to kombucha. If you have allergies, start with a small taste to observe any adverse effects.