A longtime kombucha lover shares three easy steps for making your own batch at home. (Plus, where to find good resources if you’re just getting started.)

What Is Kombucha?

Kombucha is a fermented tea drink loaded with probiotics, or healthy bacteria, that may offer numerous health benefits, including improved digestion, immunity, and mental wellbeing.

Home Brewing 101

When making kombucha, it’s important to start with high-quality, fresh teas and starter cultures, both of which should be available at most health food stores or online.

Step 1: Create a Starter Culture

To start, take a small cup and soak one kombucha culture disk in it for 24 hours. Then, pour in enough tea to fill a pitcher. Fill the rest of the pitcher with purified water and allow the tea to steep until the volume is reduced by half. (This should take 24-48 hours, depending on the type of tea.) Afterward, remove the tea bag and add the starter culture, stirring to distribute it evenly. Cover the jar or pitcher with a cloth and secure with a rubber band. The cloth helps prevent dust from getting into the mixture while the rubber band helps hold it all together.

Step 2: Add Fruit

Once the mixture has fully fermented, add fruit to your kombucha vessel of choice, such as a large jar or swing-top bottle. Use your favorite variety, such as strawberries, blueberries, mango, or blackberries. Fruits are highly nutritious and contain many antioxidants, which are thought to boost the immune system and reduce inflammation.

Step 3: Bottle and Store

After about a week, strain out the solid ingredients using a mesh strainer or cheesecloth. Next, add sugar or honey to your kombucha for a slightly sweeter taste. The precise amount will depend on your personal taste, but starting with around 1⁄4 cup of sugar and adding more as desired is recommended. Then, pour your kombucha into a clean, airtight bottle, and store it in the refrigerator.