How to Grow Kombucha


Kombucha is a fungi-based, fermented tea that many people drink for its energizing effects and purported health benefits. Kombucha has a sparkling, refreshing taste that is slightly sour, depending on how long you allow it to ferment. When using Kombucha for the health benefits, you can drink three glasses each day, one in the morning on an empty stomach, one after lunch and the third right before bedtime. Kombucha is made using an extremely simple fermentation process. The hardest part of growing Kombucha is usually finding the Kombucha culture. Some health-food specialty stores carry Kombucha culture and you can usually find it online.

Step 1

Bring 3 qt. water to a boil and remove from heat. Place five black or green tea bags into the water and let them steep for 15 minutes, then remove the tea bags from the water.

Step 2

Stir 1 cup of white sugar into the tea. Allow the tea to cool until it is lukewarm, about 68 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 3

Pour the lukewarm tea into a large glass container. Place the live Kombucha culture into the tea.

Step 4

Cover the container with a paper towel or tightly-woven cloth, securing it with a large rubber band. The covering should be porous enough to allow air circulation, but not porous enough to let fruit flies in.

Step 5

Allow the Kombucha to ferment for two to four weeks, depending on the sweetness or sourness you desire. Stop the fermentation at two weeks for a sweeter drink or at four weeks for a drier or slightly acid flavor. Keep the container in a warm place that will not fall below 68 degrees Fahrenheit, and keep it away from bright, direct sunlight. Do not move the container while the Kombucha is fermenting.

Step 6

Wash your hands thoroughly and remove the Kombucha culture from the container. Rinse the culture under cold water. Pour the liquid from the container into glass bottles, filling them to the brim and inserting stoppers. Set aside at least 10 percent of the fermented liquid that you will add to the new batch. Allow the Kombucha to mature in the bottles for about five days before drinking.

Step 7

Prepare another batch of tea and place the Kombucha culture with the tea back into the glass container. Add the 10 percent of the Kombucha tea from your finished batch that you set aside. Begin the fermentation process over again.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not forget to always set aside 10 percent of the Kombucha tea to use as starter liquid for the next batch. When you are making your very first batch of Kombucha, be sure to add the liquid that came with the Kombucha culture to the tea. Avoid adding the Kombucha culture to tea that has not cooled down to room temperature. The hot liquid will kill the culture.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Black or green tea bags
  • White sugar
  • Large glass container
  • Live Kombucha culture
  • Paper towel or tightly-woven cloth
  • Large rubber band
  • Glass bottles with stoppers
  • Cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer (optional)


  • How to Make Your Own Kombucha Tea
  • New Mexico Tea Company: Kombucha

Who Can Help

  • Arbor Teas: All About Kombucha
Keywords: grow kombucha, make kombucha, kombucha recipe

About this Author

Sarah Terry brings 10 years of experience writing novels, business-to-business newsletters, and a plethora of how-to articles. Terry has written articles and publications for a wide range of markets and subject matters, including Medicine & Health, Eli Financial, Dartnell Publications and Eli Journals.