The Fizzy Fermented Tea – Kombucha

On Maui, Kombucha is more than just a beverage.  It is the health tonic that has blazed a path into the social scene on Maui. We love our kombucha bars here. The health minded, spiritually woke crowd flock to their favorite kombucha bar daily! The ‘booch bar is where we come together to solve the world’s problems. There is talk about spiritual healing, composting, organic gardening, living off grid and so many other fascinating topics. You wouldn’t imagine! The people are not just here for some fizzy beverage. We are here to build community!

Let’s make sure not to get it twisted though, life on Maui is not only about getting your ‘booch buzz going. Sometimes we have other stuff to do and that is why it is helpful to brew kombucha at home for those mornings, when going to the bar doesn’t fit into the schedule. I will share with you the recipe I used to start my own kombucha SCOBY almost from scratch. “SCOBY” is an acronym: Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast. It looks similar to a mushroom floating on the top of the tea and is often called the mother. As the SCOBY or mother grows, it replicates itself and this is the “baby.” You may have a friend looking to give away some Scoby babies this will save you about a month and a half of growing your own SCOBY.

To start your own SCOBY everything has to be very CLEAN or what you will get is MOLD and that is not desired – Opposite!


– Get a 1 gallon glass jar. (Not plastic, not metal – Glass) – NOTE: this recipe is for 1/2 gallon and can be doubled in the gallon jar.)

– 1 bottle of Synergy or GT’S Original Kombucha – select the one that has the most mother, the brown slime, in the bottom of the bottle.

– 1/2 cup organic white sugar

– 4 Organic Breakfast Tea bags (Make sure the teabags are paper and not those weird plastic ones.)

– 7 cups of boiling water


1. Add your 1/2 cup of sugar and tea bags to the 7 cups of boiling water, this can be done on the stove in a metal pot.

2. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.

3. Once your sweet tea mix has cooled transfer the mixture to your very CLEAN glass jar. Make sure there is no soap residue.

4. Pour 1 cup (1/2 bottle) of store bought Synergy or GTS Original Kombucha into the glass jar be sure to get as much of the mother in there as possible. You might pour out the first cup and saving all of the slimy mother for your recipe.

5. If you already have a SCOBY you can now add it. Otherwise, you will be getting to watch your very own SCOBY grow and it is so rewarding.

6. Cover the jar with a paper towel or a piece of fabric that will keep all dust and bugs out of the jar and will let the SCOBY breathe then use a rubber band to keep the towel in place.

7. Find a dark corner or cabinet to grow your SCOBY and to later brew your kombucha. You will want to leave it undisturbed, keep it still, if you do need to move it, just do it slowly. In the first few weeks nothing much will happen, then within a couple more weeks a thin film or skin will form… I let out a little squeal when this happens.  This means your SCOBY is starting to grow.  This process will take longer than a month. The exact timing depends on the temperature of the cupboard.

The sugar you added was food for the SCOBY, the longer you let your tea ferment the more of the sugar the SCOBY will take for itself and the stronger the vinegar flavor your Kombucha will have.  Sweeter kombucha takes less time than vinegary kombucha. I was advised by a reliable source not to drink my very first batch of Kombucha, so I did not. I will advise you to do the same.

This recipe I have just given you is only for the first ferment, this is how I drink my ‘booch, I don’t care for the bubbles enough to bother with a second ferment. That being said, once the Scoby is strong and gives you a baby Scoby, you can experiment with green tea and my favorite, Kava Tea!

I hope you find this post to be entertaining and useful, thank you for visiting our site and if you like what you see please tell your friends about us.

Check out Maui Kombucha Restaurant in Haiku Here

Check out Alchemy Maui Restaurant in Lahaina Here

Look for Vitali-Tea Kombucha and Valley Isle Kombucha at your local market.