Where to begin with Kombucha...
24 April 2018 - by Joe Enhari

Where to begin with Kombucha...

Urban Jungle Suffolk's Café Manager, Joe Enhari is a great believer in all things fermented. Not only does pickling and fermenting make great use of gluts from the Edible Jungle (The kitchen garden and field growing our salad and vegetables), but there are also incredible health benefits too.

Health benefits can include detoxification, improved digestion, and immune system stimulation. This effervescent, zingy beverage has also been attributed to preventing arthritis, and reducing cholesterol. It's said to enhance energy, positive moods and athletic performance as well as aiding weight-loss – why wouldn't you share Joe's passion for this seemingly magic cocktail?

Joe's Kombucha

Read on to find out all about Joe's Kombucha...

Kombucha, like several other interesting and delicious things on foodie radars at present, is an antiquated beverage. It's produced using beneficial yeasts and bacteria to ferment a base item, in this case sweetened tea. It's a hot topic at work as Head Chef Chloe, Supervisor Lily and I are all home brewers.

Chloe and Joe Head Chef
Head Chef Chloe and Cafe Manager Joe

There is sadly a great deal of speculation on its origin and specifically the time period. It is however mostly agreed upon that China and The Eurasian Steppe is the most likely place.

Being a fermented beverage, Kombucha contains beneficial micro-organisms that can boost the health of your gut flora, and lactic acids which have been attributed to the relief of lots of gastric ailments.

As if that sexy explanation wasn't enough to get people queuing at the door, it's also really delicious and, once you start playing around by adding natural flavours, more or less infinitely original. I think of it as a tasty and nutritious probiotic iced tea.

All you need to start brewing Kombucha is a jar, some sweet tea and a SCOBY. The SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeasts) is an odd thing to behold for the first time, a weird celestial jellyfish that's going to eat your tea before you drink it.

SCOBY Kambucha

The method

1) Brew 2 tbsp of loose tea (Assam is nice) with seven pints of boiling water, and 1 cup of sugar. Let it cool to room temperature.
2) Clean and sterilize a big Kilner jar, the large ones with the tap at the bottom.
3) Strain your tea into the jar and add your SCOBY, with a cup of tea from a previously successful brew. 
4) Leave for seven days, out of direct sunlight and at room temperature.
5) On the seventh day, taste your brew. Everyone likes their 'booch' at different levels of sweetness. Taste every day from then on and when you're happy, it's ready.

We've been playing with flavours and brew times in the Café so that we are super happy before we launch it over the bar. Chloe and I are excited to use our home grown produce such as rhubarb, to enhance our future brews.

Joe cooking

It will be on sale in the Café in May, but we will be offering it to any one who wishes to try it for the first time free of charge in the mean time. We hope to see you soon!

The Café at Urban Jungle is open every day from 10am until 4.30pm, and Saturday nights from 6pm. Book your table on 01502 559103 or book here.

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