Book reviews by Mobilism's Book Review team
Dec 12th, 2016, 7:14 pm
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TITLE: Kombucha Revolution: 75 Recipes for Homemade Brews, Fixers, Elixirs, and Mixers
AUTHOR: Stephen Lee, Ken Koopman
GENRE: Non-Fiction, Cooking, Beverages & Wine
PUBLISHED: June 3, 2014
RATING: ★★★★☆
PURCHASE LINKS: Amazon iBookstore
MOBILISM LINK: Read Here

Description: This guide from the founder of Kombucha Wonder Drink demystifies the process of brewing kombucha at home and offers recipes for using it in infusions, smoothies, cocktails, and more.

The Wonder Drink Kombucha — a fizzy, fermented tea-based beverage packed with probiotics, vitamins, and enzymes—has homebrewers salivating. And who better to guide you through the brewing process than a tea guru with more than forty years of experience under his belt? Stephen Lee, cofounder of Tazo Tea and Stash Tea, turned his attention to fermented tea and founded Kombucha Wonder Drink in 2001. In Kombucha Revolution, Lee reveals the secrets to brewing the perfect batch of kombucha and caring for your very own SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast). He also shares his favorite recipes—plus contributions from brewers, bartenders, and chefs like “Kombucha Mamma” Hannah Crum and Wildwood’s Dustin Clark—for infusing your brew with fruits, herbs, and spices, and incorporating it into juices, smoothies, sauces, snacks, sweets, and cocktails.

With recipes for Lavender–Green Tea Kombucha, Cranberry Bitters Cocktails, Kombucha Vinegar, Green Smoothies, Kombucha Lime Ceviche, and Kombucha Pear Sorbet, mixing this healthful brew into your everyday lifestyle has never been so revolutionary

Review: Kombucha is the latest health beverage, the newest ‘it’ thing in the ever-lengthening list of superfoods. Kombucha is a fermented tea which includes probiotics, vitamins, and enzymes, and is believed to have mythical healing properties that boost the immune system. Known also as the “Immortal Health Elixir” by the Chinese, it is said to originate in the Far East around 2,000 years ago. Regular drinkers of Kombucha claim it improves digestion, reduces hot flashes, aids cleansing and detoxification, increases energy, and boosts overall immunity, among many claimed benefits.
“And where did the name come from? A little too convenient perhaps, but another story has a Korean doctor named Dr. Kombu delivering it to Japanese Emperor Inyoko in 414 AD Gribok, as the Russians affectionately called their “little mushroom” beverage”. Kombucha is alive, teeming with beneficial microorganisms and active bacterial cultures that, much like the live cultures in yogurt, provide the body with a great source of nutrition. With its probiotic properties that help balance the “good” and “bad” bacteria in the intestinal tract, kombucha is regarded by many as a “wonder” food as opposed to just a healthy drink. But even though this magical tonic has been around for centuries and is chock-full of probiotics, B vitamins, and amino acids, its purported health benefits remain unproven.”

Kombucha Revolution, then, is the perfect go-to guide for someone who wants to learn about the Kombucha culture and how to pursue it. It also is a very good book for people who already follow the Kombucha culture. Co-author, Stephen Lee, is the co-founder of Tazo Tea and Stash Tea; who better to write a know-it-all book on fermented tea then the person whose whole life has revolved around tea?

The book shares in detail how to create your own Kombucha tea and care about you own SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast). It also provides tips to look out any mold in the Scoby as you would need to start over if that happened.
“The key to kombucha’s existence is the mother, a live starter culture similar to a sourdough bread starter. Referred to in the industry as a SCOBY (Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast), this rubbery substance kicks off the fermentation process and ultimately forms a pancake-size disk that looks like the top of a mushroom (thus, the reason why for centuries the drink was called “mushroom tea”).”

One nostalgic anecdote shared by the author is his original discovery of Kombucha by snooping around at an associate’s house on the way to visit the loo during a dinner in Russia. (To whom he has very sweetly dedicated the book.)
“After a wonderful meal of borscht, piroshkies, and lots of pickled vegetables, I excused myself to use their loo. On my way down the narrow hall, I looked through an open door on my right and saw something strange. There, on the nightstand next to Mrs. Lisovski’s bed, was a one-gallon jug of brownish liquid with cheesecloth stretched over the top. I felt ridiculously guilty peering into the bedroom of an eighty-year-old woman, but I couldn’t resist taking a closer look at that jar. Straining my eyes in the dim light, I saw something really odd. There was a pancake-sized gelatinous blob floating on top of the fluid.”

Kombucha Revolution is full of wonderful information and anecdotes on the beverage’s history. It not only teaches you to make a daily version of it but also provides complete detailed instructions on how to create your own kit! It contains both Imperial & Metric measures for the same basic batch on tea which is very nice, as many people argue on the correct method of measurements!

Kombucha Revolution includes recipes for various flavored Kombucha teas, but also goes beyond that by incorporating it into juices, smoothies, cocktails, salad dressings, Kombucha vinegar, and food recipes… In fact, the book goes where no Kombucha book has gone before, Gee, it even offers instructions to make your own kombucha foot scrub out of the new SCOBY babies!
BOOCHIE SALT SCRUB

1 SCOBY
4 cups coarse-grind Himalayan pink salt
1 tablespoon lemongrass essential oil
2 tablespoons plain kombucha

With each batch of home-brewed kombucha, a new layer will form on the SCOBY. This new layer can be easily peeled away and used separately. When a SCOBY is ready to separate from the mother, take the “baby” and dry it overnight by suspending it from a clothesline with clothespins. After it has dried, place it in a clean coffee grinder, and grind it until it is a coarse grind.

Place 4 cups of Himalayan salt in a mixing bowl, add the ground SCOBY, toss with your hands. Add 1 tablespoon lemongrass essential oil and stir it with a spatula. Add in the kombucha a few drops at a time, stirring the entire time. The scrub will be moist and coarse.

Set yourself up with some towels and a galvanized wash tub. Pour in some boiled water that is warm enough for a foot bath. Get comfy, place your feet in the wash tub, grab a handful of Boochie Salt Scrub, and scrub the bottom of your feet, in between your toes and up onto your calves. Enjoy the detoxifying and healing experience of the concoction.

When you are finished with the scrub, pour warm water over your legs and feet to cleanse them as well as activate the lemongrass, which offers you an aromatherapeutic foot bath finish to your kombucha foot scrub. A divine way to end a long day on your feet!

Would definitely recommend Kombucha Revolution as the best, most detailed guide I have read on Kombucha, with its combination of what exactly Kombucha is, its brief history, why it is still popular after thousand of years, how to make it, and instructions on what equipment to use and procedure to follow. It even shows you how to make vinegar out of the leftover tea!
“If your unfinished home-brewed kombucha slips away from you and is well on its way to becoming vinegar, don’t throw it out. Why not just let it become vinegar? Because kombucha is such a robust, aggressive culture and antioxidant, it can transition rather quickly to vinegar if the fermentation process is not stopped at the right time. ”

KOMBUCHA VINEGAR
MAKES 1 SCANT GALLON

14 cups purified water
16 to 20 tea bags; or 8 tablespoons (35 grams) loose-leaf black tea or green tea, 6 tablespoons (35 grams) balled oolong tea, or 10 tablespoons (35 grams) loose open-leaf oolong tea
1 cup evaporated cane sugar
2 cups starter tea
1 SCOBY

Heat 6 cups of the water in a stainless steel saucepan to 212°F, then remove from the heat. Add the tea, stir well, and cover. Steep for 4 minutes, stirring once at 2 minutes. Remove the tea bags or pour the tea through a colander or fine-mesh strainer into a second pot. Compost the tea. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Then add the remaining 8 cups of water to cool the tea to about room temperature (72°F or cooler). Add the starter tea and stir. Pour into a 1-gallon jar. With rinsed hands, carefully lay your SCOBY on the surface of the tea. Cover the opening of the jar with a clean cotton cloth and hold it in place with a rubber band.

Place your jar in a warm spot (72°F to 78°F) out of direct sunlight and leave your kombucha undisturbed to ferment. A kombucha’s vinegary nature is subject to taste. If you allow the fermentation to continue for 18 to 21 days (tasting it along the way with a straw), you should expect to make a basic vinegar. Age it for more than 3 to 5 weeks, and you will have a uniquely flavored product comparable to store-bought vinegar. When the kombucha vinegar suits your taste, remove the SCOBY. Pour the liquid into a bottle and store in the refrigerator to cease the fermentation process.”

Many other books on fermented drinks have incorporated this ancient elixir but this book is definitely the best and only book you would need, as it gives tons of information about tea and ideas to incorporate much more of it in other day to day things! A full variety of flavours of home brews and infusions, juices, smoothies, and cocktails.
Dec 12th, 2016, 7:14 pm