10 Mins
Photo: Kelsey Hansen

How to Make It

Step 1

Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add sugar, and stir until sugar completely dissolves. Turn off heat. Add tea bags, and allow mixture to come to room temperature (add ice to speed this process if you're in a hurry).

Step 2

Pour kombucha into a 1-gallon-sized jar. Add room-temperature tea; do not add hot tea, as it will kill the good bacteria. Add cool water to fill jar to the top, just where the mouth starts to narrow. Cover jar with two coffee filters or a double layer of paper towels, and secure with a rubber band. Place jar in a place, at room temperature, where it won't get jostled and it's out of direct sunlight; it does not need to go in a dark place, just out of direct sun.

Step 3

It will probably take 2 to 4 weeks for your SCOBY to form. You can lift the covering to see what's happening—just try not to slosh the liquid at all. At first, nothing will happen; then, after a few days, you'll see some bubbles forming on the surface. Then you'll see more and more bubbles, and maybe a thin, clear jellyfish-looking blob on the surface. Once the blob covers the surface, is opaque, and is roughly ¼-inch thick, you have a viable SCOBY.

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