* Please note that this blog remains up as a resource. However, this blog is currently on hiatus until further notice. For more information, please read this blog post. Thank you and happy kombucha brewing, drinking, and SCOBY trading! Lots of love. ~Annabelle *

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Celestial Seasonings Launches Their Own Kombucha Line

In December, I addressed the launch of Honest Kombucha by Honest Tea in my post Kombucha's Going Mainstream.

Now, Celestial Seasonings is launching their own kombucha line.

Sequence of events:

Celestial Seasonsings is definitely focusing on the functional food aspect of kombucha. Their kombucha will be available in five varieties:
  • Digestion: Meyer Lemon Ginger
  • Antioxidant: Superfruit
  • Metabolism: Berry Guava
  • Energy: Pomelo Citrus
  • Super Green: Tropical Blend

For more information on Celestial Seasonings' launch of their kombucha line, read the press release.

To me it is always sad to see an independent and successful company get sold to a large conglomerate. Read this 2008 article about the founder of Infinitea Kombucha, Nicole Gervace of Infinitea Kombucha on being a Successful Entrepreneur. Infinitea Kombucha even used to sell at the Boulder Country Farmers Market in Colorado.

Expect more comments about Celestial Seasonings Kombucha once I see it in stores.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Where is that baby mushroom? If you've been brewing kombucha/have been trying to and haven't been getting any new kombucha mothers, here are some tips:
  • If your SCOBY was previously stored in the fridge: kombucha mushrooms go dormant in the fridge and may need a few cycles to get fully back into gear. Wait a few cycles to see if new SCOBYs begin forming in the next few cycles.
  • Is your kombucha mother sitting on the surface of the kombucha as it brews, and is it getting thicker? If it is, then there's a good chance that the new mushroom is forming right on the top of the old one, with the two mushrooms indistinguishable from one another.
  • Avoid antibacterial soap, because SCOBYs contain bacteria. Use distilled white vinegar to clean your kombucha equipment and brewing vessel instead.
  • Don't add SCOBYs to hot or warm tea, because hot temperatures can kill your SCOBY. You want to add SCOBYs to tea that is room temperature.
  • Avoid any foreign additions to your kombucha (such as herbs, spices, certain types of tea, etc.) unless you know that they are safe. Add flavors and foreign additions during the secondary fermentation (the bottling process), or experiment with foreign additions with your extra kombucha mushrooms. You also want to avoid herbal teas with too many volatile oils, which can harm the SCOBY over time. More about teas for kombucha brewing here.
  • Keep your fermentation vessel in an undisturbed spot, and avoid environments where there is smoke, kitchen smoke, pollen, disturbing fumes such as from paints or solvents, etc.
  • Use only plain kombucha as starter tea.
  • Make sure your sweetener contains some form of sugar either in a dry/crystalline form (ex. evaporated cane juice or sucanat) or liquid form (ex. honey). Stevia and artificial sweeteners don't provide the necessary food for the yeasts.
  • The ability for SCOBYs to ferment the tea and to produce new babies decreases as they age. Older SCOBYs are darker brown in color while younger SCOBYs typically have a creamy, white color.
  • Are you using a stainless steel pot? When I accidentally brewed with an aluminum pot for a few weeks, I did not get any new mushrooms then.
  • The SCOBY might be unhappy with the water. Water can vary widely, such as in the types of minerals present and their concentrations. SCOBYs don't like chlorine. Consider experimenting with filtered water, upgrading your water filter, and the length of boiling time.
  • Sometimes the kombucha is ready to drink before a well-formed kombucha mushroom fully develops. If you are trying to grow a thick kombucha mother, read this post.
1. http://users.bestweb.net/~om/kombucha_balance/#No%20SCOBY