Kombucha Tea Starter Culture

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$12.99


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Kombucha Starter Culture

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Brew delicious organic kombucha tea at home!

  • Make delicious probiotic-rich kombucha tea
  • Gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan
  • Reusable culture; transfer the culture from batch to batch
  • With proper care, the culture can be used indefinitely to create delicious fermented tea
  • Easy to make; can be flavored a variety of ways

 
A kombucha starter culture (a.k.a. kombucha scoby, mushroom, mother) consists of yeast and bacteria existing in a symbiotic relationship. When combined with brewed tea, sugar, and water and allowed to ferment for 7 to 30 days, the resulting kombucha tea beverage has a slightly carbonated zing and is packed full of B vitamins. Each kombucha culture comes with 10 pH strips to assist with brewing the first few batches.

Save money! Commercially available kombucha tea generally sells for $3+ for a 16-ounce bottle. Using our kombucha starter culture, you can brew kombucha tea for $2 a gallon or less! With proper care, the kombucha scoby can be used over and over to brew a refreshing, vitamin-filled kombucha tea.

Ingredients: Organic sugar, organic black tea.

Kombucha scobys are manufactured in a facility that also processes dairy, soy, wheat, nut, and fish products. Kombucha scobys are culture (no animal products).

Shipping Information: Kombucha tea starter cultures are shipped in a dehydrated state and must be rehydrated. Rehydration requires vinegar (or plain raw kombucha), sugar, tea and a 30-day rehydration period. Full rehydration and brewing instructions accompany each order and are available here. A video detailing the rehydration process can also be found here. 

 

       
Jerri
 

Why I Love This Product

Kombucha is one of my favorite cultures. Not only does it taste fabulous, but this low+maintenance culture fits in my busy life! And who is not busy? All I need are a few ingredients and 7 days. Although you can brew for 30 days, we prefer a 7-day period that produces a much milder kombucha. My husband prefers it chilled, so several bottles are set aside just for him in the fridge while the kids’ bottles enjoy a second ferment on the counter. Another reason I adore kombucha? Free dog treats! I dehydrate the scobys and cut them into smaller pieces for our dog. See here for the storyJerri, Customer Support Representative

 

Questions on Kombucha Tea Starter Culture

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  • From Ashley at 1/2/11 2:00 PM
    • I know brewing Kombucha requires a starter liquid, is this included in the culture or available?
    • To activate this dehydrated culture, use white vinegar and sugared tea for the first 2 batches of kombucha. For future batches, you will use the liquid from the previous batch as the starter liquid for the next batch of Kombucha. If it helps, we have a video on activating (rehydrating) the culture and a video on making kombucha here: http://www.culturesforhealth.com/how-to-videos#kombucha_videos.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Tom at 2/26/11 8:42 PM
    • I was wondering if the fermenting process reduces or eliminates the caffeine that is naturally in black and green tea?

      Thank you,

      Tom N.
    • The amount of caffeine in kombucha is up for debate. Some sources claim that the caffeine is reduced by as much as 60% from what is in the tea originally; other sources say that there is no change in the tea. In any case, tea is usually on the low range for caffeine-containing beverages, although the caffeine content will vary with the type of tea used.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Verna at 4/15/11 1:59 PM
    • I am wondering if it will be safe to make kombucha in my house if it has kind of a musky smell? Will it create mold in my kombucha? We are wanting to take care of the musky smell but at this point we don't have the finances.
    • If your house has a musky smell, it may not be good for culturing, due to excess mold in the air. However, if you keep the area around the Kombucha very clean and follow the directions, you will most likely have no problems.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Adrienne at 6/8/11 6:29 PM
    • hi - is there any way to use decaffeinated tea to make the kombucha? thank you.
    • Yes, you can use decaffeinated tea to make kombucha - but make sure it is naturally decaffeinated, not chemically processed, as the processed teas may contain chemicals that can harm the kombucha culture.

      You can get rid of caffeine yourself by pre-steeping the tea. About 80% of the tea's caffeine content is released from the leaf within the first 20 to 30 seconds of steeping. You can have virtually caffeine-free tea, without sacrificing much flavour, by discarding the water after the first 30 to 60 seconds of steeping and adding fresh hot water to the now-decaffeinated leaf. Let the second bath steep for at least 5 or 10 minutes to release the flavenoids and flavors in the tea.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Rach at 8/2/11 2:08 PM
  • From Val at 8/31/11 10:40 AM
    • I have followed the instructions for hydrating my mushroom. And it has been almost five weeks and nothing has happened, except that it swelled a little and only half of it. what should I do now?
    • There is often no visible sign of culturing with the first, or even the first few, batches. The best way to tell if culturing is occurring is to taste the brew and to test the pH, if you have pH test strips. The taste should be rich and vinegary, and the pH should be below 4.0 for a finished batch.

      If that doesn't help, email us at customersupport@culturesforhealth.com for individual troubleshooting.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Philip at 10/10/11 1:29 AM
    • What are the strains of yeast and bacteria found in your Kombucha tea starter SCOBYs. I understand how important and intricate the relationship is between the yeast and bacteria; and I am particularly excited about the potential benefits of the S. Boulardii strain of yeast. Many of the Kombucha products sold in stores involve this yeast. My hope is that your product (which I am currently brewing) involves the same strain of yeast. Thank you in advance for any information you might be able to provide. Philip.
    • Following is a link to our page describing what is in Kombucha http://www.culturesforhealth.com/kombucha-yeast-bacteria The Saccharomyces boulardi is not always present in komucha and we don't have an analysis of our particular scobys however all kombucha including ours has various Saccharomyces strains. The scoby you are currently using will produce Kombucha comparable to what is found in stores.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Kathy at 10/27/11 1:27 PM
    • I bought your tea, and your kombucha starter. My first batch smells like rotten eggs. I made a second batch, it too smells like rotten eggs. Both times I used filtered water, natural sugar and Braggs ACV.
      I am now making a 3rd batch with the same scoby using filtered water and Heinz ACV.
      Thinking maybe I might be having contamination going on and wondering where its coming from. I'm using very clean gallon jars. What do you think?
      Am I using the wrong vinegar? Is the scoby bad?
    • Sorry you're having trouble with your scoby. A rotten egg smell does not sound good. I believe Braggs ACV is raw, and contains bacteria that may compete with the kombucha bacteria strains. We recommend using white vinegar, for best results.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Dallen100 at 12/28/11 8:21 PM
    • I have flip top bottles. How full do I fill them? I've heard some say to the very top to keep air out, but your picture shows bottles filled just to the neck.

      Thanks!
    • We at CFH have much better luck getting a carbonated beverage when there is a little headspace. There is probably a scientific explanation for that :) A bottle filled to the very top probably won't end up very carbonated.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Kelly at 2/15/12 1:27 PM
    • Does it matter what size glass jar is used to rehydrate the scoby? I understood from the directions that it did not necessarily matter. I had a 1 gallon glass jar that I bought to make the kombucha, and that is what I have my rehydrating scoby in. I just watched the Kombucha videos and am concerned I should have just used a quart size jar. My scoby has been in the rehydrating process for 20 days at this point, and I don't think much is happening.
    • The size of the glass jar does not make a difference in rehydrating your scoby or in brewing kombucha tea. If you need assistance with rehydrating your culture, please contact customer support directly.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No

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Customer Reviews

great Review by kd59
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started my 2nd batch... love it!
(Posted on April 14, 2014)
Kombucha Review by anico
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I was a little nervous about my kombucha, but I finally had my first taste of it today, and it is great!! Better yet, is that I am the only one in my family that likes it, so it is ALL MINE!!!! HA! With 6 kids and a husband that want to "share" everything, this is a happy day for me! Anyway...the kombucha stater is a super deal, and it works wonderfully. It was hard to wait the initial 30 days to rehydrate, but it is well worth the effort!! I am going to try adding flavors and a second fermentation next time around. Cultures for health is a site full of info, which I truly appreciate! (Posted on April 1, 2014)
Worth the Wait Review by iharlow
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30 days starting the culture plus 7 additional days to brew my first Kombucha batch took every ounce of my short attention span. But I was pleasantly surprised a sludge looking goo, vinegar, sugar and brewed tea could produce something so tasty and healthy to boot!

I read the fermentation process diminishes the sugar content of Kombucha. I am happy to report the final result is hardly sweet.

This starter is a fun project with clear, easy instructions for the greenhorn brewer.
(Posted on March 30, 2014)
Great starter Review by Fiona
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It comes dehydrated so it takes a while to hydrate fully but once it does you have a great starter for your kombucha (Posted on March 24, 2014)
hmmm... Review by Sea
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I have had a successful SOBY before, and wanted to start making kombucha again; however, this one isn't working (yet?).. Not sure what to do.

It's been over 30 days.

Any suggestions?


Response from CFH: Customer was contacted for troubleshooting assistance, and together we found the scoby is indeed working. - Jerri
(Posted on March 16, 2014)
CFH is very supportive! Products are Great! Review by suz
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My dehydrated scoby arrived in perfect condition. I still have 12 days to wait for the 30 days rehydration period to be completed. However, I've had questions during the rehydration process and I've chatted with support persons who have been available immediately and extremely helpful. Anxiously awaiting to taste the new brew! I've purchased other cultures from CFH and everyone has been so helpful when I have questions. Wonderful! (Posted on March 15, 2014)
Cool! Review by elix
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I am very pleased. This culture worked much faster than the you-tube DIY homemade cultures and I think the flavor is better from this "boughten culture" (Posted on March 8, 2014)
Helps you to learn to be patient Review by jeffiesmom
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Received my culture quickly in the mail, and prepared it the next day. The jar sits on top of my kitchen cabinets. It gets light, is warm and is not disturbed. From where I stand in the kitchen, after 2 weeks, I can see an opaque film forming on top of the tea. Cool! Excited by the process and looking forward to making a drinkable batch. Thankful also for the support offered by this company - both written info and ability to chat if needed. (Posted on March 8, 2014)
Yes yess yesss Review by FermentMe
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Awesome product. Great price. Been sharing with family & friends. The hardest part is the waiting...My whole family loves this fizzy tea - especially with ginger in it. Everyone from my 70-year old mother to my teenagers drink the Kombucha 1x per day. We are all healthy. Life is good. Blame it on the tea! (Posted on March 3, 2014)
Takes a while, but hope its worth it Review by Cyndy
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So after the 30 days I'm finally ready to brew my first batch. The only problem is I added the kombucha starter liquid AND the vinegar as well. I hope this doesn't kill my culture.

Response from CFH: Please contact customer support for troubleshooting advice before discarding product. Many cultures can be saved with minor adjustments. (Posted on February 27, 2014)
DID NOT EXPECT A9 DRIED SCOBY -- TAKES TOO LONG TO GET TEA Review by KAY
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This dried scoby was unexpected. I thought I was going to get one that would start working sooner. Its been over a month and nothing is happening. Except that I continue to pay for bottles at Whole Foods. I would not have bought it had I known it takes a month or more to get this to start making me tea. Really disappointed. Did not want such a long wait for my tea. I wish I could get a refund and get a live one somewhere. Sorry team this is not working for me.... honestly you need to make the huge time lag clearer to the purchasers. If you have a fresh one available I would love it in exchange. You have my c4ontact info.
KAY

Response from CFH: It is normal that there be no visible signs of culturing at first, when beginning with a dehydrated scoby. Please contact customer support if you have concerns about your culture or process. (Posted on February 23, 2014)
Arrived quickly, cannot wait to taste the results Review by Jenn
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The product arrived quickly, and I now I cannot wait to taste the goodness that awaits! (Posted on February 13, 2014)
Followed the directions and it molded Review by cf
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I purchased the kombucha tea starter culture and followed the directions to a T, to the point that I controlled the temperature of the area with a space heater set to 65-70. When the kombucha was supposed to be ready, what I found was an underdeveloped scoby and a cake of mold.

The kombucha I started from a bottled beverage turned out just fine. They were sitting right next to each other.

I will not buy another starter culture scoby. My $3.50 bottled beverage was a far more successful starter than the $20 (after shipping) kombucha tea starter culture.

Response from CFH: We recommend keeping 4 feet between cultures so that they do not cross-contaminate each other. (Posted on February 13, 2014)
So excited, making my own kombucha! Review by Sara
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I am addicted to this...I was so nervous it would be difficult to make my own, while looking for organic yogurt culture I came upon this awesome site. I cannot believe how easy this has been! Just finished my first gallon batch and it's delicious, only one gallon every 30 days will not fill our needs so waiting to get some new scobys. Even though I messed up by not fulling reading the directions, I still successful, and the online assistance unreal, it was a Saturday morning when I logged on and hit the chat option highly expecting to get a message to try on Monday, but nope they were there! Will always refer and use this site exclusively! (Posted on February 10, 2014)
Easier than I expected Review by Leslie
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I am a newbie at making Kombucha and just finished making my 2nd batch. Quite please with the results, as I have been drinking about 12 oz daily. I purchased a 2.5 gal container with a spout for draining which is one thing that has made the process easier; plus, I'm now considering continuously brewing this great drink. I had a plastic electrical seed germination pad that I wrapped around the container and then wrapped that with a small blanket and tied everything together on the outside of the container because the room I keep the container in is quite cool during the day, as I turn down the heat in the house to 65 while I'm at work. The container stays nice and toasty and ferments the tea in 7 days. I'd like to go a little longer to obtain the good detox stuff, but am concerned the brew will be too vinegar tasting, so haven't done this yet. All in all, I'm very satisfied with the culture and the whole process. The key is the temperature. (Posted on February 9, 2014)
Not sure yet..... Review by KW
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Have had my scoby for 3 weeks now and it doesn't look as if it has even rehydrated yet. I followed the enclosed instructions to the letter and a week a ago finally wrapped my jar in a heating pad. Will keep hoping but not real encouraged at this point.

Response from CFH: It is normal that there be no visible changes in the scoby or visible signs of culturing, even for a few batches, when beginning with a dehydrated scoby. The best indicators of proper culturing are flavor and pH. The flavor of finished kombucha is rich and vinegary. The pH of finished kombucha should be below 4.0. It is important to allow the initial activation batch to sit for the full 30 days, to allow the scoby to fully rehydrate and culture the tea. (Posted on February 2, 2014)
Great Review by Jill
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Great (Posted on January 20, 2014)
A Newbie Review by Denise
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The scoby I received didn't make a "baby". Not sure it that is normal or not. It took a long time to harvest but it is Winter here and I knew it would take a little longer. I harvested about 4 weeks in. The directions were very easy for a newbie, however it would be nice to have measurements of containers. I wasn't sure how much water to use in a Gallon Sized container to start.

I am pleased that there are are easy directions packaged though. I had to refer back to them quite a few times as I knew thing had to be precise and on-key. I will order from this company again and suggest it to others.

Note from CFH: It is normal that no baby scoby form for the first few batches, when beginning with a dehydrated scoby. There is a chart included in the instructions with amounts of ingredients to use for a quart-, half-gallon-, and gallon-sized batch. (Posted on December 29, 2013)
Disappointed Review by lolobaba
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I followed instructions to the letter, yet after 3 weeks, not even a white film is forming on top of my tea. I am losing hope...

Response from CFH: It is normal that no baby scoby form for a few batches, when beginning with a dehydrated scoby. Testing the flavor and/or pH of the brew is the best way to know if it is culturing properly. Flavor should be rich and vinegary; pH should be 4.0 or lower, for a finished batch of kombucha. (Posted on December 25, 2013)
I don't know yet, It is too soon. The Kombucha is still culturing and won't be ready until February Review by Carolalev
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I'll let you know what happens when the culturing process is complete (Posted on December 24, 2013)
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