The first time my friend Angela gave me a scoby I felt clueless and overwhelmed, and Shawn was terrified of it. (‘It’s going to climb out and suction onto our faces while we sleep!’) Well I assure you that it’s not from Alien vs Predator and it’s so easy I’m certain anyone could do it. The health benefits of this delicious elixir far outweigh the awkward first handling of the scoby.
This time around, despite what almost every blog told me, I didn’t use organic tea. I happened to have some Monks Blend from my days as a Steeped Tea rep and it worked wonderfully. So I wanted to write out a few tips that I learned along the way, some of which I would have never thought of.
- Wash everything thoroughly, including your hands. First with a soap that is not antibacterial, and then with apple cider vinegar. This cleans everything and ensures your batch and scoby aren’t compromised. Be sure to rinse really well.
- After boiling your water and steeping your tea of choice, let it cool down to room temperature. Also be sure to remove your scoby from the fridge about an hour before you put it in so that it also is at room temperature. I used a gallon jar and I ended up leaving my tea to cool for the afternoon. My first batch I didn’t let it cool enough and the scoby sank to the bottom – I later realized that this is totally fine.
- If your scoby sinks, don’t worry. This can be caused by a difference in temperature in the tea or if the scoby culture is weak. Sweat not, a new culture will grow across the top.
I’m currently on my second batch and am about to get ready to head out the door to deliver the scoby baby to a friend. I’m excited to learn more, try new teas, and share this with friends and family. As I learn more I’ll post, but for now I’m really enjoying experimenting.