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KOMBUCHA: HOW TO MAKE THE POPULAR FERMENTED BREW


That slightly fermented tea from the east, kombucha, remains firmly on-trend thanks to claims that it’s great for gut health. What’s more, it’s not too difficult to make, as a trip to London’s Cookery School proves. Words: Maria Pieri


No one really knows what a scoby is or where it comes from — that’s what I’ve gleaned from the first 15 minutes of this course. “Yes, it does look like something from


Stranger Things,” says Alice MacKinnon, who’s heading today’s Ferments & Pickles Course for our group of nine. And you can’t make kombucha without


the scoby: kombucha is made from black tea and a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast — hence the name ‘scoby’ — which is key to the fermentation process. Scobys, which can be bought online, “loves sugary, black tea — like an English person!” Alice jokes. “The scoby is known as the ‘mother’, or


‘mushroom’, which gives you an idea of its appearance,” she adds. “It’s usually dense, round, rubbery and opaque with a mild, vinegar-like smell.” Alice likens kombucha to other fermented foods and drinks, such


Homemade fermented Kombucha tea LEFT: Competitors at the start of the 1908 Cresta Run, St Moritz


as kefir or sourdough, which require similar symbiotic cultures. “Kombucha is gnarly. When you make it in your environment, it’ll be made from bacteria in your area.” The first recorded use of kombucha was in


221 BC in China, although it didn’t acquire its name until AD 415 — in Japan. Kombucha is simple enough to make. We


brew up some black tea, add sugar, then allow it to cool in a sterilised glass jar. The scoby is added (Alice has one she made earlier and gives a bit of it to each of us). It’s then leſt at room temperature to ferment for one to four weeks, covered with a cloth gauze. Alice recommends drinking around half


a cup a day, to avoid becoming “gassy”, and suggests a range of flavour combinations, including ginger-turmeric, lime-cola, pineapple-chili and beetroot-carrot. READ THE FULL STORY ONLINE NOW


| P H O T O G R A P H Y |


We learn about what it’s like to travel through time in Nat Geo’s archives One writer’s journey through history in the photo archives in the National Geographic headquarters highlights the importance of mindful travel


| A D V E N T U R E |


These women were trailblazing explorers — why did history forget them? Meet the female explorers behind National Geographic and learn about the their lasting impact


| S P A C E |


Mars is humming. Scientists aren’t sure why The quiet drone pulses with the beat of quakes rippling around the planet, but the source of this alien music remains unknown


BEYOND THE TRAVEL SECTION


SEARCH FOR NATGEOTRAVELUK


FACEBOOK RWANDA


14 hours in Kigali Oſten a gateway to discover the country’s gorillas, the Rwandan capital is well worth exploring


EUROPE Celebrating 20 of Europe’s greatest cafes Tuck in to some of the greatest coffee houses on the continent


USA A neighbourhood guide to San Diego Discovering the Californian city’s diverse ’hoods


TWITTER PINTEREST INSTAGRAM


May/Jun 2020 37


IMAGES: GETTY; REBECCA HALE; PUXAN; WWW. PETERRIGAUD.COM; EMMA GREGG


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